“Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox” (Proverbs 14:4, ESV).
The book of Proverbs says you can have a clean barn but there won’t be any oxen in it.
You can have a “clean church” where everything is in order and structurally perfect but we want the oxen in it. If you have been around oxen you know that they poop on the ground and they snort and they’re smelly and they kick things — and it’s a mess!
Would you join me in ministering in a messy church? Would you join me in asking God to send us the messiest people of this city?
Where does your mind go when I refer to the messiest people? Does it go to the drug addict down in the alley? Or to Chapel Hills Mall where people are shopping with their gold credit card and driving their Lexus? Because they are all messy people. When I talk about messy people I’m talking about me and I’m talking about you. I’m also talking about the addicted and the homeless and the foreigner and the people who aren’t like us — just all of us together. And the simple truth is, we all need Jesus!
Amen? We just need Jesus. We need Him in our churches. We need Him in our lives. We need Him in our families. We need Him in our ministry. We need Him to empower us to live out the gospel that He’s called us to. The daily distribution (see Acts 6:1-2) is done by messy people helping messy people and it’s not always done right. But I thank God there are some advocates in the church that say, “We want to do this right! We want to do this well . . . for His glory.”