Thursday, October 11, 2007

Churchface

When we get in a group of believers and fake it. That's churchface.

I guy I respect a lot (more than he realizes) once shared with me the philosophy of "Fake it till you make it." He wasn't using it in church terms, but rather demonstrating how to handle myself as a manager. In essence, if you act like something that you're not, for long enough, you'll become that person. IE if I act tougher I will eventually be tougher.

Doesn't work. Basically, what happens is that you become something you weren't meant to be, you become a pale imitation of something else that you're just really not. So, instead of becoming a tougher manager, I learned to be a jackass, and I'm fighting every day to unlearn that.

In church, too often the same thing is expected. We learn to say words like "steadfast" and "travelling mercies" and "sanctified". We learn to pray like the others and do like the others so that we can feel like we belong with the others. But if you dress a chimp in a tux you've still got a chimp.

My wife and I are in a small group from our new church and we're truly enjoying the company of our newfound friends. Truly. The conversations are real and not held back. There is frank honesty, confession, heartfelt stories, true salvations from the depths. We can laugh and we can cry and we can talk about stuff that bugs us and not feel that it's un-Christlike to be stressed out about things. Other than the severely judgemental holier-than-thou types, I'd be hard-pressed to think of a person who would feel out of place.

And yet, I am feeling a little out of place. I practiced "fake it till you make it" for a little too long. Being among these fine folk has made me realize that. It bugged me as I was drifting off to sleep last night, that I could only get (and give) so much in this fellowship if I'm still, subconsciously, wearing churchface.

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