You will be hurt in church/ 3
Though there are some really bad stories out there about church, there are just as many good stories. I cannot even begin to tell you how often people have told me about a time when the church or someone associated with a church, helped them in their time of need.
If you’ve been gone and are staying away due to being busy, don’t entertain the thought that you should be too ashamed to return. That is the voice of the enemy- the liar. Your return (In attitude, language, action, reception, and hopefully in body also) should show a supernatural force in your life to others. Your return speaks statements of trust in God, faith in the follow, hope in healing, and a love for something and Someone beyond all reasons to stay gone. Remember, I am not saying someone isn’t a Christian if they are not attending church. Some of the very best people do not go to any place of worship, for different reasons. What’s important is if there has been offensive or hurt, that it is addressed. I am not saying to return to a place that is biblically unsound in behaviors, actions, and teachings. Properly dealing with it is a must. Forgiveness is a must.
Once while living and pastoring in Fairhope, we were at a house of a faithful church goer for dinner. I asked her husband why he didn’t attend church. This man was nice and respectable and I genuinely wanted to know what his answer was. He said he had many reasons. I said: “Me too. But I have one main reason that I go. Jesus did something for me that I couldn’t ever do for myself.” We had a really good conversation. I think in those moments instead of trying to get a person to the church building, we should bring Jesus to the building, home, or place they are at. People need time and space to work through their own convictions. That One reason I continue to attend and “go” into the world with the gospel, is the reason that has made me last through all the wrongs and hurts. All of the aggravations or the things I think should be done differently have brought me to a place of influence because I stayed. That One reason has been the mark of my walk, the experience and fulfillment I knew was always there. God brought me to this point. And I know He can do it for you as well. You are to be healed. You are to be made whole. And You are to be a part of helping the function of the church to exist for those who need a Savior. Don’t let any person keep you from that mission!