I wish I was better at writing. It has been too long since I took grammar, punctuation, and all that, and I often find myself wondering if the occasion calls for a comma, a semicolon, a dash, or when in doubt......... several dots.
There have been some things on my mind in regards to the church, that if I let loose and put it in one blog post, might be longer than the Gospel of Mark in the Bible. So I am going to do something I don't do often, or at least I am going to try to do it: a series of blog posts revolving around things I'd like to change about my church, about all churches, and other things along that line.
And I am hopefully not doing it alone. I have a couple of people who volunteered to write a post when I mentioned this, one I asked, and another I just told to do it (my best friend). Depending on when my friends do these, they will be spread out over the next few weeks.
I like my church. I don't always want to go, and I know that is almost heretical for a Christian to say he doesn't always want to go to church; but if you're shocked by anything I say at this point...... then you don't know me, nor have you read many of my blog posts.
There exist some taboos in life. There are just some things you don't say, at least not without people disapproving. It is one thing to say you love your church, but another to say you would like to see some improvements in some areas.... and then name those areas. Or admit you don't always want to go to church. The squeaky wheel doesn't always get oiled, it often gets ignored..... or prayed for that you'll see things the way everyone else does.
I'm an oddity. I know that, but I am becoming more and more comfortable in my own skin. I just wish it had happened years ago. I am politically incorrect, and even religiously incorrect... if that makes sense.
Pleasing God has become much more important to me than pleasing people, or worrying what they think of me. I know I am way too outspoken for my own good, and talk openly at times about things people wish I'd shut up about..... but this is me. For years, I let people bully me, walk on me, tell me what I had to do, believe, what I had to be, how to act, etc. I was pretty quiet about pretty much everything, and didn't voice opinions much.
Only in recent years have I got on track with serving God. Oh, I tried for years to do it, but sadly to mainly avoid hell. I knew nothing of this God who so desperately loves me that it doesn't matter what I do..... He won't stop. I have finally experienced this side of God versus the vindictive God I tried to serve for way too many years of my life.
As I have come to know this God and slowly leave behind my misconceptions about God, church, being a Christian, and all things to do with serving God; I have come to feel something is missing in my church life. Oh, I have blogged before about things I'd like to change in my church; but I am just seeing things a bit differently now.
I believe it is tacky and spiteful to criticize a church after you have left it. There was a man who caused a lot of trouble at our church and for our whole denomination, and after he left he kept up a constant diatribe against us on social networks and even had a website dedicated to criticizing our church. And others have done the same thing after leaving a church.
But it is unhealthy and dangerous to have an atmosphere and attitude in the church that no one can question or suggest changes.
So enter he who likes to stir up trouble. That would be me :)
It is probably a good thing I am not a voting member of my church. As I understand it, at the end of the year a committee puts together suggested people for church offices; usually the same ones who had those offices the year before. You are allowed to nominate someone else for the position in the business meeting where these names are brought up, but no one ever does...... they are afraid to offend the person who the committee suggested, and/or the person who has held that position for 50 years......
Now if I was a voting member, and they suggested Bob Offkey stay in as song leader, and asked for other nominations, I would have the nerve to suggest John Makes A Melody be song leader, for he would do a better job. And then there would be a vote. (I do love our main song leader, except when he has us sing with no music). But that isn't the way you do things at church... you just accept the nominations and don't make any suggestions. You might ruffle someone's Blessed Assurance.
You see, people who have differing views or ideas from the powers that be tend to be looked at as troublemakers....
But what if these troublemakers have valid points? What if some of their ideas would be good for the church?
I have suggested things over the years, but none of my suggestions have been taken. Granted, some of my suggestions have been far out and not serious.... but I have had a few serious and decent ones. I have joked that if someone else made the same suggestions, they would be used...... but I was kidding...... I think. I am sure it isn't personal. I did have one a year or so ago that my pastor agreed was a good idea...... though he had a slightly shocked look on his face - and said he'd have to check into it. It never did happen, so maybe it wasn't as easy to do as I thought it might be. (Sending the church bulletin out by email to interested people.)
Sometimes the problem is that "we have never done it that way before".
As I have been progressing on my walk with God, I have started to wish even more that church was different, that church did some things better, did some things they don't do. And not just my church, but church in general........though mine is going to be on my mind as I blog since I attend there.
And if you have some thoughts you'd like to share on what the church needs, feel free to share them.... or even write a blog post.