I love church. I love the people and community, I love hearing the sermon, singing the songs and reciting The Affirmation of Faith and The Lord's Prayer. I love taking a moment of peace to pray amongst others in prayer. It's quite beautiful to think of people all in union together speaking to God and sharing their most intimate thoughts, hopes, dreams, regrets, fears and love for each other, their community and our world. If for only a minute, negativity moves away and a conversation of love, commitment and forgiveness takes place.
So, if I love church so much, why aren't I going?
After spending many years working in churches, it was important to step away. At first, it was important to step away because it can be confusing for a congregation to have the person they formally expected things from to now be in a different role. And confusing and frustrating for their replacement. Then I recognized it was important for me. I needed time to take a breath and truly discover what I believe and where my spiritual connection was leading me.
What I have, and am discovering is that being a person without a church home is not easy. Especially if you've always had a church home. Going from one church to the next to find the right fit can be disheartening. I've talked to people who love contemporary and non-demoninational. They love the band and the larger than life production. They love the bigness and the lessons taught about everyday living. I've talked to people who love the smaller more intimate church, that can sometimes feel like you've stepped back in time. The sermons connected deeply in scripture and the service filled with well know affirmations and prayers. I've talked to people who say their spirituality is best felt in nature. As they walk, hike or sit and pray and see the world as God formed it for us. And others, connect through television ministry. They like watching or listening in their home, privately. Just because that is where they are most comfortable or because of an illness or other challenge that does not allow them to attend a church physcially.
So...now my challenge is to determine where do I feel feed by the spirit. For me, it is a multitude of things. It is a small to mid-size church that is rich in tradition. It is a place with faces that become familiar over time because you've connected to them each Sunday. It is a place where I can volunteer and make a difference for the church, the community and the world. It is a place that has intimate Bible study groups. It is a place with laughter and tears and a deep sense of family. But, I also need a place of quiet connection. Whether that be meditating at home, reading different views from a variety of spiritual people - Richard Rohr, Sarah Parsons, Michael Singer and Jessica LaGrone just to mention a few, listening to the app "Pray as you Go" or sitting quietly looking at nature and our amazing world.
With all of this said, I challenge you - sit and truly think about your spiritual connection. Are you being feed? Have you found your place each week where you make an appointment for God that exceeds your daily spiritual rituals? And... does this place fit, really fit? Fit like it's always been there waiting just for you. As I challenge you - I am challenging myself - my time is now. I too, will seek out my weekly fit, to add to my daily rituals. And with the above list of my needs in mind, I am excited for my next step.
Have you written your list? Are you ready for a deeper commitment either where you are currently worshiping or in a new place? And most importantly, are you excited for your next step?
Grace, Peace & Healthy Living,