In the last several years, it seems that I have encountered one Christian believer after another who has sustained multiple emotional wounds at the hands of a church leader or another church member or members. I am sometimes overwhelmed by the number of sincerely devoted Christians who are no longer willing to maintain a significant connection to any local church. Many have simply given up on the idea of finding a place where they feel accepted, valued, and loved for who they really are. Others may still find themselves searching for a church home, but regularly end up being disappointed by the sense that no one seems to really care if they are there or not. In truth, many believers have grown weary of faithfully showing up on a Sunday morning to merely stare at the back of someone else’s head while trying to focus on the talking head at the front of the room. For many, the local church has become a place of obligation to a routine rather than a source of hope and a means of fulfilling our deepest longings. Nonetheless, we can rest assured that God is not done with the local church. He still loves it more than we can comprehend and thankfully has plenty of grace to deal with all of the human weakness and faulty thinking found therein.
If you are a Christian, and you have never been thoroughly disillusioned by the poor behavior of another believer, than one of two things must be true about you. Either you are very new to the Faith and thus still on your honeymoon with the Lord, or you have never really been engaged beyond a superficial level with other believers. In either case, chances are you will eventually find yourself stunned and amazed by the ability of a fellow believer to totally screw something up. Why you ask? Because this is the stark reality of the human condition. Clearly, our faith in Christ does not exempt us from the potential of making any number of knuckle headed mistakes. This includes treating each other poorly and regularly underestimating the eternal value of every living soul. After serving as a local church pastor for over 25 years, I have learned that the key to survival in the local church is nothing more than the unrelenting discipline of forgiveness.
A few moths ago, I purchased the domain name Bump on a Blog. At this point, the site is not really much to look at, but my hope is that it will become a meaningful Christian blog and a place of encouragement for the many Christians who find themselves disillusioned by the state of the church in America. The purpose of the site is to become a church blog and also a pastor blog but certainly not a place for church bashing or leader defaming. In fact, I hope to accomplish quite the opposite. As a Christian blogger, I hope to restore the disgruntled believer’s hope that the local church can still be a place of healing and a means of fostering meaningful relationships. Until recently I had never considered creating a Christian blog. In truth, I really don’t like the principle of people writing about themselves or the details of their daily experiences. Hopefully by endeavoring to create a church blog or by writing in the context of a pastor blog, some of the fluffy content can be eliminated. Regardless, I just want to encourage you not to give up on finding a church that you can enjoy. We were not made to function on our own and there is a place for every believer to be rightly joined and fitted together. Never give up.