My “everything” bagel sat on the counter, eagerly awaiting the dollop of cream cheese that would soon adorn its perfectly toasted, poppyseeded goodness. I went to the refrigerator and grabbed the new container of cream cheese that I had bought the day before. The container seemed a little light, so I assumed that Lanette had gotten to it before me. This miffed me slightly, since I liked to be the one who got to peel the little silver liner from the top of the container. The trick is to get the entire silver seal off of the container without tearing it, leaving you a perfect, round silver circle. It’s the little satisfactions that make life worthwhile…
I pulled the plastic lid off of the container and saw something grey inside. At first I thought that Lanette had tried to peel the silver thing off of the container and failed. Then I realized I wasn’t seeing silver, I was seeing grey. A closer look revealed not a silver circle, but a layer of fuzz.
My wife says there is something wrong with me because I can go to crime scenes with blood and other bodily fluids all around me and not bat an eye, but if I am at home and find something that has sprouted eyes or mod, I get creeped out. It doesn’t make any sense, but neither does the popularity of Justin Beiber or egg nog. I gagged a little gag and threw the container away.
I dug back into the refrigerator and found the cream cheese I was looking for. I was relieved when I popped open the plastic lid and found the silver circle. A challenge! I was halfway through when an unseen crack ruined my perfect silver circle bid. Oh well, next time.
I think people looking for churches do the same thing. They plan to attend a new church, hoping to find a perfect little place that will meet all of their needs, fulfill all of their hopes and dreams, and provide a sense of satisfaction.
The problem is that no church can do all of that. If you visit my church, Remnant, you may find that things aren’t quite what you were expecting. One of the pastors (me) is always in shorts. The music is kind of loud, and maybe faster than you were expecting. Our sermon titles are not always serious, even if the sermon content is. You are allowed, even encouraged, to use your phone during church. Well, as long as you are tweeting the message or posting notes to social media. Playing Candy Crush is frowned upon.
We have had people visit and find a home in our family. We have had other people visit and never come back. And we are okay with both of those outcomes, as long as they keep looking for the right place. You see, Remnant’s style isn’t for everyone. Some people want a more traditional model (and they definitely don’t want to see their pastor’s legs while he preaches).
So how do you find a church? The same way you find a friend or a mate. The old saying, “You will kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince,” holds true for churches as well. You may visit quite a few churches before you find your new home.
The one thing you can’t do is keep looking for the “perfect” church. It doesn’t exist, and if you find it you will mess it up by going inside. Most churches have a few rough edges, and could use some help smoothing them out. That’s where you come in. Don’t just look for a church where you can fit in, look for one where you can make a difference. Your greatest blessings will come through your service. Make a difference as you are being made different!
Still grossed out by fuzzy cream cheese… Jerry