Hello, my name is church …

I read this on whilst on a flight very early one┬ámorning last week, and it certainly struck a chord with me, for more reasons that I can simply explain here. And at the moment those reasons are not relevant, the below is what’s relevant for me at┬ámoment.

Hello, my name is church,

I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about me. I have no shortage of critics. Perhaps you have heard that I am…

  • Boring
  • Shallow
  • Cheap
  • A waste of time

You’ve heard that I am full of:

  • Hypocrites
  • Clowns
  • Greedy people
  • The self-righteous

Maybe you have visited me before and discovered:

  • Horrible music
  • Passionless singing
  • Dry preaching
  • Rude congregants

Maybe you needed me and I was:

  • Too busy
  • Too “righteous”
  • Too broke
  • Too blind

Maybe you joined me and found I was:

  • Distant
  • Demanding
  • Dull
  • Preoccupied

Maybe you tried to serve in me but were caught off guard by:

  • Business meetings
  • Committees
  • Teams
  • Bureaucracy

Maybe you left and were surprised that nobody:

  • Called
  • Cared
  • Noticed
  • Invited you back

Perhaps your experience has driven you to:

  • Speak negatively of me
  • Swear to never come back to me
  • Proclaim that no one needs me
  • Believe you’re better off without me

If this is true, I have something to say to you:

  • I’m sorry
  • I was wrong
  • I blew it
  • I made a huge mistake

But remember, I never said my name was:

  • Perfect
  • Flawless
  • Complete
  • Arrived

My name is church. I welcome the:

  • Hypocrite
  • Dry
  • Self-righteous
  • Shallow

I welcome the

  • Sincere
  • Passionate
  • Forgiving
  • Selfless

I cannot shut my doors to the people who make you:

  • Angry
  • Uncomfortable
  • Impatient
  • Self-conscious

But I would remind you that we couldn’t always worship in the same room. In the Old Testament there was a division between the:

  • Gentile
  • Jew
  • Man
  • Woman

In order for us to all worship in the same room, Jesus Christ was:

  • Shamed
  • Beaten
  • Killed
  • Resurrected

Which is far worse than being:

  • Bored
  • Uncomfortable
  • Embarrassed
  • Ignored

So why not come back to church and let all of these messed up people:

  • Challenge you
  • Sharpen you
  • Strengthen you
  • Humble you
  • Love you

I can’t promise you that the people will be great. This is church. It’s not:

  • Heaven
  • Paradise
  • Beulah Land
  • The Celestial city

Come back, because:

  • God wants you here.
  • The body needs you here.
  • The world needs your witness here.
  • You belong here.

Hello, my name is church, and …

  • I miss you.
  • I love you.
  • I’m sorry.
  • Can’t wait to see you.