apparently, people are looking for churches where people are real. a place where people are honest with their feelings and transparent about their strengths and weaknesses…where attitudes and responses are genuine. i’m lead to believe that folks are tired of fake and really want to get down to the business of frank and candid openness.
like i said…evidently, today’s shrewd church people are infatuated with authenticity. from their church leaders. from their church friends. from their “worship” experience. from their sermonizers.
yup. that’s what i’m saying. but here’s what i’m thinking:
i’m not convinced that people want real and authentic and honesty and genuineness. not from their leaders. not from each other. it’s too messy.
i think people honestly prefer their church experience to be sanitized. we are uncomfortable with leaders who have dirty laundry. we definitely don’t want them to hang it up on the line for others to see. we prefer tidy relationships that place a limited amount of demands on our time and wallets.
we value self-sufficiency. dependency is seen as weakness, at best. more often it is seen as failure. deep down, we struggle with hearing about the emptiness and darkness and collapses and fiascos of our friends. this kind of information requires response.
and do we really want people to speak their minds? do we really want to give people room to vent and judge and criticize and worry and condemn? not so much…
you know where people are most authentic? you know where people are the most honest…the most transparent…the most real? at home. with their families. home is where you find out what people are really made of…what’s really in their hearts…where personal priorities really stand.
so…what if you treated your church family the way you treat the family you live with everyday? what if your attitude and responses to your church family were the same as you gave to your spouse or your children? what if your conversation with your church family was the same flavor as the conversation you have with your blood family in the car on the way to and from the church building? what if you were that genuine…that honest?
what i’m saying is i think we are more real with people we live with, than we ever are with the people we share life with at church…and i’m not sure we really value authenticity and honesty and real as much as we want people to think that we do.
what do you think? i’m not being cold and cynical here. nor am i being overly critical of church or family life. i’m just saying that i think saying authenticity and real are a whole lot different than actually living that way.