Saturday, 12 April 2014

There is no perfect church

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As much as I love music and enjoy singing, I haven't been very active in my church worship team since mid last year because of some issues within the team and my bruised pride. Since then, I have worked in the church bookshop, served on the ushering team and on other Sundays simply just sat in the middle row at church with my Bible and notepad. After about two years in the same church, I feel like I'm still trying to find my way, still feeling my way through a forest. Since December last year, I have felt more out of place than normal and have on many occasions considered finding another home church. Recently, in my attempt to shrug off despair and church apathy, I reached out to the music director and asked him if I could come back to singing on the team. He thought it was a splendid idea and I found myself leaving a ton of school work undone and rushing out the door so I could be early. I made the rehearsal, learned all the songs, wore the right outfit for Sunday the next day only to be told just as I was about to grab my microphone that I was not going to be allowed to sing with the team just yet. The stiletto walk back to my seat was the longest ever and I really just wanted to sink into the ground never to reappear again.

To say that I was hurt would be an understatement. It felt like last year all over again, like getting cut in the same place you were stitched earlier. My friend (also the church guitarist), Biola, called me up later that Sunday to ask why I didn't sing and I all but cried on the phone as I narrated my story to him. I had previously told him about my dissatisfaction with the church describing it as wearing a pretty pair of heels that don't quite fit right. He let me moan and complain and almost cry then said to me, "You can pick up and leave-- I won't judge you. But, Ibukun, there is no perfect church"



I should say here and now that Pastor Carlton Williams is a wonderful pastor and has encouraged me to grow in the faith countless times in many spoken and unspoken ways in the past. I have met some of the most inspiring believers in my life at my church and I have truly truly enjoyed waking up more Sunday mornings these last two years than I have in my 18 years before that. So it's not that my church is not good but it has not been perfect. I must have picked it up somewhere that when you give your life to Christ, the church you finally settle in has to be full of angels and a Pastor whose messages speak especially to you every single Sunday.

In church, I will get hurt and slighted and disillusioned more times in the future because the people who make the church are as imperfect as I am. They are as human as I am, they make mistakes like I do, sometimes they don't let the message get past their ears like I do sometimes. They are humans walking a narrow path, falling and rising up again just like me. To expect utter perfection from them would be unreasonable.

So maybe you're in a church like mine, maybe you've hopped from churches for the past 10 years, maybe you've given up on church because of all your bad experiences. Give it another shot, fully understanding that these people who have hurt you and only human-- they get it wrong sometimes. If you can, let them know how they have slighted, hurt and offended you, pray your hurt out to God and give church another shot. Depending on the situation and kind of church you're in, decide on whether to stay or pick up your roots. But, please friend, don't just sit and be mad at the world. I've love for you to cozy up and share your thought with me on this.

What experiences have you had recently in your quest for the perfect church, a quest for your kind of perfect church? And how did you deal with the situation?

3 comments:

  1. I had a church whose male members were always leaning towards immoral acts, and I mean all including the pastor, I ran from the church thinking I was helping, but In that moment, God spoke to my heart and said "The church is filled with imperfect people, the broken,the needy,the clingy,the mending and all sorts, they are all seeking,love,hope and Redemption just like you are, love them selflessly despite the ease which you tend to lean towards the opposite" it changed me forever.

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    1. This case is a lot more delicate than mine. I'd say that if the man you call pastor and sit under his ministration every Sunday is upfront committing immoral acts, you should leave. If the Shepherd isn't shepherding right, the sheep are in serious trouble.
      You can love these people but not by putting yourself in a situation where they are having such a huge influence on you. If the immorality continues, leave, pray for your pastor and the other men. Hope this helps!

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  2. If there were a perfect church, it would become imperfect the second they allowed me in the door. :) I love reading your obvious attempt to be active and serving in your church. You have the right approach, in my opinion, in seeing what you can do for your church more than worrying about what it can do for you. I'm sorry they let you down, and hopefully one day I will hear you sing! I had some harsh dealings with a church years ago that helped drive me away from Christ for quite some time. I'm happy to say, when I hit my low point, God was there ready for me to return to Him. Now I'm part of a church like none I've ever seen. It still isn't perfect, but the opportunities to serve in the community and the commitment to reaching the lost are good enough for me!

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