Here’s the truth about church people: We’re broken. We’re messy. We’re divorced, we’re addicts, we’re tempted, we’re anxious, we’re depressed, we’re abused, we’re angry, we’re hurt, we’re particular, we’re controlling, we’re passive, we’re insecure, we’re too young, we’re too old, we’re parents, we’re not parents, we have every interest in the world there is from hiking to gaming to yoga to boxing and everything else you can think of. We’re entrepreneurs, we work at Wal-Mart and McDonald’s, we graduated college, we dropped out of college, we never went to college, we’re vegan, we’re omnivores. We are, in fact, people who at some point in our lives, chose to wander in off the street and give this church community thing a try.
Here’s the catch: We didn’t metamorphose into angels when we walked through the door. And neither did you. If you complain about the church being imperfect … of course it is! We’re there! And … you’re there, too. We’re glad you came. But please, if someone offends you (and don’t worry, give it time … they will offend you), understand they are human. Like you. Maybe they don’t like your shirt, or your hair, or the way you’re doing something, or your accent, or your family ties. And maybe they have gotten perhaps a little too comfortable and they tell you all about what they don’t like about you. Show them a little grace. Because I 100% guarantee that, just like with any worthwhile, meaningful relationship, you’ll offend someone sooner or later, and you’ll want someone to extend grace to you, as well.
And for those of you who feel like another church has nicer people … give it a try, if you must. But I also 100% guarantee that you’ll be hurt, offended and disappointed by people under a different roof. Because … they’re people. Like you. We want to get to know you and be known by you. Won’t you give us a fighting chance? I 100% guarantee that if you do, it will be worth it.
Welcome to church. Even with your warts and idiosyncrasies and biases and opinions and brokenness. Because we recognize them in ourselves. Welcome. We really are glad you came.