Strolling through the articles of one of my favorite sites I found this title–“Replacing Sunday Mornings.” I was intrigued and the article left me spinning, thinking. It’s essentially about the millennials, people born between 1981-2000, of whom about 60% have stepped away from the Christian church at some point during their faith journey. I am a millennial but I did not trek with them in their great migration away from the church. I have some friends who have, though they may not communicate it as simply.
The article was beautifully written and strikingly thoughtful. Its relevance rang loudly in my ears, resounding a familiar heartbeat of confusion and angst when it comes to church experiences. Huni and I have moved away from our local church as we have relocated for full time ministry. We struggle now to find a local body in our new location that meets our needs. Through the pain and loneliness of this period I link arms with the millennials and can see through their eyes and reason with their mind as to why one would leave the Christian church in search for something real, something true . . . community, truthful & graceful shepherding, Christ.
I know that so many people have had some really bad and hurtful experiences in the Christian church. Some people have suffered there or just been disappointed as their needs have not been met. This is real. But the thing is, it is not a true, full love that loves Christ yet does not love His bride. If you have relationship with Christ but not His church, your relationship with Christ is incomplete. I believe that Christ was not so much referring to a beautifully built building with doors perpetually flung open on well oiled hinges, stained glass windows and a steeple when He talked about “the church” as much as He was talking about the collective body of believers in Jesus Christ–the church, but our Sunday morning and midweek gatherings are an organized entity of the body that we call “the church” and it is real, relevant and important to Him.
I am in a season where, if I lived in a cooler city with more to do, the temptation to replace my Sunday morning would be REAL and I’d have to prepare myself through prayer starting Friday night, not to give in to the temptation to ditch that Sunday morning time in a worship space with other believers. But I press and Huni and I keep searching. And I believe that God cares about our faith journey and will lead us to someplace where our needs can be met and we can participate in meeting the needs of others. So I think you should read this article. If you are in a similar place, let’s pray for one another. God desires that we get back and trust Him to take care of us in those spaces.
What about you? Are you in a good space right now as it concerns your Sunday morning with a local body? Are you searching or have you left? Praying for all of us, no matter where we are. Praise God for His grace.