Some studies suggest 30 percent of church-goers have left the church during this pandemic. Many are probably cultural Christians who don’t truly know Jesus.
But not all.
Some of you, who truly know Jesus, have decided you like your church better on a screen because you prefer the edited, less-messy version.
I get it. I really do. I get tired of being disappointed in people too.
And if I just stay home, if I do the polished, pretty, online study, and listen to the edited podcast or online sermon- I can avoid some of that.
But I wonder, were we meant to “keep meeting together” (Heb 10:25) for the very reasons we sometimes don’t want to?
Does God have lessons for us in the messy?
Oh, we humans try to create “perfect” but perfect doesn’t exist this side of Heaven, but messy does, and messy definitely happens at church.
It happens when we are face to face with others, when conversations are off-the-cuff, when feelings can get hurt, and when those we’ve set on too high of pedestals can mess up right there in front of us.
It can be disappointing, discouraging even, and for some of us, we’ve decided to just pull away instead of risking this.
But God knew we’d have (and be) these kind of problems when He told us to keep meeting together.
But friend, it is at church that we have a real chance to remember that no one is perfect but Jesus and practice letting the fruit of His Spirit grow in us.
God knew we’d be disappointed with each other.
He knew we’d need opportunities to speak truth in love and offer grace (and have it offered to us).
I also believe church gives us a chance to remember (and see up close) that redemption stories still happen; for as long as we have flesh on us, we are all capable of stumbling.
And if you’ve stumbled out of church and find yourself getting comfortable not meeting with others, let me encourage you to go back.
Let me remind you, God established the church and tells His children to keep meeting together and especially as we see the Day of His return approaching. (Heb 10:25)
Friend, find a church with solid, biblical teaching. They still exist. Dig in and GO and keep going.
God tells us to do so, and He still does great work in and through the imperfect people He brings together, in person, face-to-face, messy as they can be, there.