It’s been more than a year since I and my family (as a whole) have been to church.
I won’t bash my church. Because it’s not really their fault. But there were – circumstances – that haven’t been addressed. But that’s between me and them.
What I want to talk about is how I feel about not going to church for a year.
To be clear, I haven’t given up faith. If anything, after a year (and 2 months at this point) I feel my faith is stronger. I still practice worship and strive to educate myself. And I have a community that I shepherd (and love greatly, not as the leader, as the servant).
I just haven’t physically attended a church service.
But before you throw Hebrews 10:25 at me, hear me out.
It’s Sunday morning, I’m sitting on my bed, in my pajamas. And in spite of my chronic pain, I am at peace.
I’m close to God. I’ve spent some time in worship this morning, as I do every morning, and it is well with my soul.
I have my coffee.
Do I miss the ‘fellowship’ of ‘real life interaction’?
Not in the slightest.
No, I don’t miss it.
Part of that is how I’m wired.
I am an extreme introvert.
“That’s not an excuse”
Yes, it is.
Being in a church service, or anywhere with a lot of people, like a concert or a movie theater, is painful. Actually physically painful. Like I’m being crushed by a huge weight.
I like the music, the teaching, the symbols, the tradition… I just can’t bear to be around so many people.
And it’s not that I don’t like people. I love people, I have amazing friends. I just can’t be in a crowded place with them.
But for years and years I ‘did’ church because I believed I had to. I believed that we were commanded to attend church every Sunday.
And community IS important. I’m not saying it isn’t.
But community is more than people sitting in pews at 9 am every Sunday singing s few songs.
Community, real connected involved community, is a closeness, a real familial joining, an intimacy if you will, that is greater than “we go to this church”.
And I have that, though many of you will disagree with how I ‘have’ it.
Social media is an amazing thing. And while it has issues (privacy, data being sold, etc) is allows people to connect in a way they weren’t able to 20 years ago. Sure we had email and chat rooms when the Internet was still young, but now we can actually come together virtually and actually ‘be’ together.
And through it I’ve found a better, closer, larger community that I really feel a part of. And more than that, I can actually serve as I used to in ‘real world’ community.
CWOTI has 5100 community members now and is continuing to grow. It’s more than 5 times larger than the town I grew up in in Nebraska. It’s 50 times larger than any physical church I have belonged to. And I won’t pretend to know everyone that has ‘liked’ the page. But there is a group that has grown together and I’ve come to know some better than I have known any ‘real world’ people. The are important and dear to me.
And if you are reading this, you’re part of that community too. If you’d like to join others in the closer circle, join our group. Go to the main page at facebook.com/christianitywithouttheinsanity and click “Sign Up”. We’ll get you connected.
What are your experiences on Sunday Mornings? Please share!