"Where Everybody Knows Your Name"

"Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got.
Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot."

"Wouldn't like to..."
go to church?


Are you kidding?

Which sounds more inviting:
the Cheers theme song or Sunday worship?

"Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody
knows your name,
And they're always
glad you came"

What if church was more like a bar?

A place for "the sinners" to gather, to find comfort, a listening ear, and a friend.

Recently, I've become familiar with a church that has a bar...
well, sort of.

Their church was growing so fast that rather than build a larger building, they decided to start another service in a nearby town at the Legion (which does have a bar that is open during the church service).

I even heard some one say that they hoped the folks that were headed to the bar on a Sunday morning might hear the music and decide to come on over.

A beer in one hand and a Bible in the other... What a picture!

The "church goers" come early to the Legion pancake breakfast fund-raiser each month and then walk about ten steps over to the other side of the bingo-hall for "church".

Some of these folk have never been inside a church before this place, and fortunately, they never heard the lie that folks are "supposed" to pretend to have it all together in church.

"You want to be where you can see
Our troubles are all the same."

I couldn't help but think, this is what church is supposed to be like.
Come as you are. Leave with your burdens lighter (and no hang-over).

They end the service each week with this:
"Remember, when we leave, this place turns back into a bingo-hall; so take Jesus with you."

If you're like me,
"You want go where people know
People are all the same"

I'm not looking for the "perfect church" or for "perfect people". I just want to be with humble people that give grace and encouragement to any sinner seeking God.

People ARE all the same.
We are all sinners.

Lord, You hung out with tax-collectors and sinners, prostitutes and pagans, lepers and thieves, and me. You loved them, died for them, freed them from their sin, and made them saints. 

The Church was Your idea. Forgive us for the ways we've shamed You and distorted Your plan, through Crusades and Witch Trials, through out history and even to this very day. 

Build Your Church, Lord Jesus. Make us pure and beautiful, ready for Your return. Use me and the other imperfect people that You have forgiven to share Your love. This is my prayer until You return, when every knee bows and every tongue confesses to the glory of God the Father that: 
You, Jesus Christ, are Lord.  

Wherever we gather around the world, may it indeed be a place  
"where everybody knows YOUR name".