How are we as a church doing now and caring for one another? Who am I to give an answer to that? I’m familiar with my own church and some others. I’ve been given the opportunity to travel around, so I do have some sense of churches. Here’s what I find: that leaders in churches are recognizing that they want to offer weakness to their people rather than strength.
I hear more and more pastors asking questions of themselves: “How do I present my own needs to the congregation in a way that is appropriate for them?” Well, that’s a great question. The answers are hard, and the answers are going to be dependent on the person and the kind of people in the church. But I do hear pastors saying, “How can I demonstrate weakness? How can I be asking for prayer for my own heart with the congregation?” I hear that. That’s wonderful.
I do find that some coordinated, strategic way of instructing, doing that Ephesians for equipping the church for caring for each other… I find that churches are not quite sure what that would look like. They see bits and pieces of it but not some coherent way of disciplining their people. I find that men still don’t talk about the issues in their life. Where women seem to speak about matters of the soul a little bit more easily with one another, men… They do when they’re found out and caught in sins. But short of that, men are still not doing very well in deepening relationships with each other and practicing that kind of openness and humility, and neediness before each other.
I find that there are people dotted through every single church who love Jesus and love other people in ways that aren’t seen by everybody. But it is just plain beautiful, and it happens all the time in every church. We’re a motley group. We’re doing poorly, and we’re doing well, as we’d expect.