I Don’t Want to GO to Church



Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:23-25

Saturday morning. It doesn’t mean quite as much being the 22nd consecutive day out of school, but knowing we’re finally going to go back Monday does make it a bit more precious.

So, I’m going to try to use it as a normal Saturday instead as just another day. Sleep in, do a little housework, get some shopping done, you know, Saturday stuff.

Saturday is also “Start Discussing Where We’re Going to Church Tomorrow Day”.

Yes. That’s what Saturday has become since October when I declared myself on sabbatical and a few weeks later my family decided to join me.

You might wonder just how this “Day” gets celebrated. Well, it’s just like most holidays or deciding where to go out to eat!

The conversation typically goes something like this:

Either Chris or me: So, does anyone have any suggestions for where they would like to go to church tomorrow?

Silence.

The other parent: Somewhere we haven’t made it to yet, somewhere we’ve been and you’d like to try again? Somewhere we’ve been invited? To our own church?

Silence.

Me: I really need to know now. Tracking down church start times isn’t easy. Why everyone doesn’t just start at 11 anymore is beyond me. And most of the churches we haven’t already been to don’t have websites or facebook pages.

Sometimes we eventually get a suggestion or two. Sometimes they’re farther than we’re willing to drive…not once, but in case we were to fall in love. Typically we have no idea where we’re going to church until Sunday morning.

Yes, you heard me correctly. When we go to bed Saturday night we typically have no idea where we’re headed Sunday morning.

Me. The planner. The one who can’t stand not to know schedules months in advance. Who goes to church-wait for it–religiously, has no idea where she’ll be worshiping tomorrow morning let alone the rest of the month.

A couple Sundays we’ve wound up in a service because as we were driving around looking for a church to attend it was the only one that hadn’t started yet! Most in our community had already DISMISSED before we even got in the car and started looking.

Ok, I’ll be honest. That might have happened twice.

I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned about church in the past three months, though. We’ve been in traditional, blended, and contemporary services. Small, medium, and large congregations from rural to in town settings. Lots of media to no media. 

One day I’ll be ready to talk about what I’ve learned. 

Earlier this week I watched a YouTube video shot in a church. It’s called “When I Lay My Isaac Down-Billy Fields”  from Swauger Valley Freewill Baptist Church posted February 20, 2012.

I couldn’t use the video in my post, but I wish it would have been allowed. I have gone back to watch the video every day this week. Why?

Well, I want to go to church like that this week. Old school church. A special singer with a testimony song, a congregation that testifies throughout the song, and I have a feeling that when the preacher preaches you probably couldn’t hear a pin drop because the congregation is following the leading of the Holy Spirit. 

Listen to the people in the congregation. They didn’t come to church to be entertained, to be taught, to be seen. They came to have church.

If you GO to church, you’re driving to a building. If you HAVE church, you’re participating in the Spirit’s movement amongst believers.

Tomorrow, well, I don’t want to go to church. I want to have church.

(Yes, I know I typically share Contemporary Christian music, but I LOVE this song and it goes right along with my theme. Let’s HAVE church. Yes, you CAN rock out to this song!)

photo credit: Drriss & Marrionn via photopin cc

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10 responses to this post.

  1. I related to many of your comments. I think you figured out exactly what you want in a church, right? I'm from the old school as well, in many ways. However, I love Black Gospel and artists like Kirk Franklin, J Moss, Andre Crouch, Chicago Mass Choir, Hezekiah Walker, Fred Hammond, to name a few — what about you?

    Reply

  2. It's all about perception and what we are looking to get out of church. Instead of it being a burden, look at it as a blessing. Thanks for the post!

    Reply

  3. Augh. You remind me, that as a military family, just how often we have to go searching out a church. I dread that part. I hope that you find a church family soon, and the in meantime, that God gives you what you need to hear. Good luck!

    Reply

  4. My family has struggled to find a church that we really love, where we feel a connection. It just occurred to me that we haven't felt comfortable enough to HAVE church–we've just been going. Something to think about.

    Reply

  5. Carrie, I get this. Choosing a church and fitting in is a tricky business. I've got a series of posts coming on this soon. Unfortunately, we've experienced those dilemmas personally as a family too. A lot of us have. Thanks for your honest thoughts. God help us all find a place to make a difference!

    Evan
    http://www.EvanNehring.com

    Reply

  6. Hi, Carol! Hope you're having a great weekend! I read your first chapter and shared it with some friends. At least one is like me and dying to read on. Hopefully she'll purchase your book!

    Believe it or not, contrary to this post, I'm actually not looking for a church. I'm quite happy church hopping right now. I have issues with volunteering and over-committing myself, and if we were to go back to our membership or stop long-term somewhere else right now, well, I need to know what God is telling me to do. When I'm certain I'm hearing from Him and not my desire to feel needed, well, we'll cross that bridge when the Lord leads us to it!

    We're mostly contemporary Christian fans. However, I attended an old country church. Southern Gospel, Hymns, and a little bluegrass thrown in. As a musical family, however, we appreciate a little of every genre!

    Reply

  7. Nate,

    I've said for years that you will get out of church exactly what you put into it and you will find exactly what you're looking for. If I go looking for a blessing, well, I'll find it! Thank you for stopping it to chat! I love to talk and appreciate everyone's perspectives! Please stop back by!

    Reply

  8. Wendy,

    Thank you for dropping in! I've never had that experience, but have heard from acquaintances how cumbersome that can be. We aren't in a position to have to find a new church. Aren't even looking for a new church, truth be told. Just taking a break and seeing what the Lord has in store for us. I have found out that God provides the message we need regardless of where we worship.

    Thank you for sacrificing your convenience in order to be a military family! Our family will be lifting your family up in prayer!

    Please stop in to chat again!

    Reply

  9. Sonya,

    There is a church home out there for everyone. Just like I couldn't walk into a hospital and go to work, I can't walk into certain churches and join in worship. I know what goes on in a hospital. I've been to many. I'm capable of reading job descriptions and following directions/orders, but I'm not cut out to be a doctor, nurse, orderly, CNA, etc. It's just not ever going to work. I will never be comfortable in a hospital. It doesn't mean the hospital is bad. In fact, we need the hospital. It just isn't the right fit for me.

    Church is just like that. We have to find one where our beliefs, abilities, personality, etc. “fit” and are uncomfortable enough to be challenged so we can continue to grow. Don't give up, and please don't settle for less than God intends for you!

    Reply

  10. Evan,

    Thanks for stopping in join the conversation! I'm excited to read your posts. I've been working on one about the effect of community on church growth and one on why visitors don't come back.

    We're really just taking a break (sabbatical), but most importantly we're seeing where the Lord leads. 🙂

    Please drop in again!!!

    Reply

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