Gender & Identity, Life

I’m Christian. I love Jesus. But I hate going to church.

Honey, I've been going to church for a long time. All my life. And all the hoopla doesn't do a thing for me.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.”

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

“The Lord is my shepherd.”

“The devil is a liar.”

Shall I go on?

For newcomers to Christ, the sermons about the love of God and his promises are some of the most fulfilling and motivating. But for seasoned church members, there’s a point when it becomes less fulfilling. It doesn’t produce growth.

Hearing yet another sermon about how prayer works or how God will shower you with blessings and give you everything you ask for becomes redundant. It’s also not true.

At what point does the congregation get to learn that God does not give you everything you want and God will not just magically keep your lights on if you don’t pay your electric bill? By the way, please pay your electric bill.

[bctt tweet=”The Lord is my shepherd, the devil is a liar, shall I go on? ” username=”wearethetempest”]

I went to church recently with someone who’s a fairly new churchgoer. I never thought I’d see this person active in church, but praise the Lord, he found Jesus! He was so excited for me to come to his church.

The way he always talks about it, I was expecting a great service.

To my dismay, it turned out to be really underwhelming. I can’t even tell you what I took from it. At one point, the pastor started talking about how to dress for church, but in that condescending, calling-people-out kinda way. All of which seemed very irrelevant to me, because everyone seemed to be very well-dressed in the church.

Then, he started talking about God making a way out of no way, or something like that. Next thing you know, the church organs were playing, the pastor’s singing and a few people were standing and engaging with the pastor.

I looked over and the person I came with was up out of his seat testifying along with the pastor.

I smiled because this was actually fulfilling to him.

He’s at that stage where he’s learning about all the wonderful promises and ways of the Lord, and for right now the hoopla and hollering and the “if he brought me through, he’ll do it for you” is everything he needs.

For a while, this will be satisfying to him.

[bctt tweet=”But honey, I’ve been going to church for a long time. All my life.” username=”wearethetempest”]

But honey, I’ve been going to church for a long time. All my life. And all the hoopla doesn’t do a thing for me.

To me, they’re just distractions.

I’m like my mom in that way.

She comes from a Pentecostal church – very reserved. You won’t see people shouting and praise dancing in the aisles. The Pentecostal church believes in establishing an intimate and personal relationship with God and places a huge emphasis on scripture.

[bctt tweet=”I’ve been exposed to pastors who teach more than just the basics.” username=”wearethetempest”]

With that background, my mom has always sought after pastors who are strong teachers, the ones who quote scripture and use their intellect to break down the scriptures.

So that is what I’ve been trained to respond to: Pastors who appeal more to logos than pathos, knowledge rather than emotion.

I’ve been exposed to pastors who teach more than just the basics; who teach how to walk in faith, not just to have faith; who don’t leave their congregation under the impression that everything good that happens is the Lord’s doing and everything bad that happens is the Devil’s doing.

[bctt tweet=”Pastors have to preach the good, bad, and ugly.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Pastors who only teach the good, and not the bad and the ugly, keep their congregation stagnant – not progressing forward. You should always be accelerating forward on your spiritual journey.

You’ll know when your time at a ‘hoopla’ church is up when the sermons get unfulfilling and you want to know less about what God can do for you and more about what you can do for God.