Sometimes being a Christian and belonging to a fellowship can feel like we've been thrown together, it can be trying and frustrating and can make us want to turn on our heels and run away screaming out: 'I'm a Christian...get me out of here!!!'
Most of us will either have watched or at least be aware the reality TV show 'I'm a celebrity get me out of here' if not, the basic premise is that a group of celebrities are placed together in the middle of a jungle away from civilisation with basic food, facilities and no contact with the outside world. They have no previous contact with each other and are forced to work together to cook, empty the very basic and unpleasant toilet and complete tasks to earn food and rewards. Obviously they don't always get on...arguments, stress, aggravation, pettiness, can take over and bring cooperation and compromise to a standstill... Sound familiar?
Everyone who attends a church does so, for a variety of reasons...geographical considerations, a family who attends, a deep rooted belief in what that particular Church, perhaps a fallout or argument from another church. In my particular circumstance it was a girlfriend (now a wife) who first invited me to my Church.
We also want and need different things from our church; some seek teaching, a challenge, safety, comfort friendships, to be part of a community or something bigger than ourselves, some seek inspiration, an outlet for creativity, or perhaps just a place to belong.
However we arrive and for whatever reason we remain...we're stuck with each other! We have to balance our personalities, desires, agendas, hopes, dreams etc while also trying to work together to keep the Church working, moving forward and completing our mission to bring people to Christ. Like the TV show 'I'm a celebrity' we do tend to struggle from time to time.
This is the first in a planned four part series: 'I'm a Christian, get me out of here!' Or 'surviving the Church'
I want to give encouragement that if you find Church membership difficult or stressful, if you've ever thought about just walking away, that you are not alone. And I want to try and help give you strength and confidence as we all try and navigate, survive and thrive in a minefield of politics, unspoken rules and expectations surrounded by people who are self-serving, lost, and a little broken... And that means all of us.
But regardless... Here we are, all thrown together, from different backgrounds, ideals, experiences, personalities etc. One purpose, one mission, but a ridiculous amount of different ideas of how to get there. We are not always going to get on, we will fall out; sometimes spectacularly, we will act childish and immature and occasionally play games and point score... But we are all far from perfect, when thrown together we have to learn to deal with all this and each other, sometimes this will mean being the bigger person, looking past each other's faults, and making allowances for each other's weaknesses, and of course asking each other for forgiveness when we mess up.
Look out for part 2: 'Bigger than Jesus'.
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