A hospital for sinners...

        On a regular basis, I'll have people who come to our our church (usually fairly new people), and they'll ask me question like: "Did you know that we have people in our Growth Groups that know nothing about the Bible?"OR "Shawn, we have someone in my Growth Group that's still dealing with ____________(some HUGE sin). Did you know we have people like that in our church?" OR "Shawn, did you know that __________ ( someone that's committed a "notorious sin" in our community) is volunteering in our church now?" OR I've even been asked: "Did you know we have people who are homosexuals coming to our church every week?"
        And the newer the person asking the question is to our church, the more surprised they are by my answer. My answer is always : "Yes, I know; Yes; I'm glad; Yes, I'm glad they are; and Yes! I'm proud to be their pastor, and I moved to this community to reach out to people just like them!" I just want the world to know that I am PROUD to be a church that's a hospital for sinners, of which I am the chiefest, so God can display all the wonder of His grace through us; and THEN take us all from where we are to where He wants us to be!
        At Mountain Lake, we feel called to qualify the unqualified; to reach out to the unreachable; to love the unlovable; to care for the hard to care for; to redeem the broken; and restore the fallen! We feel called to reach these people in our church; accept them; love them; accept them where they are; change the way they think about church; and give them a place to belong and become! I'm proud that Mountain Lake is a hospital for sinners. I'll take that over Pastoring a Country Club for Christians, any day!
        I love the fact that our church reflects the heart of Jesus who said: “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call sinners to turn from their sins, not to spend my time with those who think they are already good enough.” Lk 5:31-32 (NLT). What about you? Is your church a hospital for sinners? If not, what do you need to do to bring it into the line with the heartbeat of Jesus?