Every few weeks our pastor leads a class called PCC 101. Taught in two 90-minute sessions, it’s a look at the inside workings of our church; how it started, what we believe, why we do what we do, what we believe the local church is called to do and to be.
Every few weeks, I try to make the first 101 class. I’m inspired and energized and most often, moved to tears.
It’s the stories.
Brian asks every person, every time, to answer three questions:
- What’s your name?
- Why did you come to PCC?
- Why did you come back?
They begin, and one by one the stories unfold.
I haven’t been in church in 19 years.
My last church split. It broke my heart.
I’ve never been to church. Ever.
We had a baby. We thought we should raise our kids in church.
I drive by here every day. One day, I decided to stop.
I want to learn about God. I don’t understand anything about church.
The words come spilling out, and sometimes tears silently slip down their face. They reach over and clutch the hand of their significant other. They choose their words carefully. They talk about trust, and being hurt, and feeling judged. They talk about being able to hide until they are sure they’re not going to get hurt.
And often, they talk about walking into other churches and never feeling welcome. And lately, that’s what breaks my heart.
We’re not a perfect church. We’re not the best church in town. PCC isn’t better than any other place where folks are meeting to worship God. We’re not for everybody. Folks come, and folks go.
We just have open arms.
And I’m curious, if you have a moment:
Are you currently going to church?
Why did you go?
What made you go back?