I’m what’s known now as “The Un-Churched.” You know the kind. They grew up in the church or went to church every time the doors were open once-upon-a-time. Now, however, they no longer darken the door of the church – any church.
People love to get into the bashing game with people like myself. The ones that are still currently going to church on a regular basis look down upon people like me that choose not to go to church. Hmmm, that’s a bit … judgmental … for church-goers, isn’t it?
Don’t mind me. I’m just calling it like I see it.
You see, I was once very active in the church. My dad was the clerk of the church when I was just a little thing growing up. We were at church every time the doors were open, and I grew up being an active part of the church.
When I became an adult, I could choose whether to attend church or not. No longer feeling “forced” by my parents, I still chose to go to church. I changed from the church I attended as a child, and my parents also stopped going to church. What in the world would cause such a thing for dedicated church-going individuals to just suddenly … stop … going to church?
Hurt. That’s what.
Now, I know you’re probably just waiting for the opportunity to launch a quote at me. Aren’t you? The one that specifically talks about how if being hurt by the church causes you to stop going, then your faith was in people and not in God. Ah, but I beg to differ.
Being hurt by people in the church was exactly why my family and I stopped going. I no longer wished to attend church with “holier-than-thou” so called Christians that inflicted such hurt upon my family and I. From preacher’s wives intentionally ignoring me, yet speaking to everyone else in my family … to offering to serve in the choir when attendance was down just to have their nose turned up at me … to various other things that happened. There were others that talked about my family and I even when we were holding a fundraiser for a little girl in my daughter’s 6th grade class many years ago that was diagnosed with cancer. As our hands were busy working to help this little girl and her family, other people in the church were busy wagging their tongues about us.
I’m sorry, but this is NOT the type of church I wish to attend.
What ever happened to including people? Even those that are different from you?
What happened to making people feel welcome and LOVING them just as Christ would have?
And what is this “What would Jesus do?” crap? It’s more than just wearing the bracelet, people! You have to actually stop and ask yourself, “Would Jesus have snubbed this person as you just did?” As a matter of fact, I can assure you, HE WOULD NOT!
I know the bible talks about surrounding yourself with fellow believers and coming together to worship. That’s wonderful, but I choose not to attend church with people like the ones I’ve mentioned above.
More hurt comes from the church!
I’m not saying that ALL church-goers are bad. Certainly, they are not. But there are a few “bad apples” in every bunch that spoil it for everyone else. Those “bad apples” are often times in positions like the preacher’s wife I spoke about or someone in “charge” of the children’s ministry or even someone on the “welcoming committee” being anything but welcoming!
Why don’t we shift our focus off of PEOPLE and back on GOD where it belongs!
I’m talking about taking our relationship with God more serious than just who steps foot into the church building each Sunday morning. As a matter of fact, I get more out of online ministries or watching the sermons on church than I do sitting elbow to elbow with someone I know acts a certain way Monday through Saturday and yet is completely different come Sunday morning.
I’d rather worship God on the back of my horse out in the beautiful countryside. I want a REAL relationship with Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Yes, even if I never grace the steps of the church again.
And you know what? My church attendance or lack thereof will NOT keep me out of heaven. Nope. It won’t! Regardless of what ones may say, as long as my heart is right with God, I will be welcomed into Heaven when the Lord calls me home. Why? Because I’ve asked Him to come into my heart, forgive me of my sins, and I have chosen to walk with Him.
Your church attendance will NOT guarantee you a place in Heaven. Your mansion in Heaven will NOT be given to you due to sitting in that church pew. Someone with the hardest of hearts could come sit right in your very place, and they won’t make it into Heaven any more than you will UNLESS your heart is right with God.
No one … absolutely NO ONE … on the face of this earth knows where you truly stand with God. And they shouldn’t. That’s between YOU and The Master!
So with what being said, who are you, or anyone else for that matter, to sit in judgment of “the un-churched?” It simply is NOT your place. You don’t know the person’s heart. You don’t know what may be going on in their lives.
An example is this – my in-laws are going through a really hard time right now. My mother-in-law has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and is unable to attend church. She’s in a lot of pain that prevents her to even sit or lay comfortably. And you know what? NO ONE in her “church family” has come to see her or offered to bring food of any kind. We’re from the South where that’s what we do. When someone dies, we bring food. If someone is hurt in an accident, we bring food. If someone has a cold or pneumonia, we bring food. The South is all about their comfort food, and what better time to offer your support to the family than when you KNOW someone in the family is dealing with something BIG. Yet, no one from my mother-in-law’s church has brought food. My mother-in-law is on the prayer list at her church – a church she has gone to for MANY, MANY years! And yet, just today when I visited her, she mentioned her disappointment … and yes, hurt … over her “church family” not lifting one finger when she’s in the shape she is in.
Ah, that is exactly the hurt I’m talking about that will cause people to shy away from the church. Do you see what I mean?
As my mother-in-law tries to adjust her position to get comfortable any way she possibly can, she remembers ALL the meetings she attended, the family times she cut short just to “serve” at the church … and for what? When they need support, love, and encouragement from their church family … they are in a dry desert with the dust and tumble weeds rolling down the parched earth.
So, think again before you judge “the un-churched.” But, do more. Take this message and be determined NOT to have things turn out like this in YOUR church. Be the one that reaches out even if you’re the only one that does. Be the example of Jesus that everyone needs to see reaching out, loving, caring for, and helping those in need.
A little less judgment and more love is what this world needs – for the churched (as my in-laws have been for years) and yes, even the un-churched.