The Church Project, Part III
It is amazing to look at our church stories and see just how different they can be while holding on to an underlying commonality. This project is opening our eyes to different experiences and highlighting the beauty of how simple it all should be.
Kellie knows love and Jesus, even in the midst of adversity. Here’s a bit of her story.
What role does the Church play in your faith?
I train faith-based leaders to lead themselves first, their group members second. In the body of Christ, we are to create community with one another in a similar fashion that Jesus did with the disciples. A small group of believers that can spend time building fellowship, inspiration and encouragement. These believers can be just as much a part of a faith-filled lifestyle as making the decision to believe in the first place. Therefore, I believe that my role in the body of Christ, (my church), is not to go there to be fed, but to serve.In the body of Christ, we are to create community with one another in a similar fashion that Jesus did with… Click To Tweet
Have you ever struggled with church? Why or why not?
In what seemed like a very chaotic moment, the Holy Spirit chose to say, “Leave this religion.”
“What?” I looked up and into the mirror with my eyebrows furrowed. I was dumbfounded. Praying silently I asked, “What are you saying Holy Spirit? Leave my church?”
Nothing. I didn’t want the answer to be yes, so I shook it off and finished working on my daughter’s hair. That’s when I heard it again.
This time, I set the flat-iron on the counter and asked my daughter to go get her coat. I put my hands on either side of the sink and looked straight into the mirror as if arguing with myself. I thought about how my husband and I were leaders. We held our couples class and enjoyed our church family that regarded us in high esteem. Not only did I not want to leave, but upon hearing the Holy Spirit tell me to, I felt like a little girl who wanted to throw a rebellious temper tantrum. I called the woman in the mirror, “Little-Girl-Standing-With-
My thoughts ran wild. “What was God thinking! Clearly he wasn’t taking me into consideration if he knew how much I loved this church! And what will our church family say?!” I knew I was putting people before God in that moment, but like a defiant child, I didn’t care.
Immediately I heard it. I said something I couldn’t hear or see before. It DID take us years to get beyond the rules and regulations! And we all still struggled with them on a regular basis. My children in particular. It was in that moment, and several minutes later while on my way to the church, that I realized I would be leaving my home church for good.
Right from the start of the book of Solomon, he calls us to humble ourselves, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7). I wanted to be wise. I wanted to obey. Although I needed time to process it, I knew that wisdom was in my obedience.
Sometimes we don’t know how much religious legalism has slipped in to our denominations. In the book of Matthew, Jesus talks to his disciples about guarding against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. They rise up and we won’t even know it unless we are wise. The Pharisees believe in the resurrection, angels and the Holy Spirit but get caught up in the laws and traditions they are taught to uphold. The Sadducees don’t believe any of it, therefore they’ll tell you all the reasons why they think you’ve gone mad. These beliefs remain in every generation and are still with us today.
I dropped the veils on my eyes and my ears. I saw that the word says that ‘the church’ isn’t a denomination or a building. John the Baptist never baptized anyone into a religion or denomination. He baptized them into the love of the Father, the son and the Holy Spirit. My life became a life of surrender and of service to God from that point on.
What would you tell someone who is uncertain about the Church?
In my walk with God, I listened to Pastors, Priests, laymen and friends tell me what the church was supposed to look like for me. It wasn’t until I heard the Holy Spirit tell me to leave my religion behind that “church” became the body of believers who devotedly followed Christ. His words, (paraphrased) to love God with all your heart, and love others as yourself, lived out, is the truest church around. Being uncertain is the norm. I liken it to listening and following doctors orders of prescriptions to the extreme, when the creator of our body knows whats best.
For most of us, the church is about “A” church in “A” religion. Knowing the difference between ‘the’ and ‘a’ would be the first conversation to have. After that, I would let the Holy Spirit lead you to study and grow. Wisdom is in the obedience.
What a beautiful story of surrender! The more we surrender to the simple call of Jesus, the more we will know and love Him and one another.
Is there a form of religion you struggle with surrendering to Jesus? Share your story in the comments.
Kellie Frazier is the founder of Connecting LLC. After persevering through a traumatic brain injury and death of family members in 2007, Kellie was blessed with a miraculous healing. As she pressed into God’s vision for her life, she published several non fiction and fiction books, became a best-selling author, a trainer, a public speaker, and coached others in living a CHRIST-ian lifestyle. It’s obvious to most that Kellie finds great fulfillment in living a life full of intentional love and purpose. A devoted wife and mother to many, she loves God, and others as she loves herself.
You can find her at Day of Love.
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About Becky Hastings
I am emotional and logical. I am strong and dependent. I am a juxtaposition of head and heart exploring it all through writing. And in all my mixed-up ways I am loved. I'm here to tell you that you are, too. Just the way you are.