The Pastor’s Quill
June 16, 2013
Last week I made around 40 copies of an article promoted by our Bishop, Greg Amos, and had the greeters give them out with the bulletins. The title of this article was “Why I Love My Disappointing Church.” When I originally read it, I thought, “WOW! This is really good stuff.” I believe the thesis of the article is found in this statement: “The truth is, I’ve never gotten really involved in a church — any church — that was not sometimes disappointing.”
Let’s face it. When we are on a ‘surface’ relationship with people we see all the good stuff. All the giftings, frills, and thrills a person has to offer. It is when we grow deeper in a relationship that we begin to see the ‘real’ person. That’s when we find out the ‘frills’ also come with ‘flaws.’ That’s just a fact we have to admit. No one is perfect (except Jesus).
When we put all our stock into people they are, at times, going to let us down and disappoint us. They are going to act or respond in a manner that we didn’t expect. What do we do then?
The author of the article, Tom Lawson, summed it up beautifully: “I love the church. I love the church from the outside in and from the inside out. I love the faith, the love, the pettiness, the doubt, the hope, the spirituality and the carnality that walks her halls, sits in her meetings, and serves her cause in the world. I love the visible, gathered, in-the-flesh church as it is, not simply the church as I wish it was.”
That’s what I wanted all of us to glean from the article. People are going to disappoint us. However, if we love with God’s love we can’t (and we won’t) stop loving them just because of the disappointment. The church (no matter what church one attends) is NEVER going to be perfect. We have to know that God called us together. We weather storms together. We work through quirky little nuances together. We DO NOT QUIT just because we’re disappointed or discouraged. That’s one of the relational problems with our country today: IT IS TOO EASY TO QUIT. I know I fail – A LOT, but please don’t give up on me. I’m not going to give up on YOU.
We are all going to face disappointment in church (church people). I’m going to make a quality, mature choice to LOVE in spite of. Maybe that’s a good way to end this Quill article today: LET’S LOVE IN SPITE OF. Love nonetheless….
I love you.
Pastor Tim Hodge