I sat with Larry Crabb at a conference a couple of years ago. We talked about his concept of the church being a safe place "where people connect and are forever changed." My heart longed to be a part of such a church. If pastors want this, I said, imagine how people in the congregation must long for it.
More recently I read his book, The Safest Place on Earth (Word, 1999). I'm not sure this kind of church exists, but I pray one day it will.
On a porch in Miami Beach, Crabb saw at least a hundred chairs arranged in neat rows. In each chair sat an elderly person staring straight ahead. There was almost no interaction among them.
Sound familiar? Crabb says it should.
We live in a day with great worship and great teaching, but are we experiencing the safe place of spiritual community?
"We're doing a lot," Crabb writes, "but I wonder if the Spirit, who lives in a circle with two Others who are always relating, sees us as the retired people on the porch: lined up in chairs facing straight ahead with ...1