I’ve been thinking of starting a new kind of civic club. Through the years I’ve enjoyed being part of Rotary Clubs. I also was in Toastmasters for over a decade. The two clubs are very different from each other but were both fun to be part of. Both of these clubs have this in common, they draw a particular kind of person as members. Rotary draws the business person who wants to network with others who have similar interest. It leads to a great deal of good being done for the city or area they come from. Toastmasters, on the other hand, is a self-improvement club. It is made up of people who want to improve their abilities to communicate.
But I’ve got a completely different idea in mind. I don’t have a name yet or even a plan as to how its meetings will go. I just believe that it is a club that would fill a real void, and bless those who are part of it. I don’t have a good name for it yet. But the point of the club is to make a place for the misfits in the world to fit, to feel at home and a vital part of what is going on. It is difficult to go though life always feeling as though you don’t fit in, aren’t accepted as you are and always wondering what you would have to change to be accepted.
Jesus was the master at reaching out to the misfits of the world and turning their whole lives around. If you took a long look at the people closest to Jesus they would all be charter members of the misfits club. None of the twelve had been chosen by other rabbi’s to become disciples. John the Baptist who served as the trailblazer for Jesus would be the obvious president of the club. He epitomized the whole notion of being a misfit. He didn’t dress like others, didn’t eat regular food and kept pointing people to Jesus the Messiah.
Peter would have been older than the rest of the men around him, who often spoke out on issues about which he was ill-informed. Thomas seems to be pessimistic about life. The thought that you could take a small band of twelve men and have one of them be a zealot like Simon and another a tax collector like Matthew seems to be crazy. Judas was critical of all that didn’t go as he liked. When Mary poured the entire contents of the perfume container on Jesus, Judas was certain it was a waste and the money would have been better spent on helping the poor.
If you started a club for misfits to provide them a place where they could fit, what would you call it? The more I thought about the idea and how the club would operate, the more I was pushed to the thought that such a club isn’t needed because something already exist that does better at the mission then any club we could start. Jesus was talking about just such an organization which he said to Peter in response to the confession, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” “You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and what ever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Christ’s church was intended to be the living, breathing body of Christ, His family, His wife and His kingdom the place where people from all backgrounds, and habits, races and abilities are brought together as one body. Every local church is intended to be the place where those who feel they don’t belong anywhere, find belonging, fullness and meaning in their lives. It is the place where those who felt they would never feel accepted, are accepted.
There is a powerful word that is applied to those fellow members of the church that belongs as the top of every description of great teams and organizations. It is the word “Fellowship”. It means at “Joint partnership”. It is used of “Fellow-workers”, “Fellow-soldiers”, “Fellow-servants” and of partners in a mission. Paul declared that Peter and James and others in the Jerusalem church extended to him and to Barnabas the “Right hand of fellowship.” He then challenged us to “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful workers of darkness but to reprove them.” The picture being painted is that one who has always felt like an outsider, who just couldn’t seem to find acceptance anywhere and was thus a loner in life, but now in Christ and in His church they are extended the fullness of fellowship becoming partners with all who follow Christ.
To try to start a new club for misfits where they could fit in would be redundant, it would be reinventing the wheel. Jesus has built and developed the ultimate club for the misfits. There I can feel accepted and loved. I can be a partner and a brother with Jesus. Now there is a place I can fit. It is His church. It won’t get any better until we get to our final home.