They say confession is good for the soul. So I have a confession to make.
We haven't been to church since May.
I could say it's because I was pregnant. I could claim it's because of the toddlers. I could say we've been busy. But really, it's because Casey and I are just uncertain the church we have been at the last few years is the right place to raise our family. It's easier to not attend than deal with these thoughts.
It's hard to feel uncomfortable. It's hard to question. The church newsletter which currently reads like hipster digest with veiled inside jokes leaves us questioning. The current structure of lay and pastoral leadership leaves us questioning. For so many reasons, we are questioning. But, just questioning and feeling uncomfortable don't seem like valid reasons to leave a spiritual family. We want to love our church. But, we are uncomfortable with the nursery and don't feel safe leaving our kids there. Our concerns about the nursery make it nearly impossible for us to fully engage in worship. It makes it difficult to engage with the community of believers. We want to love our church, but we aren't sure it is the right place for our dairy-allergy family.
Since we desperately want to love our church again, we haven't started church searching. We aren't ready for the break up, so we haven't looked elsewhere. This means we aren't attending worship anywhere. As a friend who also hasn't been to our church this summer (for similar reasons!) put it "we're on a hiatus".
And to be honest, we don't miss church. By that I mean we don't miss waking up on Sunday morning to go sit in a pew, sing along with the band, and listen to a sermon. These things are all good and important and we know that to grow in our faith we need to get back to these things. But we don't miss them.
We might not miss worship but we do miss meeting with a community of believers. We miss the people and the connections. We need that time with other "Jesus Freaks" sharing in the heart of Christ. We need those connections with a church family. The Bible says “where two or more are gathered….” and we need to be a part of that.
We need a community. The best place to find community? At a church. We need to be in worship. We need to be volunteering to serve. We need to be attending bible studies and small group and Sunday school. We need to be involved outside of Sunday morning.
We need a decision. We can't continue staying at home. We are currently afraid to admit that this church we have loved for years isn't right anymore. This wonderful church where we have served and been served. This amazing church that saw us through the toughest years of our marriage while we dealt with the tears and heartbreak of infertility. This church we loved might not be the right place to raise our sons.
We need discernment. Something about our current church no longer feels like the place God is calling us to be. We need to hear God's will for our spiritual lives. The decision about what church to attend isn't our decision. It's a question of where God needs us to be.
We need a church home. Above all. We need to worship. We need community. We need a faith family to raise our children.
It's time for our hiatus to end. It's time to face this decision.
So I'm putting this out on the interwebs: in August we will attend worship at least once somewhere. I don't know if we'll go to our church, the parent church, or somewhere totally random. But, we will go somewhere.