You wish every church says this in their bulletin. I wish every church acted like they intend to in their bulletin.

That statement was quite brutal on face value. But I hope you can hear me out. 

There was a blog that went out by some people which was admittedly quite inspiring. You can read it here. 

This is a church bulletin that welcome you if you sing, act younger than you are, have a past, are poor, drive in NASCAR, or have a gambling addiction. 

It is a great bulletin. It's a great statement. It's very powerful. And sorely does need to be said. But it's tougher to do. 

I've been involved in church a good number of years in my life. I've been to quite a few in the City of Calgary. And while I believe that the intention of the churches has been acceptance, it hasn't always been the case. I'd like to share my perspective. 

I wasn't a rich person growing up. I had to scratch and claw to make ends meet at times. That scratching and clawing didn't bring me nice clothes or a sense of style. Or social skills. In the early 90's, I had crazy hair. Hair that went up...and up...and up, I was also loud. Not because I shouted, I was just loud. (Still am). Also, I was at times kind of rude and a jerk to some. 

Those things didn't help me fit in to the groups. I wanted to and tried to, but at times I felt like the outsider. There was always someone better looking to talk to than me, for some. Or smarter. Or had a haircut. 

That being said, I have made some great quality friends at church. Some have been friends for a long time. And those I treasure. And I have made some changes in my life so I am easier to get along with. Maybe my worldview doesn't quite fit into most churches, but I can say I'm generally accepted 

Also in the time I have been at church, I have seen others go through the same rejection I did. For different reasons, but still. Many that have a past at times haven't felt that they fit in church. Perhaps because they have had some stuff happened to them. Perhaps there is other circumstances that lead to this. 

Last Sunday at my church, I met someone who went to the church for the same length of time that I did. And it was the first time I met her. I find that odd, in a place that is intentionally welcoming, that it takes that long to meet people. I also find it odd that at most churches we are actually told by the person at the front to shake hands with our neighbour. 

The point I'm making is as much as churches want to be those types that accept everybody, it actually is tough to do. The reason I think is because it takes time to do that. Any quality friendship takes that. People go into most churches with the expectation and hope that they will be, but can be disappointed when it is not. 

People come to church based on what they see in a bulletin. They will stay based on what they see in the community.