Church experiences as depicted by pictures on social media look so cool. You and I know it is not always so. We know that church is much more than the beautiful clothes.
Sometimes, we hide behind these unpleasant experiences and vow to have nothing to ever do with God, church and everything in between.
Permit me to go right ahead and give my conclusion in the introductory paragraphs
“God is way bigger than our bad church experiences. He still loves us even when the people who profess to be like Him don’t treat us right. What we do with Jesus is what counts; if we accepted Him or rejected Him”
Many years ago, I moved to another state in Nigeria for work. I had reached a place where it just wasn’t enough to be a regular church attendee; I had to be involved, serving one way or the other. In this new church, I felt way out of place. I had to learn to wear head-covering, and sit in pews. By nature of my job, pants or trousers were more comfortable; however, dashing in to the mid-week service in work clothes didn’t sit well with the church. I did adjust by packing an extra skirt to work on Wednesdays. The straw that broke my Carmel’s back was soon to come.
Only being new in town, I had no friends. Although, I was befriended by an elderly deaconess and a couple of married folks, sometimes, you just craved companionship of people who were closer to you in age. It became a prayer request. A fervent one. To find people in my age group, who were passionate about the things of God and unashamed to live for Him.
During a particular midweek service, the senior pastor asked us to write out the issues on our minds (no names) and then he would read them out and have the church pray collectively for each request. How refreshing!!! Now more people will bombard heaven’s gate with my request. Sure God was gonna answer right away.
I knew the pastor held my slip of paper when he began to read what I had written. I was so excited that he would soon get to my most urgent request. So, I opened my eyes to look at him when he would read my requests. Imagine my anger and disappointment when with a pitiful shake of his head, he dismissed my most urgent prayer request. I had to really pray my heart through the length of the prayer service that night. I had just been kicked in stomach. I never wanted anything to do with that church again!!! What church would dismiss the thing most important to its member? Wasn’t every member important? At least that’s what they say during services. I felt this church didn’t care for me or for the things that really mattered to me. I was hurting. And yes I left that church. I was too hurt.
God miraculously answered my prayers. I can tell because, that year I learnt of Praiseworld Radio. Months after, I began to serve with them. Today, I have made friends who are passionate about the things of God, who want to see His kingdom rule. Friends who publicly defend Truth; Godly men and women who aren’t ashamed of the gospel.
It was once reported that Gandhi said “I do not hate your Christ, I just do not like Christians” . He made this conclusion, after he was denied entry into the church by the usher in the then old Indian Caste System. A lot of people have been let down by Christians, but Christ will never let us down. Let us be the hands and feet of Christ, helping to restore people.
This post was inspired after listening again and again to a sermon series called ‘My Bad Church Experience’ by the North Point Community Church.
Written by @opewalker
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