Sunday, July 1, 2012

Chicken and Church

In our little town (population 9,000) we have:
19 churches
4 stop lights (not counting the bypass)
3 fast food restaurants
2 Casey's gas stations and we used to have
1 Kentucky Fried Chicken
Then they closed and built a new KFC/Taco Bell combination restaurant just off the highway. 

The whole town grew excited!
New improved chicken AND tacos!! Hubby and I made lots of mental plans to make a run for the border on those late nights when we got hungry.
Except we were never up late
and I never get hungry while I'm sleeping.
Needless to say we've never ran for the border.
As parents to 5 active children we're in bed by 10:00 p.m.

Boring, I know.

Here's where I'm going.... the old KFC had terrible, really terrible service. So bad you had to be desperate for that special recipe, finger lickin' good chicken to go there. On two separate occasions I went to pick up a bucket of chicken and was told by the greasy faced teenager at the cash register they were - and I quote -

"Out of chicken"
I shook my head as if I misheard, "What?"
"We're out of chicken"
"How can you be out of chicken!!! You ARE Kentucky Fried CHICKEN!!"
He just shrugged.

The second time it happened (I am not kidding) I vowed never to go back. But when KFC closed and reopened under new management, in a new location (with tacos!!) I gave them another chance. I mean they do have amazing coleslaw. Everyone deserves second chance, yes?

Big mistake.

Their reputation for poor service, low quality product and their new policy that gravy now counted as one of your sides (are you flippin kiddin me?!?!?! Gravy is a SIDE!?!) I was done giving them my business.


I recently met up with an old acquaintance. We were catching up on the good old times, swapping stories and sharing a laugh. It wasn't too long into the conversation however that he confessed that he and his wife were miserable at church. Explanations of power struggles, bad music and unChristlike personalities rolled off his tongue quicker than I could stop him and tell him I really didn't need to, nor really want to hear all his stories. But as a former preacher's wife some people seem to still gravitate to asking my advice on spiritual things. This is not something I'm thrilled about.

We're each on our own journey.

In hindsight I wish I had told this old friend that I don't eat Kentucky Friend Chicken anymore. Since KFC was terrible I stopped going there. If a Sunday morning gathering, church if you will, is also terrible I would stop going there too.

Am I comparing apples to oranges?
Perhaps this blog will just anger you and you'll tell me the church isn't there to SERVE up spiritual-ness like restaurants serve food.
But I know that.
I get that.
Trust me as someone who's spent their whole adult life 'in ministry' I get that more than anyone. Nothing was more head banging-ly frustrating then spending my life's work on people who demand I serve them the gospel according to how they want to hear it.

And yet here I am suggesting that if a church is terrible
(and let's be honest, there are terrible congregations/pastors/deacons/elders)
why go?
Seriously, why go?
Because you have to?
Because you feel guilty if you don't?

I don't see that Jesus ever taught I have to attend Sunday morning and that I should feel guilty if I don't. Nowhere does it say the Book of Life is actually an attendance record of Sunday School.

So should we go?

Listen, I'm not suggesting we abandon the Body of Christ as believers.
I'm not.
At all.
So when my friend asked me where my family attends church I gulped and answered honestly with,  "We don't".
(Let the scandal begin. Former pastor attends nowhere!)

I don't want to attend church as must as I want to be the church.
And I have no idea (not yet anyway) how to accomplish that.

So for now I sleep in on Sunday mornings and I don't eat chicken.

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1 comment:

  1. Be the church--that's the call, isn't it? But, how do you do that without being in community? Isn't that what it's about? Thanks for giving me something to think about today.


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