While I have been travelling to visit various churches in the USA, I have been surprised by many things. Some are positive things, others are negative things. Some excite me, others sadden me.
I love to meet pastors and their wives around the country. I am excited to hear their joy in serving, the things that brighten their eyes as they share. But so many are hurting. They have been “abused” by their elders and churches. They struggle to make ends meet. They are attempting to share their hearts and preach what God has laid on their hearts but yet they are blocked at every turn. Most of the time it is the strong Christians in the church doing the harm.
I am excited to see the mission-minded hearts of congregations who send out short term teams and support missions. I am saddened by churches who are only looking inward to their own needs and don’t see the needs of their community.
Most churches are welcoming and someone greets you and asks more about you. But there are the few churches where I attend and no one even greets me. Do they not want visitors?
How exciting it was to see that youth group made up of multi-cultural kids all wanted to learn more about the Lord.
How sad it was to see the frowns on faces when an announcement was made about serving in the homeless district downtown.
All churches are hurting, all have problems – because a local church is made of human beings, we bring our sinful nature with us. But we need to be proactive in welcoming visitors, in spreading the Gospel, in serving their community, in caring for their pastors, etc…
I don’t want to judge, because I know that I too can fail. We must each think of what we can do and how we can change.