#thisischurch – people
‘I need a piss’. That’s how he greeted me. Up from my chair I’d gone over to help him. Really, I just wanted him to shut up and stop disturbing the church service. Secondly, I wanted to help this poor, vagrant man who’d rocked up at the ‘house of God’ on Sunday. Third, I was semi-curiously, judgementally pious. It’s not appropriate to reveal his name, even for the benefit of this story – because… I don’t actually remember it – a memory slip linked to points one and three above. Hopefully I loved. God only knows.
Under the tree
They say ‘Church isn’t about the building, it’s about the people’. It’s maybe a tired phrase, but it rings true. I remember interviewing a pastor from Nigeria on the radio who’d just had his church burnt down. He was holding his Sunday service under a tree. Definitely not about the building. I remember him as warm and gracious, if slightly exasperated by his new circumstances. This was church for him and his congregation. No bickering over pews, or coffee rota squabbles. Just heart and tears and Christ in their midst.
A lick of paint
My late grandma faithfully went to church every Sunday until Alzheimer’s. She would sit in the same pew, in the same place, every time. It wasn’t that she had OCD or simply loved routine. It was just that ‘that’s where she sat’. I don’t remember her talking much about God but she was faithful to the Church, trusting in God amidst the mess of life. A childlike faith is still preferable to no faith, when you’re 89 years old. The church itself was cold and dilapidated. But the hearts of the congregation were like a fresh lick of paint, every Sunday.
Three people, who’ve taught me three things about church:
- Don’t stay sitting, even when you’re meant to stay sitting.
- Hold church in any place you can, if necessary use a church.
- Go to church unless you can’t, and go with church to those who can’t.
Posted by Andrew Horton
Director, Worldview Media
This post is in support of the #thisischurch project. Run by those excellent people at @GodCulture and @ShareCreative. For more info go to http://thisischurch.me