The Mister and I have engaged in a silent Battle of the Churches.
He attends White Rock Baptist and I fellowship with the Good Reverend Doctor at Prayer Chapel COGIC. The Bible and anyone with an opinion feels that a family should attend the same church. Whatever. Despite my tumultuous relationship with my church I know that any given Sunday, I will leave feeling uplifted and caressed by the loving hand of God. When I leave White Rock, I have heard a good word, but have to shake myself awake (this I carry from childhood. Baptist church was such a CHORE!).
Plus, my church is a 15 minute walk from home with Upper Darby community ties. The Mister’s church has the same community ties for Philly, but walking isn’t an option especially when I’m rocking heels.
Last week White Rock held their Youth Week. The church had Game Night, Bowling Night, Joy Night and Youth Lead Prayer Service.
Prayer service compared to my church is the same yet different. The youth led with songs, however the key is a high G, a range I could never reach. I’m more of a Patti Lupone Evita era mezzo-soprano, so I stumbled through the songs as best as I could. At my church, we would have had a drum, a trumpet, organ, and tambourines. Stuff to mask that I can’t carry a tune. At WR, it’s the melding of voices that create a harmonious offering to the Lord.
Next was testimonials, again led by the youth. It’s amazing how shy these otherwise raucous kids can be. Most thanked their families, the Lord and asked for continued prayer. Even the Boy jumped up to give thanks for summer vacation and his family. One kid asked for continued prayers as he struggles to find his footing as a ‘black male in a crazy world.’ It was touching to see and hear so many of the future giving thanks to the Lord.
Then we did the intercessory prayer. People and things were called out randomly throughout the church.
As we closed, I noticed that the kids who were photographed for game night didn’t quite match up to the numbers for the prayer service. It’s amazing how folks can show up for the fun, but not the spiritual. I also see that it’s the same faces that attend the functions.
Unfortunately, my church has the same problem.
Somewhere along the way, the church lost their hold in the community. Not all members from both churches live in the community, so after a long day at work or what have you, who feels like driving another hour to get to the church? Then there’s the lack of knowledge about what a church can and should provide. Some people equate a church to the Madison Avenue (Mad Men is back for the season, yeah, baby!) caricature handing out turkeys and alms to the poor. Unfortunately today’s church doesn’t seem to have the bodies to live up to this image.
Most times I can barge in on the GRD with my latest problem. He listens than pushes back and holds me accountable for the issue I’m boo hooing about. This is countered by the cliqueness and sometimes cattiness of the Church Folk. Church Folk are the Super Christians, the religious folk who can quote scripture, but don’t live it. The ones who decided they do indeed have a heaven and Hell to place one in and pass judgement rather than a helping hand to the newbie Christians or even those that have stumbled. Usually, these are women around my age, who themselves are just a Sunday away from sinning themselves. At The Mister’s church, the people are nice enough, and thanks to the sweetness of my kids, extend kindness my way. But Baptist have their own version of Church Folk. They can usually be found working in the kitchen.
I think it’s a shame that more people don’t see the value in attending church on days other than Sunday. Don’t expect to see me in church daily, but, know I’m building my church family one step at a time.