Do You Belong at Church? – Day 6 of Handmade

DAY 6, OCTOBER 6

Belong

“God doesn’t like people to be without a place. Out-of-place people always have a place with God.”
– Caleb Kaltenbach

When someone asks, “Where do you go to church?” we know what they mean.

But I’ve been ruined to answer ever since the AVB song, U Can’t Go 2 Church, “cause the church is you.” [Listen to it here; it’s quite catchy.]

You can’t go to church as some people say
The common terminology we use everyday
You can go to a building, that is something you can do
But you can’t go to church ’cause the church is you

To be polite, not contentious, and remain truthful, I answer what they’re looking for. I say, “I go to The Rock now. And I love it.

Belong at Church - Day 6

Where Do You Fit In?

But depending on how long we talk, and how far they’re willing to go, we uncover more spiritual traditions about each other.

We discuss deeper than where we find ourselves seated on Sunday mornings.

Do you have a church you feel you belong to?

While we may want to find one place and stay there for life, that rarely happens anymore, for better or for worse. People move. People change. Faith changes.

If you’ve ever left a church, you know how painful it can be. I definitely know.

But if you’ve then landed in a more fitting community to grow your faith—a place you belong—you also know how refreshed you can feel. I know that exhilaration, too.

Your Church History

Think about how God has led you to the churches you’ve attended.

And how he’s led you to the place you are now, whether this is a final landing place or not, whether you’re satisfied there or not.

Find him in this part of your story. He’s in it.

What is he up to now?

Three Questions

Here are our three questions of the day:

(1) How many churches have been a true home for you?

(2) Have you ever changed denominations or faith traditions?

(3) What’s one thing you really love about your current church?

* * *

What are your answers? Please share in the comments.

My answers

(1) Four churches have really been home for me at different seasons of my life. I’m grateful for all four. I’ve learned things, made lasting friends, and found God in new ways at each one.

(2) I’ve remained in the Christian faith, but I have moved from a very conservative to a more multi-denominational church.

(3) I love the worship at my current church! It’s all about Jesus, with both head knowledge and heart emotions.

More here

  • How to Be a Perfect Christian
    This satire of how to be a perfect Christian by The Babylon Bee will make you laugh. And make you cringe.
  • Quit Going to Church
    I pray for you to quit going to church and start being the church.” More quotes from Bob Hostetler’s book, Quit Going to Church.
  • Where Do You Go to Church?
    It’s not as easy a question as it sounds. Frank Viola in Reimagining Church has some interesting answers.

 

Get the whole Handmade series here

Handmade - Finding God in Your Story

12 thoughts on “Do You Belong at Church? – Day 6 of Handmade

  1. blankBarbara Harper

    I see the point of the song. Yet I also see some NT letters addressed to or referring to specific churches, so there’s a sense of “church” meaning a local group of believers who meet together. But I agree, when someone asks where we go to church, that’s not the time to debate what is meant.

    Besides visiting a few as a child, I’ve been a part of six churches since my teen years, changing each one due to moving out of state except the last one. They all felt like home in their own way while we were there, but the most homey ones to me were the church I attended as a teenager and the church my husband and I attended for the first fourteen years we were married. I have not changed denominations per se, but we’ve always attended Independent Baptist churches until our current one. It’s fairly baptistic though it doesn’t use that in its name. Our core beliefs have remained the same, but we have changed on some minor issues. Our current church is very small, which is not something we wanted at first. But we really love the people, especially the pastor and his wife. And of course it stands to reason that if people avoid going to small churches because they are small – those churches will always remain small.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Yes, they definitely had their gatherings, assemblies, in NT days in however we want to translate ekklesia. I count it as just a terminology idiosyncrasy with how we use “church” today. I’m glad you found a new church home where you can really love the people. Small churches are still so vital and play important roles in community. Two of my four home churches were small (one of them did grow large) but both were very special and intimate. I still have friends in both.

  2. blankPam Ecrement

    1) Hard one to answer, but I would say four.
    2) Yes…always within the Christian faith, but in our growing and seeking we have been a part of several parts of the Christian family tree.
    3) Sound biblical teaching by a humble lead pastor and tremendous worship blending the latest worship music with some of the great hymns of the faith.

  3. blankMichele Morin

    Question number 2 resonates for me because one of the hardest decisions my husband and I had to make quite early in our marriage involved leaving a church full of people we loved (and still love!), but we felt they were parting ways with us in important areas. It was like an amputation. However, we are thankful for where we are today.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Ouch. It is very, very difficult to leave people you love. We left a sweet church after our baby died. It was a very small church, and it seemed that every woman of child-bearing age was having a baby around the time we lost ours. It was just too painful every week to be there with all the babies. It was hard to leave, but it made a huge difference in my sanity.

  4. blankLesley

    It makes such a difference to be part of a church where you feel like you belong! I think there have been three churches where I have felt I belong but before becoming part of my current church, I was in a church where I felt I didn’t belong for about 9 years! Despite that, it was a big decision to move on but I am so glad I did! I love my current church because I feel like everyone is valued and welcomed as they are and it does feel like family. My previous church talked about that a lot but I never really felt it. Every church I have been part of has been a different denomination which has been really interesting. It has helped me consider issues from different points of view and helped me work out what I think about things.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I’m glad you found a church again where you felt like you belong, Lesley. It’s such an awkward feeling otherwise. I know there are still things we can gain and give in that situation, but it just doesn’t feel like “home” each week when we don’t feel we really belong. It sounds like you have a rich church history. I’m sure it’s given you a great perspective when you talk with others about Christ!

  5. blankKaren Del Tatto

    My husband’s sermon yesterday was entitled “Why did you come to church today?” Seems to fit in well with your blog post! 🙂

    I never thought about mapping my church history and reflecting upon how the Lord used each of those experiences to place me where He has me today. Great questions and a great exercise.

    Thanks for sharing.

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