Do you belong to a church? Do you attend regularly? Why or why not? If that’s not such an easy question to answer, I can totally relate. I’ve been asking friends that question for months and get a lot of “ummm”s and “wellll”s. I’m right there with you.
I have a girl crush on Rachel Held Evans. Have for years now. She’s a writer — swoon — and she’s badass. Know her? You should. She recently had an article on CNN’s belief blog go viral: Why Millennials Are Leaving the Church. It’s been popping up all over my Facebook and Twitter feeds for days and every time I see it I grin a little more. It’s entirely spot on. For the last 18 months or more, I’ve felt increasingly uncomfortable at the church that has been our home since 2007. The discomfort started off small and easily ignored, but festered to the point where we haven’t been to a service (minus Christmas Eve) in over a year. We chalked it up to summer, then lazy Sundays, making it easy to brush off. Both reasons were true, but there was a deeper cause at the root of the issue. Many causes that built upon each other. Marco and I talked about it last week and we’ve decided to withdraw from the church. We love the people and call them our friends, but we can’t belong to that church any longer — for a lot of the reasons Rachel mentions and some that are just unique to that church.
We’ve been looking into area churches off and on for the last year, but never felt comfortable enough to visit. When we sat down and talked about it, we put together a little list of “must believe”s for our potential churches. LGBT affirming quickly narrowed the list of churches in our area. In fact, only one remains according to the strong and powerful Internet. We’ll be visiting that church in the next few weeks, but I’m in no rush. I’ve been trying to find Jesus in churches for years and all too often he’s hard to see through all the churchy bullshit. Now that we’ve officially separated from our church, I’m looking forward to finding Jesus in everyday life. Jesus in other people. Jesus in deep breaths. Jesus in quiet moments. And Jesus in messy relationships. He’s always been there, I’ve just been looking in the wrong place.