This originally appeared on whillschurch.or as the devo of the week.
The Council is reading a book titled Replenish by Lance Witt. It’s not a “learn to do ministry better” book or even a “this is how you fix your church” book. It’s a “this is how you allow Jesus to fix you first” book. It’s about getting ministry leaders healthy, honest, and humble with Jesus.
And this week we walked through a couple of chapters that had a profound impact on me. It was about weddings…(but not really.)
Every wedding I’ve ever been to has been about the Bride. Every. Single. One. And I guess this is how it is supposed to be – seeing how her side of the family pays for it and it’s the day that little girls spend their life dreaming of and all that other romantic kind of stuff. It’s nice…it’s pretty but the whole day is about the Bride. All of it.
I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with this arrangement. It works. It makes for some great pictures and memories. The guests normally get their fill of good cake as well.
But there is nothing more obnoxious than someone who isn’t the Bride showing up to a wedding and acting like the day is about them. It could be a bridesmaid, groomsmen, the mother of the Bride, mother of the groom, that uncle nobody likes. It’s rude, it’s a disaster, and it’s a distraction. They have shown up to pursue a spotlight, not celebrate the relationship.
The great metaphor of the church in scripture is that she is the Bride of Christ. This metaphor works on so many levels – describing the intimacy and closeness of relationship God desires to have with His people. That it is covenant and relationship that binds Jesus to the church, not rules or religion.
But the focal point in this relationship is the Groom – not the bride. It’s the groom who loves unconditionally. It’s the groom that brings healing and hope. It’s the groom that saves. It is ALL about the groom.
If the bride shows up and tries to take the spotlight away from the groom – it’s a disaster. It’s rude. It’s a distraction. But it happens. It happens more than we want to admit. And it starts when we pursue the spotlight instead of the relationship.
Every program, non-program, service project, serve opportunity, life group, ministry, song, sermon, study is NOT about making Western Hills a prettier bride. What we do can NOT be about making Western Hills “more attractive” or more focused in the spotlight. It must be about the Groom. It must be about Jesus.
I love the church, I love Western Hills in particular. I want us to do things right and excellence. I want us to have fun doing it as well but the point of it all MUST be Jesus. He is the one that can heal and give hope and make right and renew. Not us. He will put brokenness back together.
It’s about the Groom, not the Bride. Chase the relationship, not the spotlight.