Monday, January 10, 2011

I Dont Miss Church...

I went to church this past Sunday. We haven't been in awhile and i had heard through a friend about a church here in Statesville that sounded like somewhere my family and I would be interested in checking out. And since my kids were a little under the weather, I went in alone... and really liked what I heard and saw.... But that's not what I am writing about.

You may be thinking, "So, what's the big deal? Many people went to church Sunday."

But this was my first time walking into a church since the first of June 2010.

Again, so what?

Well, that's the longest I have ever been "not going to A church."

(I am going to be honest here...not brutally honest, but honest)

My wife has asked me a few times recently if I've missed not being in a church... My answer is immediately, "No, I haven't missed it." and that's the truth, I haven't. And quite frankly, the only reason we have been interested in finding a church, is to provide a place where our kids can be involved.

But here's the good part... I can also honestly say that I have never been more excited about my faith than I am at this time in my life. A few of you are probably calling "BS" right now because for many people, going to church every time the doors are open is the only way one gets into heaven, but I am just being honest. These past 6-7 months have been LIBERATING for me.

"How can this be?" you may be asking...

Well i said I had not BEEN to church in awhile, I never said I had not been EXPERIENCING church.

Over the past few months I've been involved in several small gatherings. We started meeting with a few of our close friends in our home every Sunday to share a meal and discuss theology and walk through the texts together. And I love it. I feel so refreshed after our friends leave our house on sunday nights.

And the same goes for the emergent cohort that we recently started here in Statesville. Our first meeting was awesome, and i left feeling like I had experienced something very good.

So that's where I am at... And while I know some of you are disagreeing with what you have just read, i also know that many of you can relate, and i am ok with that.

As alway, let me know your thoughts/experiences.


Matt said...

It appears early in the post that you are assuming church is the same thing everyone else assumes that it is. I know that you know this as well as anyone, but church is not the building that you walk into on a Sunday.

So you are experiencing church with a group of believers at your house, which is very possible. My question to you is what makes a church a church? I have a few ideas myself, but curious on your thoughts.

Two books I highly recommend outside of the Bible: Total Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis and The 9 Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever.

Also curious what you think of the quote by St. Augustine, "The Church is a whore, but she's my mother."

Jkub said...

Nope, not assuming that that's what church is... That was my point... Church is not a buidling, it's people.

And as far as what I think a/the church is... Well it can be/is many things...

I think a simple/generic answer would be.... The church is the body of Christ, the Word incarnate. Or that's what it should be. So to define it would take a little more space than available here.

I am also not interested in telling people what is and isn't church for them. For many, the traditional "go to a buidling on Sunday" understanding works and their church is doing great things. That's fine. Who am I to say who is and who isn't having/experiencing church?

Looking forward to your thoughts...

Matt said...

Agree fully with your simple/generic answer that the church is the body of Christ. And let me not forget to mention that I am thankful that although you "don't miss church" that you are in community with others as followers of Christ doing life on life, which makes the gospel visible to all people (John 13:34-35).

JustinGaynor said...

Wonderful insights J-Kub...I can't even begin to count all the places and ways Jesus did 'church' the end of the day it's not about ecclesiastical models...flat or hierarchical government...programs or cohorts...sunday school or house's about not neglecting the coming together in order to stir one another up...a psalm, a hymn, a prophecy, a parable, a teaching - western style (lecture) or rabbinic style (Q&Q/ Q&A-Personal fav)...examine everything and hold fast to what is good. In love...correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. It's about worship.

Matt...nice quote!