Changing churches like underpants.

Hello everybody, it’s been a good while because of lots of stuff going on at work, also got a little sick for a while (while still working, yay). And life just has a way of keeping you busy right? Beeing single I don’t have a lot on my plate yet, but good golly, once you have a goal all of a sudden they’ll throw everything on your path to keep you from it. Anyway…

I was writing a bloggpost about music and church, I’m absolutly passionate about music, it’s a big part of who I am…wel lets just say I’m a musician. Put church into that mix and you have some really heated debates going on. And as I’m writing it I can’t quite nail it yet, it’s such a big topic. So I’ve been putting that one aside for a while.

The come and take a swim series had a really depressing one last time so I’m leaving that to rest a bit as wel (it took something out of me to write that honestly). The story is going to get exciting and pretty crazy from here on so hang in there if you’re reading that one.

Today I wanted to talk about something that I’m right in the middle of. When I popped my head into the local church scene I realised one thing after a short while, go shopping around until you find a place that feels right. And my goodness I’ve got some stories about that part of the venture (=> insert shameless plug for the come and take a swim posts coming up). The things you run into “church shopping” so to speak.

After a while I found a small group of people in someone’s living room, that felt just right. It had the hipster ex rock star pastor, plenty of interaction and room for debate. Some spirituality but not too much. And overal just a nice group of fellow believers to hang with. Fast forward a couple of years later, the pastor and his wife had a kid, our group got a bit bigger…jup we moved. And moved again, and finally again. Yeah it’s not a group of people anymore, it’s a full blown church now. With the whole sunday morning program and all kinds of activities on the side and whatnot. Which is great for them, I’m glad things are moving forward. For me personally however…I have to be honest with myself and others…it’s kind of becoming the kind of church I decided not to be part of when I got here. That and some other situations (you know how little things toghether make a big whole) have led me to stop going for a while. That little while became almost a year now.

And it’s becoming pretty clear to me, my parents, my friends, their parents,…it’s time for me to move on. As gratefull as I am for all the amazing times I’ve had there I feel the Lord is directing me elsewhere. I could stay around but it wouldn’t benefit me, or others.

What I want to share with this post, wether you’re a believer, agnostic, athiest,…or anything else for that matter. Is a little insight into the christian church culture and what goes through your mind when you end up in a situation like this.

In short, it feels liberating, dangerous, scary and depressing. It’s great to be free to be yourself again, because lets be honest some people feel right at home in the church culture…others don’t, and probably never wil. Now that doesn’t mean they’re not saved btw.

I’m one of those people, I like church and the church usually likes me a lot. But every once in a while I just gotta get out of there. To find myself again. Let me take you to something the Lord once whispered to me. I was praying (shortly as always) in the morning and I said, Jesus, lets have breakfast toghether. And I went out to buy some croisants. Now I’ll have you know Belgian croisants are usually more Belgian then croisant. If you want the real deal go more down south. So I get back, put the croisants on a plate and notice, they are slightly burnt. Not to the point where you’re wanna throw them out but just enough to take some edges off. It comes of like little shells (if you’ve had croisants you’ll know what I’m talking about). And as I’m doing this, I feel the holy spirit telling me “that’s how I want to undo you of your sin and wounds….but don’t take off too much…I need people to see who you are and where you come from”.

This was a couple of years aggo and I remember it every now and then. And it’s verry valuable because sometimes beeing part of a church leads you to do things that just aren’t you. They make sence for a lot of people, but if you’re like me then…you’ll know what I’m talking about. Somethings feel kind of forced. I’m not saying this to discount anyone’s expierience in church, that’s just me, somethings I just don’t feel with the best will of the world.

And so yes, it’s liberating to move on. But it also feels scary and dangerous. Because it’s a venture into the unknown again. It’s times like these where you actually have to put your faith to the test and see if you really trust the Lord as much as you claim you do. (after all we’re Christians right? Why wouldn’t we trust Jesus…and then you face something minor even like this…) With that in mind, be patient when you run across someone who’s looking for a new church or trying to find him or herself…you can have the best most honest intentions inviting someone to your church, but it’s not always the best for them. This is one of those things that really really takes God to put into the right place.

And I can’t quite put my finger on it, but theres this feeling of regret also. I would love for things to be diffirent again, but it just isn’t and it’s probably never going to happen. Standing on the starting line of a journey into the unknown is never as exciting to you as it is to the people in the future looking backwards.

I’ll think I’ll end with that…

PS. It’s funny as I’m writing this Journey’s Don’t stop believing starts playing in the background “Just a city boy, born and raised in south Detroit
He took the midnight train goin’ anywhere”…that’s right, whereever I go, I won’t stop believing by His grace 🙂

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