Currently, the church I pastor is seeing more and more new people each week in our worship service. On a personal note, I have been incredibly encouraged concerning the growth I am seeing and the excitement on a weekly basis. Some people have approached me after a short time of attending and have sought to become more involved in the church. This is also great!
As I have reflected on this in the last few days, I have felt the need to tell people what they should expect when joining my church. The following are the 7 things that you should expect when taking the step to become a leader or generally involved in this worship community….these things are universal and can be applied to any other church.
1. Someone will eventually hurt your feelings….Someone is going to say something to you, or step on your toes, or even blurt something out randomly that will offend you.
2. You will encounter hypocrites. Churches are full of them and many are leaving the church for this reason…..grocery stores, civic groups, concerts, political groups, bus stops, restaurants, parking lots, hospitals, call centers, parties, and family reunions are also full of hypocrites….good luck avoiding those too.
3. Someone in my church will annoy you. Fact: everyone has an annoying side.
4. My message will not make sense to you on occasion. That’s okay…perhaps God will use it in your life later.
5. The music may not connect with you this Sunday. That’s okay….perhaps God will use it in your life later.
6. There will be discouraging times in our church. You can bet on this…..we are a church full of people with problems and regular discouragements. It just makes sense that a group of people would reflect this….
7. Church will be boring at times. ….umm……..I got nothing. Sorry.
Overall, the church is not only a family but it is a redemptive and purpose-oriented community. Due to the fact that it is filled with people, not everything is going to be perfect. When we are interacting with people with wounds, hang ups, and brokenness we have to understand that grace is not just something for people on the outside but we are the prototype before distribution.
Redemptive communities require imperfection to participate.