Dan at “Cerulean Sanctum” has written another excellent post called “Misfits of the Church.” (If you remember, a few weeks ago I linked to another great post in my post “People want real examples of organic church life.”)
In this latest post, Dan asks about “misfits” in the church – as you can tell from the title of his post. Who are the “misfits”? Well, according to Dan, these are people who just don’t “fit” into the current programs or organizations of the church.
He describes some of these misfits:
The one who creates beautiful art but who is told she can’t display it in the church building.
The one who hears from God but who is told such words are not appreciated.
The one who can see the roadblocks preventing growth and ways around them but who is despised because he is not ordained.
The one from the “rough background” who is forever limited by those who cannot put aside what he once was and did.
The one who failed once and will never be given a second chance.
The one who doesn’t agree with every denominational position and so will never be considered for leadership.
The one who warns people, who prefer the status quo, of the dangers ahead.
The one with great vision who is surrounded by those with little or none.
The one with many flaws but who loves people abundantly and unconditionally, just like Jesus did.
The one who is always serving, though not with the imprimatur of those in charge, and who makes them look bad for doing so.
As Dan says in his post, people who fall into the categories above – and many other categories – often “leave the church” because they do not fit in.
Dan ends his post with the following statements and questions:
I keep encountering more longtime Christians who are giving up. They’re not abandoning Jesus; they simply don’t know how to fit within the typical church. And it’s not for trying. I know these people have tried. But they’re weary of always receiving the left hand of fellowship, and they despair of ever contributing their God-given gifts because The Church™ does not want those gifts or it places ridiculous qualifications on their use that have no basis in Scripture and every basis in human selfishness and pride.
We talk, talk, talk, and talk about community in the Church, but what kind of community do we really have when someone is told to stop being the person God Himself is making him?
The Kingdom of God is filled with misfits, so how come our churches aren’t?
I want to echo something that Dan said above: the kingdom of God is filled with misfits. In fact, in a way, we are ALL misfits. Unfortunately, many church organizations have been designed for only a certain kind of misfits. Other misfits are too misfitted to join in.
Like Dan said, there’s a huge problem with that.
Can you think of ways that churches can open themselves up to other kinds of misfits?