Church: The Privileged Minority
What comes to mind when you hear that word? A building? A pastor? A community? A place of life change? A place of forgiveness or of judgment? Something formal or casual? Quiet or loud? Boring or exciting? Welcoming or exclusive? Obligation or privilege? Safe? Hypocritical? Necessary?
For me, church is a gathering of family. And not “family” that you are physically born into and expected to love, but “family” that you are spiritually born into and choose to love. Itʼs the type of family that celebrates with you when youʼre up and lifts you back to your feet when you are down. It loves you and empathizes with you, but also motivates you and stretches you to become better. It intercedes on your behalf when you lack your own words. It points you toward Christ in every area and models genuine love to its community. It exists locally but makes an impact globally. It welcomes everyone and shares the Gospel message boldly and lovingly to all who donʼt yet know Jesus personally. It walks alongside those who have made Jesus their personal Lord and savior so that they may experience the fullest nature of God.
...But I live in a place where being a Christian is legal. Iʼm in the minority.
Over 75% of the worldʼs population live in areas with severe religious restrictions (The Pew Research Group). According to Open Doors USA, 214 churches and Christian properties are destroyed every month around the world. In Nigeria, thatʼs five destroyed churches every week! Worldwide, more than 100 million Christians are harassed, oppressed or killed for their faith in Jesus Christ. And many of those are choosing to follow Christ, even if it means being disowned (or worse) by their biological families.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, we may not be local to these suffering Christians, but we are part of their extended, chosen family. 1 Corinthians 12-26 (NIV) says, "If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it." For this reason, we support our brothers and sisters across the globe. Are you with us?