[Photo by Darwin Bell]
I can see it now. Moderatorial aspirations die with post about why church sucks. What kind of language is that to use for a Moderator?!?!? Sheesh.
I’ll just have to take that risk as no other title seems appropriate.
Church sucks! Yes, I said it. The cover of the latest Wired Magazine has the lead headline, Why Things Suck: The 33 Things that Make us Crazy. A second tag line is “Nothing works the way it should . . . our 18 page report on the most annoying problems of everyday life.”
Church is not on the list. But it really should be.
I often wonder why people come to church. Why engage in any organized faith community be it a Sunday morning church, house church or otherwise? We can point to outward faith expressions about many churches: music, style, preaching, community, food, location, parking, coffee, demographics, etc. as reasons why one would visit, stay or run away, but the reality is that when it comes to measuring the effectiveness and/or usefulness of church, we fail miserably . . . at least by human standards.
The reasons why church sucks are too numerous to get into, but here are some that strike me at this moment.
- We take too long to make decisions.
- We are not nice.
- We judge.
- We act out of assumed expectations.
- We really only want church to be done our way.
- We fight.
- We gossip.
- We walk-out.
- We don’t commit.
- We want things for free.
- We want to be served.
- We fight change to our own detriment.
- We change for the sake of change.
- We try to look like what we think we should look like rather than just look the way we are.
- We place faith last on our priorities.
Yeah, why do we come to church?
Because God somehow wiggles into the mix and we discover that despite our suckiness, we experience the holy in church and community. And, if not only for glimpses of those times, we do not suck. In fact we are pretty awesome.
Thanks be to God.