Hello, My Name Is Church

October 24, 2017

 

I am not exactly sure who wrote this letter, but I know that is was not me. It was put together by a self identified pastor of a small church in the bible belt. I stumbled upon it some time ago and had a mixture of emotions and thoughts. It was convicting, powerful, disappointing, gracious, blunt, and also very very ... true... in my experience.

 

I share it with you now here:

 

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 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

 

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.

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

 

Hello, my name is church.

- I miss you.

- I love you.

- I’m sorry.

 

Can’t wait to see you.

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