I want a church that loves and embraces people AS THEY ARE, no strings attached.
I want a church that doesn’t just put “You are SAFE here” on the walls of the foyer in bold, painted letters, but actually lives it.
I want a church that cares less about the shape of the bodies and style of the voices on stage and more about experiencing the ONEness, the UNIFICATION of the body of Christ through music that only singing together, loudly and without apology, can bring.
I want a church that boldly places people of every color, shape, gender, and orientation on stage and learns from a diverse range of voices. That listens to lessons learned in different accents. That doesn’t see its women as unworthy of teaching based on their biology alone.
I want a church that I can bring my gay family and friends, my turban and head scarf wearing family members, my single mom and single dad friends, my tattooed friends, and my loved ones of all hues, shapes, sizes, and ability levels WITHOUT seeing the entire congregation go bug-eyed and give themselves whiplash. One that will go up to them, embrace them, tell them that they are GLAD to have them in their midst to worship together. One that will not try to fix any perceived flaws, but simply walk together with them.
I want a church that will help me teach my children the truth of walking with God. That it is messy. That it is hard. That it is worth it. That will teach them what other people who have walked with God for centuries have learned. That there is gray area. That we can be filled with light, and that if you are truly filled with the Holy Spirit, you don’t have to be a know-it-all jerk with the “right” answers sent to enlighten those who have had different experiences.
I want a church that will STOP telling people that they are going to Hell multiple times each day. That doesn’t focus on human depravity first and foremost. That will instead focus on a loving God who plucks us from our darkness and fills us up with light. That sees the Divine stamped on us all. That focuses more on nourishing the spirit and body as one while they are unified during our lifetimes. That focuses on the messy work of LOVING instead of converting.
I want a church that will join hands with me and pray WITH me, not AT me when I’m struggling.
I want a church that I can show up to without a stitch of makeup and still be embraced and spoken to like a human being.
I want a church that doesn’t treat me as my husband’s subservient other. That recognizes that we are completely equal, completely one in leading each other through this life.
I want a church that is committed to loving and cheering on every member of the human family who has the courage to walk through the door.
Isn’t that what we’re supposed to be?
Why the heck is it so hard to find?