"Negative Church Experience"

July 22, 2022 | By Chuck

       I’m sure we’ve all had at least one negative experience at some point in our life.  Maybe your negative experience took place at a restaurant because the service or food was not what you expected.  Or, you could’ve had a negative experience at the store because you couldn’t find the item you needed or any help from a store employee.  Whatever the case, we’re all familiar with negative experiences and the feelings that come with those unfortunate occasions.  After the negative experience, the temptation is to avoid returning to that place in the future.  After all, there are plenty of restaurants and stores to choose from, right?  

            What if your negative experience was a negative church experience?  What if the preacher isn’t an engaging and exciting speaker?  What if you don’t like the singing?  What if hardly anyone talks to you on Sunday?  What if a brother or sister in the church hurt your feelings?  Any of these can lead to a negative church experience. 

Thankfully, there are plenty of churches in the area to choose from.  And I’m sure when a negative church experience occurs the first thought is, I’ll change churches.  Is that the right approach though?  Yes, I know there are times and circumstances when one may need to attend another congregation.  I’m just not convinced that every single negative church experience qualifies for a church changing move.  We are people and we are family.  People are imperfect and cause negative church experiences and family loves no matter what. 

            “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Col. 3:12-14).