(Link: please also see this page entitled, A Touch Of Perfection, which relates to this blog.)

Church is really the people not the building, but bricks and mortar is the first thing people see. But whether it’s dark and dingy, looking like it’s been standing way before the Tudors, or light, bright and modern, what makes a church building feel approachable is how the people inside are acting.

As Christians, we have got used to boldly stepping through the doors, to find a secure place to enjoy the service. But for many ‘outsiders’, this is not so. It doesn’t matter whether the seeking heart is desiring a traditional, structured service, happy-clappy fun, or something in between, we can be the ones to put those people off from walking through our doors (and settling in).

God wants us to be his light to show others what he is really like – unfortunately that can often leave God seeming quite pathetic doesn’t it?

The two poems below, ‘I Stood By The Door’ and ‘I Know A Sinner’ were written so that one follows on from the other. With regards to the latter, please don’t get offended folks – rather, let’s allow ourselves to become convicted and if anything touches a nerve, let us do something about it.

So, the purpose of ‘I Know A Sinner’, is not to judge or condemn any person, church or denomination, but to encourage us to take a light-hearted look at ourselves, then to take a serious look at where we need to improve, so that new people coming into our churches will receive the best welcome we can give – one which will make them feel accepted, embraced and drawn into the family we are already a part of. A family where they can get to know the Father really well.


I Stood By The Door

I stood by the door,
It sounded ideal.
They were together,
Their joy was so real.
A church praising God,
For all he has done.
Not ashamed to sing loud,
Not ashamed to have fun.
I heard some laughter,
And it made me cry.
I’m rather confused,
And I feel so shy.
If I open this door,
That blocks me from the rest,
Would they be concerned
About my spiritual quest?
I know a bit about Jesus,
And I’d love to know more,
But will I be someone
They will ignore?

Perhaps, they’ll say ‘Hi’,
And ask me my name
And look into my eyes,
Discerning my shame.
Then they’ll turn away,
Leave me standing alone,
And I’ll try to be grateful
For the ‘love’ I’ve been shown.
Well, maybe that’s better,
For I’m really quite scared,
I’ll have to give answers
That I’ve not prepared.
What type of questions
Will I be asked?
Will they want to know everything
About me and my past?
There’s a board on the grass,
Saying, “All welcome inside.”
But will I find a true friend
In which to confide?

Though I stand in the cold,
With the door tightly closed,
My heart is racing
And I’m feeling exposed.
Am I good enough
To join in their song?
Will I feel I fit in?
Will I really belong?
They all know each other,
Why should they need me?
Is my desperation
Something they will see?

I stood by the door
And the preaching began,
About a Saviour who reached out
To every man.
Will they come out to me?
I’m so scared of rejection!
Could I be part of their group,
Or will they require perfection?
I want what they have,
I want to feel their peace,
And talk to God in a way
That brings a release.
But I’m so uptight
Because of all I’ve heard,
About sowing seeds,
And spreading the Word.
Can they cultivate me?
I need to be planted.
Do they value my soul,
Or just take me for granted?

The thought of knowing Jesus,
Really appeals,
But do they realise
How scary this feels?
If I could sneak in,
Would I get what I want?
‘Don’t want like to be forced
To sit at the front.
If the chairs are in a circle,
That would give me a fright.
Until I’m used to all this,
I want to be out of sight.
When the service starts,
Will there be a cause
For new people to stand,
And receive great applause?
And if I feel uneasy,
Once I’m in there,
And decide to walk out,
Will everyone stare?
Do I need my own songbook?
Should I know the ‘Lords Prayer’?
Are they all dressed up?
Will they judge what I wear?
I so want a family
Who give love without begrudging,
And even though they know my past,
Not a single one is judging.

With hot tears flowing,
I stood by the door,
But I really couldn’t face,
This stress anymore.
I touched the handle,
Then walked off and cried,
Will I ever feel like
I belong inside?

I Know a Sinner

I know a sinner
Who dared to enter.
He took a seat,
Right in the centre.
Someone came up and said,
“I do not approve,
You’re in my chair
So you’ll have to move.
Don’t bother me with questions,
Just get saved,
Then do like us,
We’re all well behaved.
You can’t sit here,
And my friend sits there,
So please will you go…
Find another chair.

I know a sinner
Who can’t use his limbs.
He’d love to come in
And sing a few hymns.
The building is placed
Above the ground floor,
With seventeen steps
Up to the front door.
They said, “You’re chair’s too heavy,
And marks everything it touches.
Come back when you can manage
With a nice pair of crutches.
(But please don’t take that
As a personal invite.
For we were just trying
To sound nice and polite.”)

I know a sinner
Who has four little boys.
They like to be active
And make lots of noise.
The people got annoyed
As they played on the floor.
“Yes” They exclaimed,
“What shall we do with these four?
We’re a family church,
And we stick by that rule,
But no-one wants to teach
In the Sunday School.
There’s no time to prepare
Lessons in the week,
And no-one’s a teacher
So we lack the technique.

(Acting out plays,
Makes us feel a fool….
And singing ‘kiddie’ songs,
Is very uncool.)

I know a sinner,
Whose ear- drum is broken.
He can’t hear a sound
When words are spoken.
There’s thousands of deaf people,
Living in our nation,
They come to church needing
Sign interpretation.
We are not ashamed of them,
So we make no remark,
But we’d prefer it if they sat
At the back in the dark.

I know a sinner,
Who walked in with no hat.
They said, “You can’t join us
Looking like that!
Show us you’re holy
By looking morose.
A smile is okay,
But don’t get too close.
We don’t like to hear
A sound out of dames,
We have theology house groups,
And never play games.

I know a sinner
Who could sell any drug.
He made lots of money.
It made him quite smug.
He read the Bible one day
And became a new man.
Jesus had changed him,
Like only he can.
But no-one in church,
Was impressed with his past.
Some even hinted
His new life would not last.
Lonely and confused,
He said, “God cannot love me.”
So he swallowed a tablet
Engraved with an ‘E’.

(We pointed the finger
With gossip and chatter.
He died while we fussed
Over things that don’t matter.)

I know a sinner
Who was very skilled,
At ordering Christians
To be tortured and killed.
He met God and repented,
Said, “What do I do now?
You want to use me,
My question is, how?”
Meeting Ananias,
Put an end to his search;
He was accepted at once,
By this man from the church.

I know a sinner
Who could be the next Paul.
He has the potential
To fulfill his high call.
Lord, help us realise
That this may depend,
On whether we’re prepared,
To be his good friend.
That we don’t go to church
For ourselves alone,
People need to feel
They have found a home.

Of this one thing,
We can be assured,
We would still be lost,
If we’d been ignored.

Here’s the link: