Top 10 Reasons To Stay in Your Normal, OK Church.

It's okay to leave your church.  It's okay to surrender your values.  It's okay if you want to freely do what you just plain want to do.
 
Why?  Because I am a critical person who lacks solid conviction and I have unrealistic expectations...  I have made a judgment and posted it on a blog.  My post was then shared on our Facebook page.  I am one of many voices repeating the same message.  We are changing the way you think.  We are normalizing your aversion to commitment.  We are melding your pliable sympathies with your spiritual terminology and giving you permission to do whatever you want.  We are telling you what to feel and how to think.
 
Guess what!  It's working.  
Before we move on... allow me to confess.  There is no list of 10 Reasons in this article.  Not here.  When we number things off with convincing and idealistic phrases, we infer a sense of authority.  It's as if I'm saying with my bullet points, that I have it all figured out, and you should just comply.
 
This bothers me.  Personally, I don't want to be told what to think.  I don't want to be told how to feel about things.  I don't like the idea of my culture dictating my values.  
 
Unfortunately, what bothers me, doesn't bother everyone.  People are freely giving away their convictions, their emotional freedom and even, IMHO, their character.   
 
For the most part, our feelings, sympathies and opinions respond to the way we think.  
Our thinking is formed by experience, training, and outward influence.  
We don't just automatically think a certain way based on rights and wrongs.  We don't just automatically feel a certain way about things because we are a good or bad person.  
 
We are easily influenced.  In fact, this is part of God's will for us.  He wants us to be easily influenced.  
God created us to be as malleable clay in His hands.  He molds us and shapes us with the empowerment of His Spirit and the instruction of His Word.  
But, to make this work, it takes focus... discipline... fortitude!  Without these things, 
 
It's much easier to be malleable clay in the hands of our culture... in the hands of changing ideology... in the hands of media, government, and mass opinion.  Instead of allowing God to change us, we change God and embrace ideas which are contrary to our original instruction.
 
Scripture calls us to be committed in fellowship and community with other believers.  We are called to consider one another, in order to stir up love and good works.  We are taught how to identify and be walk in the spiritual gifts so that the body, which is assembled together, will be built up and edified.  This is supposed to happen as we live in community with each other.  
 
Christian community is my business.  I take it personal when the blog experts tell my friends and family that they should leave their community of faith because of their 10 good reasons.  As they point out the faults, they set up a false premise that somewhere out there, is a perfect church.  That premise is a lie.  I don't care if you go to church in a house, a fancy cathedral or, as I do, in a warehouse... but I do care about your expectations.  Are they realistic?
 
The average church in America has less than 200 people in it.  It is probably struggling financially.  It may not be 'cool'.  There will be people drama, since, after all... there will be people there.  Quirky personality types will be present and your opportunity to be offended will be increased exponentially every time you walk through the doors.  There will be differences of opinions.  Sometimes outdated terminology will be used.  When people are honest about it, they will probably say that their church is just 'ok'.  
 
Odds are, you are an ok, normal person.  I know that I am.  I'm an ok pastor.  I live a pretty normal life.  I have no aspirations for fame.  I don't excel in much.  I'm a normal, ok pastor, in a normal ok church, in community with normal, ok people.  This is all realistic for me.  
 
The sooner we find contentment in the place God has us in... the sooner we can experience more of the abnormally awesome things that He does, through normal, ok people.  
 
Stop letting them tell you, that it's not ok to be ok.