What I like and don’t like about church…
I love the church! It’s a family of people who know Christ as Savior, purposely joined together for worship, ministry, evangelism, fellowship, and discipling believers.
But, sometimes there are two distinct sides to the church. It can be critical and uncaring. And, at the same time, it can be kind and loving.
To quote Pogo, “We have met the enemy he is us.”
Let’s start with the “dark side” of the church…
I’ve seen this one again and again, usually in the “guise” of “I didn’t mean to hurt anyone. I was trying to help.”
In my first church there was a lady we’ll call, “Praline.” “Praline” was concerned about the pianist who didn’t always play well. (She played because she loved the Lord… and gave her very best!) One Sunday, after worship, “Praline” appropriated the opportunity “to help” this girl understand what a “dreadful musician” she was. “Praline” suggested to her that she never play again, “at least not in public or private.” She told me later, “If I hurt her feelings, it was for her own good.”
I know Pastors aren’t perfect; often they need improvement. They also need love and prayers.
In an article called “Ten things Pastors never want to hear,” Summer Stevens, a pastor’s wife, listed some things people have said to her husband. I picked out four of her ideas; the comments are mine…
“You only work one day a week.” (Every pastor hears this one; it’s hurtful and isn’t true.)
“We are all here volunteering, at least you are getting paid.”
“Why doesn’t your wife attend ______________ (church function)?” Pastor’s wives are notoriously absent at women’s Bible studies, work days and retreats. There are many very legitimate reasons your pastor’s wife could be MIA…you didn’t hire your pastor’s wife, you hired your pastor. She should be free to attend or not attend church functions based on preference, not obligation…
“We must be paying you too much!”
This is all of us.
We promise to serve, teach, sing, preach, visit, care, call, pray and then we have all kinds of reasons, and excuses, not to trust God and step up.
Ok, that’s enough negativity… there are so many things I like about the Church that they outweigh the negatives.
I like church because there are people who quietly, consistently, serve God without drawing attention to themselves. (They’re my favorites!)
I like church because there are people who are supportive and caring.
I like church because there are people who genuinely want to serve God in their church.
I like church because there are people who choose to grow in their faith and make every effort to become what God wants them to be.
I like church because there are people who are willing to work side by side with people that aren’t like them, or that they may not always agree with… but they love them just the same.
I like church because I can worship, serve, and love God with other people who want to worship, serve, and love God too!
I like church because it encourages me to be more like Christ; this is especially true when learning from the example of people who love God wholeheartedly.
I like church because I know that I’m not alone – I have family who loves me.
I like church because no matter how bad I sing… I still get to sing out loud.
I like church because I am with people like me; people who aren’t perfect but are working at becoming like Jesus.
I like church because I get to learn about Jesus.
I like church because it connects me to God “things” that are bigger than me.
I like church because it helps me put perspective on my life and helps me to see God’s big picture.
I like church because it’s not about me.
I like church because it calls for me to respond to God in service and to love people.
I like church because I can see God at work in the lives of people around me.
I like church because it’s the hands and feet of God.
I like church because I can laugh or cry, and it’s OK.
I like church because in a group people I can sense the presence of God.
I like church because Christians are all ministers.
I like church because everyone’s welcome.
I like church because… I love Jesus!