AUTHENTIC FAITH UNPACKED: 5

Authentic faith makes a home nestled in the unfamiliar (pt 2)

‘And by faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country.’Hebrews 11:9

Authentic faith in a growing church can also collide with some personal motivations which are not necessarily noticed in a smaller context. Let me try and explain. When you are needed week-in, week-out in lots of different areas of church life, it can easily end up subtly propping up an identity which is not rooted and secure in Christ. It can feed an I’m needed, therefore I’m valued mentality. As things grow and you have the opportunity to serve alongside others as team members, rather than having to run the whole show, this can prove unsettling and leave you feeling a little less at home with things.

I know this because over the last four years the teams here at Life Church have grown massively. This has been a great joy to me, but has also at times challenged my own sense of identity. I’m constantly having to allow God to sift my heart and return me to the place of authentic faith. This involves asking questions such as: where do I draw my sense of identity from? Is it from being widely connected with the church, or from being a child of the living God?

I’ve come to realise this is a key issue for us as a church community too over the coming season as, sadly, I’ve had conversations with people who’ve been unable to see the joy of serving as part of a team, simply because it feels so unfamiliar, and not like the ‘home’ they’ve been used to.

Can I encourage each of you to underline that verse from Hebrews — quoted at the top of this article — in your Bible, and to come back to it again and again over this coming season?

Authentic faith is able to make a home in the unfamiliar.

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