By, Lance Moericke
The church is one of the greatest things that you can commit to. It’s a place for hope and a place to give praise to the Creator of the universe. It’s a place for healing, fellowship and connecting with the Holy Spirit.
I was raised in a Baptist church and have been a regular churchgoer my whole adult life. I was a youth pastor, twice, at two different churches and I loved it. But it was a love that didn’t last.
About a year-and-a-half ago I resigned from my position as youth pastor. Three months later I stopped going to church all together.
I thought I was going to feel really bad about it but the opposite happened; it felt great. Waking up on Sunday mornings was no longer stressful but peaceful. And then a funny thing happened after about three weeks. Instead of feeling obligated, I actually wanted to go to church. I went to a local church I hadn’t been to in long time and it felt great. I was apprehensive at first but when the service was over I felt something I hadn’t felt in a long time. Fulfillment.
What was I missing? Was it because I wasn’t asked to give any money? Was it because the pastor didn’t make me feel guilty for not volunteering enough? Or was it simply the fact that I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit?
Over the last year I started to seek God in a lot of different ways. On the Sundays I didn’t feel the urge to attend church I would explore other options to get close to Him. I would take my guitar out and sing praise songs. I would look up historical facts about Israel and how the Bible correlates with its history. I would look online for different pastors and speakers to learn from – North Coast Church and Elevation Church have great resources for that. I slowly started to realize that “church” could look different for everyone.
Now please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying to leave your church tomorrow so you can stay home and watch football all day.
I’m asking you to think about church differently.
Too often church has become a place – especially for men – where you clock in, take your customary seat, say a few “Amen’s,” give a few handshakes, and then go eat. I hope I’m not the only one who feels it shouldn’t be that way.
I read this quote from Howard Thurman that says, ““Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Now replace the word “world” with “church” and reread it.
That’s really powerful because what the church needs is people who come alive. If you feel alive at the church you’re attending, then by all means stay there and enjoy it. Skip this blog and go play Pokémon Go!
However, if you feel tired, unfulfilled, obligated, or just plain bored at your church, then I suggest that you mix it up this Sunday. Maybe take the family for a hike and start a discussion about your favorite character in the Old Testament. Maybe take your friends on a kayaking adventure and ask them real questions about life and where they are at.
Whatever it is, however strange, do it and don’t make up excuses not to. You are not a box, and neither is the church, so have fun thinking outside of it.
Lance Moericke is one of the Men in the Den here at Big Blue Couch™ Coaching, LLC. He hosts our weekly podcast show, Courageous Nation™, writes for our blog, and he is married to Miss Maddie.