Why church? It’s a question I’m hearing more and more. Honestly, even as a pastor, it’s one I’ve asked myself a number of times.
Church is such a hassle, isn’t it? First it’s too ragged and sloppy where anyone’s aunt Bertha can sing a wobbly-voiced solo that tests the boundaries of everyone’s brotherly love. Then it’s too professional and slick, where only experts are allowed up front. For some, the church is too exclusive and judgmental; for others it’s too permissive and accepting.
The church talks about being loving. Some days it turns out to be. But other days… well, it’s complicated. There’s the situation where everyone is well-meaning, but the wrong thing gets done and someone gets hurt. Then there’s the situation where people aren’t well-meaning at all and petty personality and power issues rule the day. And then, there’s the situation where the truly loving thing doesn’t actually feel loving.
There are standards that can be really high. Then there are folks who care an awful lot about being right. There are broken people as far as the eye can see, making a mess and hurting each other.
So why on earth would someone want to be a part of something like that? Why church?