Monday, October 09, 2006

Going to Church

I have mentioned that our family is attending a nice local church. For our small town, they would be considered a megachurch. While we attend most weeks, we couldn't be considered participants. I must say though, that it has been healthy to have the balance of being around a church like this while we sort through our post-charismatic baggage.

Although we don't necessarily embrace their activities wholeheartedly, we certainly respect and appreciate their vision and heart for reaching the lost in our community.

Because I've been thinking about ekklesia, I was interested in hearing the pastor's message this week about why we should go to church.

It was basically an encouragement to find some people to journey with (thankfully not a "why you should join our church because we're the best" message).

There was an invitation to get involved in small groups, which I agree are an important aspect of a large congregation. Also an explanation of the classes to provide information and get people on the same page.

Anyway, I agree with much that was taught. I kept thinking though that the one-anothering scriptures sound so different when we begin applying them to the wider body of Christ, to people outside of our group, instead of assuming that they only apply to the people within our club.

Those are my thoughts, not as a critique, but just as a person sorting through her own issues.

For additional thoughts about community, be sure to catch Fr'nklin's 4-part series called "ice breakers, oprah, and hermit crabs." I'm sure you will enjoy his ideas as he talks about the many different experiences of community.

4 comments:

John Frye said...

Grace,
It sounds like you landed in a "purpose-driven church." Did they use a baseball diamond for the class structures? I have wondered the same thing you have pondered: what if the "one another's" are to be lived for the sake of those outside the "club." Apparently Jesus wanted us to live the one anothers IN THE PRESENCE OF THE WORLD..."may the love you have for me be in them that the world may know that you sent me..."

PJ said...

Grace-
Thanks for the thoughts. It was encouraging to me. I haven't been to church in almost a year now except for twice and it wasn't Christmas and Easter. I wasn't sure I am ready yet after all the stuff I feel about church. After reading your blog for about 6 months now along with some of the others you have recommened I think I am ready to step out again. This one just triggered something in me. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Glad you are doing well visiting a new church. I have read your spiritual abuse articles and was flabbergasted because it perfectly describes the situation at the church I grew up in which I left six years ago. I am still confused by some things, and will probably never figure everything out until I get to heaven one day. Thanks for your helpful words of wisdom.
- Christy, Alabama

grace said...

john,
No baseball diamond. Are there any churches that aren't purpose driven? My parents' church (reformed) is just now doing the 40 days.

pj,
Thanks for commenting. It isn't always easy. Over the past 2 years of sitting in the back row there, I've experienced a lot of different emotions. My husband was still a little triggered after this message, feeling that there would be pressure to get more involved. One step at a time, I hope you find a place where you feel safe and loved.

Hi Christy,
It's nice to meet you. Flabbergasted is a good word!

I don't think it's necessarily possible to make sense of some of the things that happened (believe me, I've tried too) except to just accept that it was wrong. I'm glad the articles were helpful to you.