Saturday, April 19, 2008

Loving the church

Maybe like me you've struggled at times to love the church. People disappoint you. The preacher says things you disagree with, or even hate. The music is bad, or non-existent. The Bible studies seem pointless. Why should you bother?

Many people give their answer: I won't bother.

Maybe you have seen some of these people loose their love for the church. They recount stories of hypocrisy and confusion. They have grown bitter about slights and disappointments that happened years ago. They no longer care what the Bible says, and they live according to what "seems right".

Maybe you are one of those people.

Or maybe you have seen people who think they are too good for the church. They have a better way of "doing church", and until they find a group of like-minded people they are not going to go. They can see how the church will affect them, or their children, badly if they do go.

Maybe you are one of those people.

Perhaps you go to church, but you remain disengaged. You are afraid of being hurt or making mistakes. I've been there, and often I still am.

In our consumer orientated, fragmented society, it is hard to commit to a community of imperfect people. It is hard to open yourself up to deep relationships when you're used to superficiality. It is hard to stick with something when the dominant attitude is "If you don't like it go somewhere else" - or perhaps, don't go at all.

I'm so grateful that the Bible is not unclear when it comes to our responsibilities to love God's people. We are to love all people, but we have a particular responsiblity to commit to the church. As I've chosen to obey God's word, very imperfectly, I have been blessed through the teaching and relationships at my church.

To read more about loving the church, why not read Joshua Harris' book "Stop Dating the Church" . . .

You can read an interview with Josh about the book at Boundless Webzine. You can also read Tim Challies' review.

I'd also love to hear about your experiences of church, positive or negative, and how you are dealing with them. I'm always encouraged by Faith's positive comments about her church!


  1. Hi, Sherrin:
    The main reason I am so positive about my church (members since 11/05) is because I was so negative at our former one. Or at least for our last 7 years there. It is a long story and I don't want to "put down" a body of Believers. BUT...I repented after the Lord prompted me to give over my hurts/wounds, anger, because, really there is no perfect church! We are imperfect people! Even my beloved pastor is not perfect!! It is a really long story of why I became so negative at our former place...I was not always like that! So, my husband and I decided that we would never degrade or put down our new church, which is where the Lord led us. It is not perfect (sure seems close to it though LOL). They believe in doing all things with excellence because the world and secular agencies often have excellent programs, leadership, etc. and our church feels that Christians should be leading the way. We will have problems...all churches do. BUT...we have a respect and love there that was not evidenced in our former place. there is true unity. The Lord has brought me far, He is merciful and I praise Him for that. I love my church, my kids are growing and serving! Direct answers to prayer. My husband is so content and says he is fulfilled there. He loves to serve as do I. This was after a time of rest as per instructions by the senior pastor.
    I am sorry this is so long.
    ALSO: my 9 yr old daughter wants to know if you get snow in Australia and if so, which parts? I told her she can google it but she knows I visit your blog and she really wanted me to ask you! It is for a creative play she is writing with her big sis and her dolls! Thanks so much!
    Oh yeah, one more thing. I posted about Christians and Earth Day/stewardship of God's Creation...hop on over to visit if you'd like!
    God bless you!!

  2. Hello Faith,

    Thanks for sharing more about your church history. It is wonderful to hear of the way the Lord has changed your heart and your circumstances so that you can rejoice in your current church!

    Sorry I've taken a few days to reply to your question about snow! Yes, we do get snow here. It usually only snows in higher areas (hills and mountains), not at sea level. When I was a little child we lived on a hill and enjoyed sliding down the snow on sacks. We have some fun photos of that time, all wrapped up in woolies! When I was six we moved to a house near the sea and only ever had snow there once. That was a freak event and there was only a light dusting that melted by mid-morning.

    I'll drop over to your blog right now and have a look at your post!

  3. Hi Sherrin:
    Thanks for stopping by!
    YES! I should have mentioned growing veggies! My oldest daughter and I grew some tomatoes one summer..we liked them so much we did it again the next year...and enjoyed the fruits of our labors! :)
    We also grow chives that she started in a very tiny cup when she was 3. Now, 11 years later, they still grow every spring and we enjoy them on baked potatoes, in salads and soups, etc. this year we might grow tomatoes and beans. Not sure yet...depends on what the hubby says!

  4. Thanks so much for sharing from your heart in this post. May God grow you and encourage you as you follow Him and allow imperfect people to love you.