Are You Wearing a Spiritual Mask to Church?

by | Sep 25, 2014 | Woman

There are great churches with great programs, great ministries, and outstanding volunteers. We all love churches like that. But more than what a church has to offer me, what I really want is to feel connected with a group of people, to find a place of belonging, and do life together.

A few days ago I asked on my Facebook page:

Do you feel like you have a “core” group of friends? Friends that are always available in time of need, and for whom you are available in turn? Or do you feel like those relationships are lacking in your life? 

The overwhelming response was that these relationships were lacking, yet everyone wished they had them. Perhaps loneliness is more common that we realize.

I wonder if, at the core of who we are, we are desperate for friendship. Longing to connect with someone with whom we can share the deep places of our hearts. With whom we can be vulnerable, honest, transparent, real. Someone that is willing and wanting to listen.

So I think about the Church, and the people that walk through church doors. Sending their children to the Kids’ programs, participating in a great worship/music service, and listening to a gifted preacher. But what if at the end of that Sunday morning service they’re as alone as they were when they came in?

Because my husband is a pastor, we have left family behind. My girls are growing up away from their grandparents, their cousins, their aunts and uncles. It also means that my husband and I are away from our parents, our family. And the thing is, while we have each other, we also need other people in our lies. We need that connection, we need community!

Church, of all places, should be the place where we come to find the friendship, support, connection, acceptance, and sense of “family.”

What good is a church with outstanding programs and ministries if our hearts continue to feel lonely?

What good is it for us to preach about “loving our neighbor,” when we fail to reach out to the person sitting by us in the pews?

What good is it for us to talk about a “Church family” when there is no sense of actually doing life together? Of getting to know each other? Of investing in each others lives?

What good is it to attend a church if we feel like we have to be “perfect” or have it “together” rather than allowing people to see our messy and our broken? We are all messy and broken, all of us.

As a church, should we not model what it means to belong? To be accepted? To find meaningful friendships? To do life together?

If we did this, we would not need church programs, we would not be scrambling to find volunteers. We would do life, hand by hand, covering the needs as they come.

We follow Jesus, we talk about His unconditional love, about His sacrifice for us. It should change us, it should make us more loving and accepting. It should change the way we interact with people.

Church is the place where we grow in our relationship with God, where we learn, where we pray… together.

If life is tough right now and you cannot pray, then I can pray for you. If your child is having surgery, then I want to come and sit with you in the waiting room as we wait and pray and laugh (because everyone needs a friend to bring you a smile or a laugh when you are waiting during surgery). If you don’t live close to family, then I want you to sit at my table for Thanksgiving. If you need someone to talk to, what is a good time for you to come over to my always messy home? We can talk amidst naked Barbies on the floor and a dirty kitchen sink.

If we are the “salt of the world” then let’s do this, let’s start doing life together. With so many people hungry for authentic relationships, let’s have the church be the place where people find a real sense of belonging, a core group of friends, a family, and the unending, never-changing hope of Christ.

 Adapted from Ellen Stumbo’s blog. Ellen is a pastor’s wife and she writes about finding beauty in brokenness with gritty honesty and openness. She is passionate about sharing the real – sometimes beautiful and sometimes ugly – aspects of faith, parenting, special needs, and adoption. She has been published in Focus on the Family, LifeWay, MomSense, Not Alone, and Mamapedia among others.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Why God Will Sometimes Hesitate to Give Your Mountain

Why God Will Sometimes Hesitate to Give Your Mountain

Recently, I was having a discussion over coffee with a group of friends when one of them asked the question: “Can you believe how much the world has changed in what seems to be a very short time?” My answer was: “Yes. Yes, I have no problem believing how much the...

8 Reasons for You to Speak in Tongues

8 Reasons for You to Speak in Tongues

If a person were to ask, “Why speak in tongues?” couldn’t we also ask, “Why pray?” The Word of God shows a definite value in praying with an unknown tongue. Jesus tells us that “it is necessary always to pray” (Luke 18:1, MEV). Later, in speaking of prayer, Paul...

What ‘The Jetsons’ and Cindy Jacobs Prophetically Got Right

What ‘The Jetsons’ and Cindy Jacobs Prophetically Got Right

Just as the 1960s cartoon The Jetsons depicted a future full of video phones, robotics and Google-style office space, some modern-day prophets have prophesied about a future full of exposing corruption, fighting for individual freedom and shining a light on truth. One...

The Blueprints for Building a Powerful and Abundant Life for Jesus

The Blueprints for Building a Powerful and Abundant Life for Jesus

Have you ever seen blueprints? If not, blueprints are detailed drawings, containing specifications approved by the builder of a home. A blueprint fully outlines the quality of the materials needed to build a stable and trustworthy home. For a Christian, the Bible is...

9 Reasons Why God Never Tries to Prove His Existence

9 Reasons Why God Never Tries to Prove His Existence

God is self-authenticating. He never tries to prove His existence because it is already evident through the created order. Since He is the only objective being, all other living and nonliving objects emanate from His creative fiat word hence all reasoning (different...

How Prophetic Evangelism Is Impacting Change in Today’s Culture

How Prophetic Evangelism Is Impacting Change in Today’s Culture

Dr. Candice Smithyman, host of Manifest His Presence on the Charisma Podcast Network, recently interviewed apostle Stacey Campbell, founder of Shiloh Global about how prophecy can impact today’s culture. Apostle Campbell is passionate about teaching young people and...

RECENT ARTICLES

Joyce Meyer’s Daughter: ‘I Tried Until I Almost Died!’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc14ip0XyOw Growing up as the daughter of Dave and Joyce Meyer, Sandra McCollom knew about God’s goodness and unconditional love. “At eight years old, I remember...
Prophet: 10 Essential Guardrails for Hearing God’s Voice

Prophet: 10 Essential Guardrails for Hearing God’s Voice

In the journey of hearing God's voice today effectively and accurately, you need the practical and personal work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus clearly told his followers that those who hear His words and put them into practice are wise! "Whoever hears these sayings of...

Prophetic Vision: Three Tables Are Set

Prophetic Vision: Three Tables Are Set

Recently as I was worshipping the Lord, I went into a vision where I could see I was in a dark and very deep valley. It was nighttime, and the valley was surrounded by tall mountains. On the top of each I could see the outlines of men and instinctively knew they were...

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Do you think the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath, and the God of the New Testament is a God of love? The truth is that God is the same throughout the entire Bible. His wrath and His love are revealed in both the Old and the New Testaments. So why, then, did...

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

Your heart is the most important part of you. It’s not only a physical organ that keeps your blood pumping, but when the Bible refers to the heart, it’s talking about who you really are. Each person has an inner and an outer life. There’s the person we show to...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]