Do you love your church zealously? Or do you let its imperfections get to you? (Pexels)

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Church is imperfect. Leaders are imperfect. You are imperfect.

And it's really time to get over the backbiting, the bickering and the slandering of your church. I have a better idea: what if you decided to love it?

I remember when a friend was struggling in his marriage. The feelings weren't there. They were fighting often. Tension was high and romance was low. Do you know what turned it around? He decided to love her. He decided to appreciate her. He made a decision to romance. He learned that what you invest in, grows. What you appreciate, appreciates.

My wife had to stay home with our sick daughter this weekend. But Tyler came with me Saturday and Sunday. He hung out for all 8,000 rehearsals. We sang together. We talked to people together.

I'm glad he can grow up in a church. not a perfect church. But a church, nonetheless.

To Press In or to Withdraw?

Here's what I've noticed in my own life: when I'm closest with Jesus, the less I criticize and find fault in every environment and leader around me. It's because my attitude is in check with the Holy Spirit. It's because I'm in a good place of humility, dependence and pouring my life out for the gospel.

Of course, I don't agree with everything. Of course, imperfect people lead me, pray for me, preach to me and lead worship. But I'm more inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt when my heart is submitted. Rather than defaulting to criticism, I pray for them, understand the struggle of ministry and stay focused on the right things.

But when I wander, when I try to live in my own strength, I start to get offended and hurt by every little thing. Rather than attending my local church out of obedience to God and a commitment to the kingdom, I'm only concerned with how I'm served and treated.

Should I press in to the church or withdraw? I'd rather have a bias of pressing in. Of being who God has called me to be. Of loving what Jesus has chosen to love.

Worship leaders, let's develop a culture of musicians who are into Jesus and committed to the local church, not just the opportunity to be on a stage.

Let's stop being nitpicky about little things and instead, be leaders. Leaders who make change happen. Leaders who lead with a bias towards action and a good attitude.

David Santistevan is a worship pastor at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

This article originally appeared at davidsantistevan.com.

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