You will never find the perfect church full of perfect people. We are easy to forgive our family and close friends whom we love. Why oh why then do we seem to expect perfection and give less grace to our church family? I know it was rainbows and sunshine when you first walked through those doors. I know you felt as if you had found the one church in the whole world that was full of people who felt the same way you did about everything. Never would your opinions clash or feathers ruffle each other’s. Much like falling in love even the little annoyances seemed cute.
*It’s so obvious to me, now at this point in my life, how our humanness gets in the way of God’s work for us.
Maybe it’s because of the bad taste I had in my mouth for years after I left my childhood church. I held a grudge so strong that the mere mention of its name would send me into a rant of all the wrongs they had done me. How they made me feel inadequate or judged. How it was there fault I had fallen away from my faith. I wrote off all church. I said things like “you don’t have to go to a building on Sundays to worship God” and the all popular “I am not going to join a church full of hypocrites.” Ahhhhh the devil smiles at that one. Using the truth of what church is to keep people away. That is what he does though. A little truth and a little twist to cover the big fat lie that he sells to make you feel better about you neglecting fellowship with other believers. What does he whisper to you……
*The music isn’t upbeat enough.
*The music is too upbeat.
*The pastor doesn’t preach enough of this that or the other or preaches too much of this that or the other.
*Too much attention to this or not enough attention on that.
*Not enough young people or too many young people or too many old people.
Have I hit one yet?
*How about too missional…not missional enough.
I could go on and on. Why? Because I’m human too and so incredible flawed that I can even understand these excuses. I may have used them…..I have heard them and I just want to go on record to say that there is no perfect church, perfect pastor, perfect congregation of people who are all on fire and ready to serve 100% at the same time. You say “duh stupid lady that’s obvious.” Well is it? Really? If you claim to be a christian then get your backside into a church. Not because I say but because God does. (Hebrews 10:25, Matthew 18:20,Colossians 3:16, Acts 2:42,etc) No its not about just being in the building on Sundays. I highly doubt, however, that if you are not there on Sundays you are there any other day of the week……and if you aren’t accountable to anyone about how your faith walk is going….or growing than are you really spending daily time with Jesus? I’m guilty! For sure and it’s so easy and yet I fail again and again. The farther away I get from my church (like missing Sundays) the more I forget to pray……the more I forget to open my Bible…..the more the world consumes me and the more the devil uses these excuses to try to get me to stay away. I know what his plan is ultimately…..to keep me from walking in the Holy Spirit and off the path God has set for me. Hey I’m saved by the blood of Jesus Christ and that can’t be taken from me. What can be taken from me are the blessings and beautiful experiences of living a life totally sold out and on fire for Jesus. What shall we say then…….stay away from the church because we may have to serve….we may have to deal with differing views of how things should be done, spent, handled, etc.? Don’t blame people for the lack of warm fuzzies you feel when you have only warmed a pew for a few Sundays here and there. In many cases it all starts with that church building……that leader or Sunday school teacher…..that sermon that stabbed you right in the heart! I spent too many years out of fellowship and I know for a fact that without it I quickly slide down a slippery slope. The church to a believer is like AA to the alcoholic. You don’t always want to go but you NEED to. Skip the excuses and find your church family and once you have found them don’t give up on them when the “honeymoon” phase fades away. All wonderful relationships take work, honesty, love and forgiveness. ❤
Church attendance is as vital to a disciple as a transfusion of rich, healthy blood to a sick man. –Dwight L. Moody