I think we in America take going to church for granted. We spend oodles of time criticizing the programs, giving our unsolicited two-cents-worth about the sermons, fighting about the music style or the color of the brand new carpet. Why I even read once about a church that split over whether there should be real or artificial flowers on the altar.
I am not saying there aren’t legitimate reasons to talk with your pastoral staff about serious concerns. Or give honest feedback when asked. And certainly if something is wonky theologically or you see procedures that are unbiblical, voice your concern. If it isn’t remedied, you may need to leave. Or sometimes there isn’t anything wrong biblically, you just feel called to attend a different church. Whatever the reason, if you must exit, leave graciously and without gossiping. (My husband and I did that wrong once and right once. Trust me, doing it right brings peace and preserves relationships. After all, you have to spend eternity together with your brothers and sisters in Christ so you may as well start getting along now!)
Yes, God looks down on our churches these days and oft times sees His children selfishly nitpicking and bickering in the ole’ U.S. of A.
Meanwhile, in some other countries, Christians cannot worship freely. They hide. They have no Bible in their native tongue. They are persecuted. They are killed.
How about when we are tempted to pick up the phone (or pound on the keyboard) to complain about something at church, we pause and pray for the persecuted church instead?
I’m sure they would LOVE to spend a Sunday morning in a service, listening to any kind of music that exalts God no matter the tempo or loudness. They wouldn’t care about the carpet color or the length of the sermon or whether the ushers wore ties or t-shirts.
Why, I’ll bet they wouldn’t even care if the flowers were picked fresh that morning or picked up last year on clearance at the local Hobby Lobby.
Now, let’s praise. No negative. Just positive. Tell us one thing you appreciate about your church, pastor or fellow-worshippers.
NOTE: Our favorite resource to use with our kids and remind ourselves of our persecuted brothers and sisters is this.