[ ATTRIBUTE: by CSR Brown under Creative Commons License 2.0]


Fears and Needs

Maybe you are like me. A man. (Women, stay with me)

As a man, you intuitively know that any trip to the hospital could result in your unnecessary and untimely death as a result of the medical industry turning you into a human profit center/lab experiment. Doctors “practice” medicine, you know. I hope they are practicing HARD before they get to me…..(Side note: I just had a very unique and cool opportunity to meet in person Yohanes, an Indonesian man who found my online small group when he lived in Indonesia. Yohanes is now in Dallas, TX on a music scholarship and practices the piano….you ready? 10-12 hours every day. Amazing.)

Anyway, we’ve all heard enough stories to have developed a healthy fear and distrust of what COULD happen if we find ourselves in need of a doctor’s care. You know, in NEED. Not just to get rid of a sinus infection or something, but a real “if he doesn’t fix me and God doesn’t heal me, I’m done” situation. It’s scary. It’s scary to think that the motivations of the medical industry are impure – driven by insurance companies or Medicare hoops instead of by the patient’s needs first.

It’s scary to think that the hospital doesn’t have your best interests as their primary concern.

It’s scary to think the hospital isn’t safe.

And, the church…….

I have a new friend who is fully committed to avoiding the inside of a church building at all costs. I mean committed. Not just casually dismissive, but goal-oriented. He’s a great guy, loving father, and faithful husband. And, he knows what many of us have realized.

The church isn’t always safe.

Ask yourself, do you honestly feel comfortable going to your fellow church goers or pastors and sharing your deepest thoughts? Your deepest temptations? Your wounds? Can you trust those around you to provide helpful and healing suggestions or, like the hospital, are the prescriptions driven by motives and belief systems that aren’t properly equipped to handle the real needs of “the patient”.

Does needing the love of church people scare you?

It scares me. It scares me to death.

Maybe your experience is better. Maybe you’ve always been one of the “good ones”. But, it is with great regret that I look back on some of my comments to people in my early days as a Christian. I was, without a doubt, an idiot. But, I was an idiot following the prescribed program….trying to “be good” at church. Hurting or needy people? Who has time for those, we have a ministry to build………yeah.

New Beginnings

I am hoping God will open the door to talk with my new friend in a way that he can receive. In a way that makes sense, from his perspective. In a way that opens the door for a new beginning that benefits him and his family. Honestly, I don’t care if he ever goes to church. I really don’t. But it is tragic that he doesn’t know how much God loves him and values him and that he can trust Him with his heart and his life, even if he never reaches the point where he will trust the church as an institution.

We all need a safe place to go sometimes. Maybe you are walking self-sufficiently today and don’t feel that need for people, but that breaks down. It always breaks down. I pray that when it does, you have a safe place to go. That you have one good friend you can truly count on to hear your heart and show you the same kind of grace that Jesus would show you. Unconditional. Pretty flippin’ amazing, the love He offers us.

Help me be a reflection of that kind of love, Lord. Help me to represent you well.


Jeff McKinney
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Jeff McKinney

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Jeff McKinney
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