20070408

church of misfits

it wasn't that long ago when i was asked by a pastor of another church if i did not pastor the church i was currently at, what church in town would i attend? the question tossed me back a bit, but got me thinking; and i did not have an answer. so, this pastor looked at me and said i could "give him an answer in a few week" - basically he gave me some time to "think it over and get back" with him. while i did not think it was a very important question, i did want to answer it; so it took me a few weeks to think of all the churches in the town, all the pastors and all the people. a few weeks later he came to the church for a visit and asked if i had thought about the question - i did and i told him, "none."

it seemed that was not the "right" answer, but it was my honest answer. he asked why none? so i told him - and this is what i shared -

i am a misfit. i do not fit in the normal church, and i do not think like a normal church goer - i act different, think different and see things different, so i know i would not fit into any other church - because i am a misfit and i pastor well to a church of misfits. for example -

i tend to think outside the box, and when i am told i have to think "inside the box" i tend to not desire to be involved. it is like chaining me to a pole and telling me "this is the way we do things around here" - i do not do well in that kind of church.

while i would not say i was "liberal," i would also say i was not "conservative" either; and i would not say i was "middle of the road" - i just tend to see things with the heart of grace and forgiveness. i do not like pointing fingers and i do not like gossip - in fact, i find both to be church killers.

i am, what some call, a "red letter christian" - meaning? i tend to take the words of jesus over any other words in scripture. i do not care what moses said, or what paul said - i care about what jesus said - i filter everything through the words of christ - everything.

i am a misfit - i know it, i have accepted it and i trust that God made me this way for a reason - so, i live the life of a misfit. for some, to think themselves a misfit seems wrong, well for me it is just being honest with who i am - i am a misfit - just that simple - and i minister well to "the church of misfits"

7 comments:

Lily said...

Thanks for saying this. Made my day.

I'm learning to be OK with myself as a "mistfit".

mike said...

i'm a misfit... i recently left a church i was pastoring because i was a misfit... i am sick and tired (so very tired) of churches and people trying to "do" church by copying what other churches "do". i'm a misfit, because i believe that God is at work within every community / communitas of people - not that we have to reinvent everything... but we do need to be open to the fresh thing(s) that God is doing.
keep on being a misfit... keep on blogging about being a misfit... it encourages other misfits

Makeesha said...

but if there's lots of us, does that really make us misfits? since we "fit" in with eacother?

I hear ya brother, thanks for this honest reflection. My husband and I feel the same way and just recently have resigned ourselves to our misfit status and then EMBRACED it. now, it's exciting in a weird creepy misfit sort of way ;)

if someone asked me that question, I would also say none. Maybe that doesn't make us misfits, maybe it makes us pioneering apostolic leaders...eh?

John said...

It's good to come across fellow misfits. Great post.

Miracle said...

Thanks alot John. In two years I was planning on serving in the New England area and call it "The Misfit Faith Community". Well now everyone will be doing it because of your brilliant article.

Great piece and I agree that its quite difficult to sit in a pew where people give you goofy looks for saying that Jesus not Paul is the source of my theology.

St. Kristopher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
St. Kristopher said...

A pretext to my reply: I have never posted here before, thus you do not know me, but let me assure you that anything I post now or in the future is said in love, and I hold myself accountable to the readers in regard to this. So to my reply to the above article:

We may call ourselves misfits, though this does not make us better than those who fit in. I too have gone through the process of feeling like an outsider, and man does it hurt. Though often the pain is for the good of the church, as I think that it is often the misfit’s job to help make the holes a different shape.

My concept of church has changed recently. I have a few different groups of friends, who each have many different opinions on life and following Jesus. I have come to see that when I am with them, I am with (not at) the church.

So if I were asked that question I would answer "What do you mean I thought we are the church and we are together here in love.”

Now the idea of the Church and a specific church many not be new, though there is a deeper level to this. I am coming to see Church membership and specific church attendance, as divisive issues. Everything becomes about us (or me) and them. I am in favour of blurring the lines on this and start coming together with our differences, differences that make each one of us so unique and special I Gods eyes. We must stop seeing ourselves as misfits and start to find common ground with others. I would recommend LOVE as a good starting point.