Hello, my name is church …

I read this on whilst on a flight very early one morning 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 moment.

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.