(Warning: this blog is all about my Christian faith. If this makes you offended, I'd encourage you to read it anyway and humor me : )
This last Sunday I celebrated 6 years of dedication, commitment, and love. We've definitely had our ups and downs, fights, misunderstandings, and share of hard times, but it's been worth it.
Six years ago, I stepped onto the stage and committed to love a church named Trinity in North County, St. Louis. I initially was hired to just play some music here and there on Sunday mornings, and 6 years later, it's blossomed into a full-fledged music director position. I didn't know what I was getting into – I didn't understand church politics, I didn't understand how much work it was going to take, and I never dreamed that would be here 6 years later. I'm thankful.
To be frank, Trinity has always been a church full of amazing people, but I have never been part of a group that has struggled so much to keep consistent leadership. We've been through three pastors since I've been attending, and almost a half dozen right before I came to Trinity. As a result, visions have changed, goals have shifted, and people have come and gone much throughout my time here.
Honestly, helping to lead worship has been a very trying, very growing experience for me. I never knew I could be as patient as I have been, or that I had as much to learn relationally as I have learned. There have been moments were I was angry with people in the church, and where people in the church were angry at me (with good reason, usually).
The reason I'm writing a blog about this isn't to necessarily celebrate my time with Trinity, but more to answer a question I've been pondering: why should anyone stay with a church, especially when it gets difficult to be part of that church? Why stay when people hurt you? When people break their promises to you?
I think the greatest reason, as a Christian, is because we're supposed to model Christ's faithfulness to us.
He's been faithful to me when I was rude, selfish, ignorant, and deliberately rebellious. He continued to support me despite the many ways I've been unfaithful, and in spite of me not ever deserving anything that he gives me.
And He doesn't just put up with me- He calls me a friend, a brother. It's mind blowing, and should inspire a similar response when we fully grasp the full depth of the gift we've been given. How can we give less grace to our brothers and sisters in the church, regardless of the mistakes they've made?
I may not always attend Trinity Church, but I pray that if I ever leave I will leave not because I have lost the ability to extend a pale shadow of the grace that was extended to me, to my brothers and sisters in Christ.
So here's to 6 years, Trinity. Thank you for bringing me closer to Christ, for encouraging me, and for loving me. And most importantly, for giving me the opportunity to love.