Karl Vaters: Why I’ll Never Give Up on the Church

When I hear about people leaving the church, my heart breaks.

Certainly, the church is messy. It’s broken. It’s in constant need of repentance, forgiveness, revitalization, renewal and reappraisal.

That’s how it is with families.

And, because the church truly is a family, I’ll never give up on her.

Yes, a family. An actual, real-life, in person, not-a-metaphor family.

When our ideas about the church are theological or institutional, we make the church an easy thing to leave. But the church isn’t a building, a denomination, an organization, a theological construct, or a series of beliefs.

It’s the people we meet within those institutions.

The church is people. People create families.

The Hope of Family

Certainly, we’ll have the occasional falling out. We’ll argue.

Sometimes we’ll walk away in anger, yelling “I’m done with you!”, only to find ourselves commiserating with other estranged family members with similar hurts and frustrations so we can talk together, share our pain together, pray together . . . you know, have church together.’

This is why, even though my heart breaks when I hear about people walking away from the church, there is always hope.

Because even when we’re estranged from our family, we’re still mysteriously and inextricably a part of it.

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Source: Christianity Today