Friday, June 2, 2017

Why People Don't Like Church

People don't like church for many reasons, and so they don't go or in many instances, people like church but not your church and they leave.  Why does that happen, exactly?  Well, there are about as many reasons as there are ice cream flavors, maybe more but let's look at some of the main reasons you may have not considered.  Or maybe you have, maybe you are one of these people, perhaps you can relate.  Either way, read on:

1.  No connection.

Ever have that person at work, at school, at the dinner party that was just awkward?  Maybe it was you?  Some people, let's be honest here, some people just don't mesh well with other people.  I know, I know we're the body of Christ and all that.  I've read and taught those verses.  But we haven't gotten ourselves all sorted out down here on earth and until we're perfected and made as Christ intended we're bound to have some issues.  This is one of them.  Sometimes the vibe, the feel, the chi, whatever you want to call it, of a particular church is slanted a certain way and you may not feel any connection there.  The people may be nice, the preaching might be fine but maybe it just doesn't click.  You can't quite explain it but it's like wearing pleated jeans, it's just awkward and clumsy.

2.  No community.

Everybody has various communities in their life.  You have them at work, you are with those people hours of the day, weeks during the year, you get close to them, you work through issues with them, you do life with them.  You get rides, eat lunch and talk about your kids.  You have communities of friends you grew up with, some close, some far.  You have inside jokes, favorite childhood streets, and landmarks, you have an unspoken language, old neighbors you ask about.  There is community there, a familiarity you have with certain people you grew up with.  You have all sorts of communities, people you live next to, people you know in town, people who are your doctors, pharmacists, bankers and probably a lot more.  But do you have any sort of community within your church?  How often do you see the people, eat with the people, sit down and talk about life with the people that you go to church with?  Do you see them briefly on Sunday and maybe catch them a time or two during the week while shopping? That is not a community.  Do you have lunch with them?  A lot?  Do you have any jokes you share with them?  Do you know what grades their kids are in?  Do you know a lot about them?  If you don't they are not in your community they are just people you go to church with.

3.  No depth.

Many churches, not all, but many, stick with a very superficial glib view of Christianity.  Jesus loves you and wants to save you, and tell others.  Oh, and join our church.  Those things are great but there is a wide world to explore with all sorts of questions we haven't even asked.  You can only swim in the shallow end so long before you get bored with it.  If the deep end is always closed for repairs you are going to go to another pool.  I think you get the point.

4.  No genuineness.

There is nothing worse than fakery.  Just ask JD Salinger.  The idea that we are all saints living a great life full of holiness every day of the week is just ludicrous.  If that's you then I'm really happy for you but I think you're a liar.  My daily life is one of a simple man who is a sinner who is trying to love Jesus, and I fail miserably.  I feel more at home at work and at home than at church.  Maybe that says something about your heart you might say.  Indeed, it might.  Or maybe it says something about the tense atmosphere of most churches and how we "put on a show".  Which, may I remind you, God sees right through, so we fool nobody, only ourselves.

So, in summary, let's work on being genuine, let's explore the depths of our beliefs and stop being so shallow, let's find out how to really connect and establish a community.  Then you might actually have a church.  I don't know what most places have nowadays but it's not a church.  How do we change these things?  That's for another day.

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