Church Life

Which Kind of “T.P.” Describes Your Church?

Disclaimer: If you are squeamish or believe that every picture or message about God and the church must be proper and finely tuned, do NOT read this post.  Read at your own risk.

Have you ever had one of those “Eureka!” moments that you felt like you couldn’t share with anyone? That happened to me today. One crazy thought led to a series of truths that are so, well, true.

They are truths about the church. Not the “big C”, Church, the living body of Jesus Christ where He is the head and all the pieces are being brought together and shaped into a living temple of the Holy Spirit. I’m talking about the church, the local assembly of believers that joins in a building to worship, pray, serve, and preach the Gospel.


Oh, and there’s one more thing you need to know up front. These truths are inspired by T.P. That’s code for toilet paper. Yeah, I know your mind is racing at top speed thinking about things it shouldn’t, so let’s jump to the good stuff.

Toilet paper is one of those things that every needs that no one wants to talk about. When one TP producer made a commercial about being stuck with a friend on a desert island, and only one roll of TP between the two of them, who couldn’t help but laugh? But the reality of being somewhere where a little piece of home means a lot should make us think twice about just how important something like TP is.

Now, we are far more advanced than previous civilizations when it comes to TP. But not all TPs are made equal. Some are one-ply and come on a roll. You know what I mean. It usually labeled as “commercial” or “institutional”. It tears off too high on the roll and you have to work at it to get more. Then there is two-ply, which comes in plain, quilted, and other styles.

When it comes to our homes, most of choose to pay a little extra for the comfort of “the good stuff” rather than fight with and complain about “the cheap stuff.” But then again, there are those who are content with what they’ve used all along, even if it isn’t as soft and cushy.

What does all of that have to do with church? Some of you may already be starting to connect the dots. But let me give you a quick rundown of one-ply versus two-ply. In this table I’ve added the label “Church” to each side, just to get you thinking.

One-Ply Church Two-Ply Church
Scratchy and rough Softer, but not extravagant
Flimsy Durable
Unreliable Still breakable, but able to do more
Forced upon all Chosen as a benefit to all
More on a roll because more is needed Uses less each time to last longer
Put up with Appreciated
Inexpensive, low investment Costs more

Do these pictures adequately describe churches that you know about or are part of? Some are one-ply churches that are rough, invest little and force their harshness on others? Others are two-ply churches that may still have issues from time to time, but are more concerned with paying a little more for the benefit of all.

Talk Back

Can you think of any other comparisons between one-ply and two-ply churches? How are you helping your church to be more durable, softer and appreciated?