Laura saw me tweeting about how crazy this week has been and offered to guest-post for me today. As I type, we are at the hospital with our son for a overnight procedure. I know you will appreciate her thoughts on The Church.

Joy has been writing for some time about the troubles that are appearing in churches. I’ve had my share of troubling experiences and I’ve got my own trust issues when it comes to churches. Joy’s posts have helped with my healing process and have reminded me that both fortunately and unfortunately, I’m not alone when it comes to this situation. Just about every day I get up and consider what role God has given me to play in this transformation that the Church is going through. While I don’t have a really good answer yet, as I contemplated this post, I had a thought:

One of the missions of the Church is helping the people get closer to God.

Why is this so crucial when it comes to the success or failure of a church? Here are my 3 reasons:

1 – If the people of the church are focused on getting closer to God, they’ll be quicker to forgive, quicker to lend a hand, quicker to listen, slower to judge and more open to the possibilities God has for them.

2 – If the leadership of the church are focused on getting closer to God, they’ll know they have to work as a team with checks and balances, make decisions that aren’t about ego or fear, and focus on doing what will help the whole community find a place of refuge and hope in the church.

3 – When the Church is focused on getting closer to God, God will show up. If God’s people are living, loving and learning together, not only will regular attenders feel welcomed no matter how challenging their week was, but visitors will meet God there, not just people. The community will see that great things happen there and in the community because of God.

The Church’s success or failure is not about where you do it, what music you play or who teaches, it’s about creating a community that brings everyone closer to God.

Laura Dickey is a writer, reader, idea generator, lover of many things, and totally addicted to sharing hope with everyone. What started as a personal purpose and life attitude from Isaiah 40 has become her mission and life work: to help create straighter life journeys and reveal God in everyday ways. You can reach her on Twitter and on her blog, Fresh Perspectives. .