I grew up in church. I remember as a child and through my adult years I would judge anyone who was on the praise team or in any position in the church that was less than perfect. If you sang a song, played the guitar, or taught Sunday school to me you better not be seen at the bar or get caught having an affair…… Let us all laugh at that together. If you read that and you agreed with my original view you are part of the problem.
There is a church in town I attended for about a year. Well into my regular attendance I signed up to participate in a ladies event. I was told that since I was not a member I would need to join the church first as it was part of showing a “commitment”. I must have been silly to assume my regular attendance of Sunday school, tithe (they didn’t turn that away), evening services, and classes they offered was enough. But because I didn’t technically stand in front of the whole church and say the sentence they wanted, then I wasn’t a member and since I wasn’t a member then being a part of any lady event wasn’t happening. It just felt very stiff and unwelcoming to me. Like I wasn’t part of the club yet until I pricked my finger and shared my blood. I rebelled of course to the idea and left the church.
Now, I am 32 and I would like to think a little wiser. If we (the church) wait until we are perfect enough to share Jesus we will never share him. And if we as a church put stipulations on events to share Jesus because you aren’t a “member” then we are missing prime opportunities. If we as a church are saying you can’t sing on the praise team because your snapchat is a mess then we are missing it.
As someone who has done unforgivable things, stayed in low places, and has many problems I still have not overcome, I pass up a lot of opportunities as to not sound “hypocritical”. I pass up sharing my God’s grace. That just sounds silly. I pass up sharing the grace that I take full advantage of EVERY SINGLE DAY. The whole message of the gospel. The idea that someone died for us as the imperfect beings that we are. The ones with the language issue they’re working on, the one who at a low point had an affair, the one who enjoys too much wine too many times. We say come as you are but then we divvy out assignments based on the perceived goodness of the person. And the sinners like me never apply for any position. Person A who has been a Christian their whole life and never got caught saying the wrong thing is given a ministry position. Person B who has been a Christian a few weeks ….. again, but always back slides, we give a backseat. We don’t want to put them up front for when they fall again, like we know they will. And when person A falls, we remove them from their position. We do this because the congregation has a fit when we find out about that affair, or we see them at the bar. We do this because people are like I used to be. Sitting and whispering and judging. Wondering why they have the nerve to get up there when just last night they were seen vomiting on the street. That is why we make people feel like they have to have their life together before they can help anyone else or share the love of Jesus. We will join that outreach program when our marriage is stable and the shame of an affair has subsided. We will help in the children’s ministry when we have stayed out of a bar on a Friday night for over a year, and so on. So, everyone is wasting away waiting until we are “good” enough, and that idea is the reason you live and die without ever sharing the gospel. The same gospel that you believe will save you from a forever punishment. You are keeping to yourself. What a crappy thing. We will never be “good” enough. We aren’t God. The best we can hope for is to be real about our struggles and help someone else. Because pretending to be perfect doesn’t help anyone. And sometimes the one thing that helps us turn our lives around is helping others. Read that again. And again. Christians already have a reputation of being hypocrites and no one wants to share Jesus when we are failing, because then we are reiterating that idea. Great, you aren’t known as a hypocrite. You also are not sharing the whole reason of your existence.
Noah was a drunk who slept naked. Sarah let her husband sleep with another woman and then hated her for it. Moses had a temper problem. Solomon who was considered very wise, was a sex addict. And David was an adulterer. These people were also considered game changers.
I am a Noah, Sarah, Moses, Soloman, and a David….. Let’s talk
If you don’t go to church because it is just full of “hypocrites” then you are judging just as much. If you don’t have a church that takes you as you are keep searching and don’t give up. Fairview in Falkville I would always recommend. Milan is a man who loves everyone and has picked me up many times when I failed. If you aren’t sharing your struggles then you are missing out on making a difference. Every single one of you can be a game changer. Christian or not.