Church Pastor, Can You…?

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Can you do this thing for me?
I mean, you don’t have anything else going on right?
I don’t think I’m asking much.

Can you give me a ride?
And be there when I need you?
Can you visit my mom in the hospital?
And can you make church better?

Actually, can you answer for the entire church?
And when I have an idea for something, can you be the one to execute it?
And when you do the thing I said you should do, but I don’t show, can you be cool with that?
Can you just create a church that meets my standards and lives up to my expectations?

When I post things online about how messed up the church is, don’t take it personally.
And can you be sure never to call me on it?
Because that’s probably your white fragility or you’re just man-splaining.
Seriously, can you just be what I need you to be?

And definitely don’t talk about money.
This thing is free right?
I mean my yoga class is $60 a session, but I just need it.

Speaking of money, can you get the church to give money to my cause?
And when it does, can I still complain about how the church never gives money to anything?

Can you be sure to always be accessible?
Like you’re on call for me 24/7, right?
Hey, how come you didn’t respond to my text last night?

Can you be sure to promote my event?
And when it doesn’t go well, can I blame you?
You’re coming right? No one else in the church has events right?

Can you meet me on your day off?
And can you make sure your sermon says what I told you I like to hear?
Oh, and can you update the website?
How come the podcasts are old?

I was thinking I should try to come to service once in a while.
But I was up late binging the new season and sometimes the free coffee is out by the time I get there.
Seems like you should probably get some more volunteers, can you get on that?
And that guy who talks too much in the discussion time, can you handle that too?

Can you make church modern but historic, inclusive but just for me, and welcoming of the outsider but ‘deep’ for us church folks?
Can you meet my needs for community but not expect me to give much back?
Can you be real with us, but not so real that I’d have to see you as more than a caricature?

Can you call out the things I don’t like about church, but keep doing the things that I do like?
Can you do my wedding for free and with a sense of professionalism, but not act like clergy all the times I don’t need it?
Can you have grace for my issues and the people I have grace for, but call out the people who I think are wrong?
Pretty simple right?

Can you be the object of all my critiques of religion?
Can you be the punching bag for all my frustrations with God?
Can you just let me tell you that you’re whats wrong with the world?
And don’t get discouraged, but if you do, please don’t show it.

In that vein, can you actually stop being a white man?
Seriously, I’m over those people.
In fact can you answer for all historic racism and injustice?
I mean you’re a white man, so… that’s on you pastor.

Can you be sure to not get on my case when I can’t make it to the service project at the homeless shelter?  Again, I was out late the night before.  Spent way too much on drinks and that Uber fare was crazy.
Seems like that shelter does cool work though.

In fact, can you get the church to do something about homelessness?
Oh and also poverty, education, human trafficking, education, equality, refugees, famines, droughts, the environment, gun violence, current legislation, police brutality, racism, healthcare, access to clean water, women’s rights, and everything else I’m passionate about in my facebook feed?
It’s about time the church runs a shelter, starts a school, or opens a hospital somewhere.

Can you be an anchor for my life as I travel and take jobs and leave?
I kind of forgot about you while I was away,
But now that I’m back in town, can I have a bunch of your time?
Like, we’re grabbing coffee and I’m staying at your place right?

Can you do these things for me?
Can you make me feel happy and safe while at the same time challenge me to grow?
Can you run an organization that’s well managed and tax compliant, but still makes me feel like it’s only all about relationships and authenticity?

Can you just be the church I long for?
Can I bring all my issues and still be loved?
I know it’s a lot.
But underneath it all, I need you.
I’ll learn to let go.

Because what I’m really asking is
Can you tell me I’m enough?
And point me towards grace?

Can you see me?
Can you walk with me?
Can you carry this burden?
Can you acknowledge my trauma?
Can you hold my pain?
Can you show me that you care?

I’m lost and I hurt.
I’m alone and I ache.
And I need some one.
I know you’ve got a lot going on, but can you?

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