Yep. I am a missionary and I don’t go to church.
I have lived in Georgia, the heart of the Bible belt for about 2 years now, with no luck in this area. And I have tried again and again to find a church that I feel like is made up of real, broken, desperate lovers of Jesus.
But it’s a lot harder than I thought…
As I sat in church on Easter Sunday, I thought…”this is why I don’t go to church.”
I want to be careful about how I talk on this subject. Because I love the church, and I so badly want to be a part of a group of people just living out the gospel (outside of where I work).
I don’t want to go to a concert. I don’t want to have to wear sunglasses because of the multi-colored spotlights. I’d rather not choke on the smoke that fills the stage. I don’t want to watch We Bought a Zoo (oh yea, that happened). I don’t want to sing a verse, then a chorus, maybe a bridge, and then stop. And if I am going to fall asleep, my bed is much more comfortable than those padded church chairs.
I just want to sing a song of how much I love God, from the depths of my soul. And I just want to be real. I absolutely do not expect perfection. I would just really like genuineness. I’m sure people intend well and have good hearts, but that doesn’t change the emptiness that pervades the room.
I’m craving authenticity. And the supernatural…I mean this is GOD, we’re talking about! And it’s frustrating to look again and again for a church that actually looks like Jesus…a man fully submitted to the Father and filled with the Spirit of God, yet find slim to none.
I love structure to an extent and I value order. But I wonder what it would be like for a group of people to gather together with no other expectation or agenda but to meet with the living God that we claim to follow. Does that really look like 3-4 songs, 30 minutes of preaching, a closing song and the offering? He’s got to be more creative than that!
If I can find that, I will start going to church.