Hospital for Sinners?

It’s a shelter a poor man it’ll humble a great
It’s where derelicts and outlaws can hide for a day
The worst hearts you’ve known can be salvaged and saved
In the same room that lovers’ vows are exchanged
It’s a hospital for sinners ain’t no museum of saints

The Wallflowers “Hospital For Sinners”

The statement shown above has become quite popular in church circles to the point of becoming a cliché. We readily accept the idea that one of the roles of the Church is to care for those in need but is a hospital really the best model we can come up with?

Here’s the definition of a hospital: “a place where sick or injured people are given care or treatment and where children are often born.” The problem with using this comparison for the Church is that once people receive the needed treatment from the hospital they go on about their daily lives often without giving it a second thought. Unfortunately I think that has become an accurate description of the Church for many. It’s only a place to seek help when you’re in trouble.

The church is intended to be more than just a place that we come to have our needs met. it is a place where we should be encouraging each other.

25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:25 (ESV)

Perhaps its our over-churched culture here in the South that makes so many rebel at the idea of committing to attending a church. I realize that all of us have much busier schedules than previous generations but we seem to make time for everything but coming together to worship God and encourage each other. Why is it so easy to let meeting together with each other slide to the bottom of our schedules? I think a hint can be found in the verse above and it has to do with the word habit. A habit is an “acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary”. We have simply picked up the bad habit of not attending church.

Have you ever considered what a hospital would look like without Doctors, Nurses, Maintenance Crews, Janitors, etc? A hospital with none of those would be overwhelmed with patients and that is what happens in the Church when too few are sharing the load. We become overwhelmed by the needs of our community. Journey Church has grown from a handful of people to 100+ people every week but our limited volunteers can’t keep up with the demand. We simply need more people involved in more areas, not so we can become some kind of Mega-Church, but so we can make sure we are serving Christ well in our community. Start breaking the bad habit and commit to an new one by attending Journey this Sunday. You may be just the encouragement someone else needs.

Scott Pollard
Associate Pastor

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