I love church. I always will. Call me an idealist, but I still believe that Jesus meant for us to live life in a big messy family, to love one another when we are not that adorable and to be in covenant relationships even at the risk of our own hurt.

For me, church is not a gym membership to be used whenever I feel motivated and abandoned as soon as the new, more modern gym opens up down the street. Church is family. It is not a building, a corporation or a weekend meeting that we are compelled to attend out of habit. It is grandparents hoping to leave a legacy, families trying to thrive, single moms hoping to survive, students searching for truth and children being in awe.

Pam and I have belonged to five churches in 21 years of marriage and each time we left one, it was to move to another city to serve another body. We don’t church hop because we don’t hop from one family to another. If we become a part, we stick and we serve, even when things get tough.

We believe the local church is the best expression of God on the earth, so we give our time, our talents and our money to help the church. We complain to each other in private, but at the end of the day, we are loyal to the bride Christ left behind. We are convinced that lovers of the bride will get the chance to heal the bride. Cynics will never be a part of the solution.

The church will be here long after I am gone and has endured a lot more pain than I have encountered. Miracles, redemption, forgiveness, hope and healing happen in church. Even when she is broken, the church is still the product of men and women who have sacrificed much and surrendered more. Jesus gave everything for her. I love church. I always will.

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