Hand to the plow, never looking back, save only to survey the wake of lives that we’re able to touch as we pass through.
It’s an old line. And you’ve heard it, too. Maybe you’re even guilty of saying it. But it comes in many styles.
“The Church is a mess.”
“Pastors are all two-faced.”
“No one preaches the Gospel anymore.”
And the best one: “I’ve looked for a good church in my area, but there just isn’t one.”
So I wanted to take a poll, open to those who were willing to respond, and find out how their church experience was on Sunday:
How would you describe your church service yesterday in 3 words or less? Ready…go!
I got lots of responses on FaceBook. Some were cute:
Bernard Rochat The big Apple
Jena D Sandquist Quesada Loved Sleeping In!!!! (Sorry, couldn’t stop myself)
Jon Allen ya… slept in!
Some where candid:
Millardthemk Jones Ok but powerless.
Joni Merg A Wilderness Journal
And the rest were–strangely–very contradictory of the statements I listed at the top:
Stephanie Lyon Reminder of Redemption!
Elizabeth Eiowing Dresdow AWESOME!!!
Tammy Alberry Desormo Anointed, Rockin’, Encouraging =D
Tim Desormo Uplifting, Encouraging, Awesome
Samantha Vence Changing, Active, Spiritual
Sharon Whitlock Gold Uplifting
Theresa Woodkirk The naked truth!
Elyssa Krivicich convicting, many babies…. (There were 5 babies getting dedicated yesterday).
Marti Eggleston people get ready!
Reenie Bovier real love
Donna Stanley alive, powerful, inspirational
Jamie Jo Rutigliano Alive ! Anointed ! Awesome !
Jonathan Cowan spirit, truth, love
Kathleen Seery Anointed !Restoring ! Hope !
Amy MacDougall It hit home!
Joseph Anthony Cook Intensely Spirit Filled!!
Sandi Kirkwood Bethel was beautiful
Beth Walrath Awakening, powerful, encouraging.
Courtney Kleefeld hyper, redeeming, inspiring.
Wayne Thomas Batson Forgiveness is expensive.
Julie A. Mason Shelmidine ?”Open the BLINDS!”
Thomas Brennan Encountered by Christ.
And then the best one, that pretty much sums up how I feel about the Body of Christ:
Millardthemk Jones Wow ma, I just read all the comments, people must have had great sundays!
Yes! They did! Despite what the critics claim, the Church is a glorious, wonderful thing, full of life, change, adventure, and growth, hit by pain, defeats, and hardship, and driven by flawed, passionate people who are ever attempting to merge heaven and earth.
I learned from my senior pastor that whenever someone makes a sweeping generalization condemning some aspect of the church, we should always reply with a question: “Who?”
Most people, I’ve found, can actually name one person that embodies their accusation. Maybe even two. Because it’s their experience. And at least in identifying those particulars we can have a legitimate discussion.
But when the entire Body of Christ takes the blame for one or two poor experiences–whether a moment or a season–we do God a terrible injustice. The Bride, you see, is His invention, not ours. (And He likes her enough to come back for Her).
My friend Chris Mooney summarized this best when–without knowing the details of this post–replied to a my status update that I was writing something about the Bride of Christ:
Chris Mooney careful writing about someone’s bride, tends to be taken personal by the hubby.
So how was your church experience this past Sunday? Please add to the conversation.
PHOTO CREDIT: @JENNIFERLHOPPER