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I Still Like Church

This may be a little controversial among some of you. A few are going to challenge my credibility or shut me off forever….but I’m going to say it. I still like church.

Spare me the story of your bad experience….the time you visited a church and no one talked to you, or the leader who left you bitterly disappointed. I don’t doubt you a bit. In fact, if you’ve attended church much at all and this hasn’t happened to you at least once, my guess is you weren’t very involved to begin with.

I can’t help but notice, though…that you’ve eaten in lousy restaurants, but you still belly up to the lunch counter. You got rooked on an ebay auction, and you still buy things online. You find a way to deal with your disappointments in every other system. You’ve found a way around the bad experience to get what you want or need. Except for church.

Yes, church is different. The stakes are higher. Eternity is on the line. But people are still running the systems, and the people are flawed. Don’t even begin to grouse about starting your own church that’s only led by the Spirit, though. That’s your code for wanting to run the show. You’ll be the answer to your own prayers and the burr under someone elses’ saddle, because you’re as human as those who’ve disappointed you.

All that said, I still like church. I’m involved in a slightly unconventional model centered around 24/7 prayer, and as the pressures of life grow in intensity, we’ll see prayer come to the focus in more churches, but I really like all sorts. I love the mega church with the wide open door. I love the corner church that reaches it’s neighborhood. I love the house church where the leader rolls his eyes when people call him ‘pastor’.

There’s a lot to be frustrated about, but there’s a lot to celebrate. People find Jesus every week in as many different ways as there are to comb a pastor’s hair over. Maybe the find Him in one congregation and grow to love Him in another, but good is done, and I like it.

And God bless the potluck…one dinner, under God, with cheesy potatoes for all.


16 Responses

  1. ‘with cheesy potatoes for all’…LOL!!

  2. Great post Randy… brevity master!

  3. I like it too. I do have to say that although I appreciate all sorts like you said, I also am acutely aware that the face of ALL churches WILL change in the wake of what’s coming. Call it “changing the expression and understanding of Christianity in one generation” or whatever, but as the day of His return gets closer, we will see the true church be centered around prayer and worship, period. It won’t be centered around small groups or relevance or a coffee shop. The center will be Jesus and partnering with Him through prayer.

    That may look a hundred different ways. Mega prayer, small group prayer….whatever….but Revelation 8 will come alive and the Spirit and the Bride will cry “COME”.

  4. word. We always say “I am the church” when people gripe at us about the church.. πŸ™‚

  5. @Jess – that’s perfect, because a lot of times when people gripe about us, I say “We are the Clarks.” HA!

  6. I would like church a lot more if there were more potlucks. Us singles are hungry. My new motto: “Feasting. It’s Biblical too folks.”

  7. This is awesome. We need more of this kind of mentality!

  8. You didn’t shut me off Randy, if anything, you won me over with this post πŸ™‚ RSS locked in πŸ™‚

  9. I love church. I was thinking that just this morning while I was watching everyone go up for communion (I’d been one of the first sitting at the front) and saw so many people communicating and LOVING each other as they moved around the church. People moved by the music; people praying together; people just saying hi – so many different people from so many different walks of life all pulled together in one place by a shared faith.

  10. I think what has happened is Barna and Viola have published a book that has helped to point fingers at the Church. While countless time the book says “we are not saying the Church or local churches are bad….” but I think that is the unintended result.
    I think it helps when people understand that the Church is Jesus’ and He will build it.
    And sometimes He uses cheesy mash potatoes.

  11. you mean you had cheesy potatoes at your potlucks? Gosh, everyone in the church I grew up in brought jell-o molds to the potlucks. Now that is something to complain about. hehe

  12. I totally agree with your thoughts here. Post Bible-college I struggled with my faith and with cynicism towards the church – i think that was partly just part of the life stage I was in. In any case, I was convicted as I read through the NT that Jesus KNEW what the church would like all throughout history, and still He commanded His followers to love the church, to care for His people, to shepherd the flock. He still called the church His bride. As an adult with the knowledge of just how messed up the church can be, that statement now strikes me as such a huge message of grace… and if Jesus loves the church that much, then I must love it as well, and be dedicated to serving it.

    I found your blog through Annie’s. πŸ™‚

  13. I appreciate your candor Randy. I was complaining to the Lord about the church a few years back and the Lord rebuked me and said, “That’s my wife, you MUST honor her!”

  14. lol, love it. Just love it. THanks for the rebuke.

  15. Amen brother-wonderful post. Very thankful for some humor as well!

  16. now this is probably the most radical thing I’ve heard anyone say in a long time…

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