So yes, we’ve made a return to church. And an “institutional” one, at that. Why? Did we suddenly change our mind about the fundamental things we don’t like about church? Nope. There are many things we still disagree with in principle. But the truth is, we simply needed community and were willing to accept the fact that no church is going to be perfect.
Starting over in a whole new country helped. If we were still in south Georgia we would not have returned. We had the community in Christ that we needed down there and were not led in any way to interact with the traditional churches any longer. But much is different here in far away Canada. And, we needed to get plugged in. We needed the support, the family.
So we picked a large church in line with our beliefs hoping that the more people that attended, the more chances we’d have to find someone to form a genuine connection with. Super spiritual method, yes? So far, it seems to be working out.
I still don’t like worship services and still prefer a small group to a lecture format and I still don’t even want to know what it costs to financially maintain the church we’re visiting, but I’m trying to have a good attitude about the things that don’t do it for me – to look past those things for now and just make personal connections with the people. Because, let’s face it – it’s much harder to be critical about the worship service when the leaders have been in your house that week and you’ve been in theirs.
My current weapon against the church is intimacy.
And it’s obvious to me that God knew we needed to be wooed back to his bride because the folks at this new church have been courting us pretty righteously. We’ve been invited to dinners, given food and clothes, contacted personally about things happening in town that might interest us.
There’s still the cynical side of me that says, “This is the honeymoon, Jessica. Churches are always nice in the beginning. That is the nature of dating.” But I’m ignoring that voice as well as I can and just putting one foot in front of the other. Spewing less haterade. Applying more golden rule.
Because the Church doesn’t need more hate. It needs more love.