May
26
2008

church.jpgThe topic of church has been coming up in my life a bit lately. I have been involved in 3 churches in my walk with Jesus. Winnipeg Evangelical Free in Winnipeg, Christian Assembly Foursquare in LA and Lake Sammamish Foursquare in Redmond. I have worked with the youth in each church, been involved in a home group of some sort and it has been like a second home. Lately I have missed that.

For the last 4 years, since my parents separation I have attended Mars Hill Church in Seattle. I mostly started going there to hide as I was sick of community and talking about my issues with my parents separation. I have loved the teaching there and the times of responsive worship, but for the most part I have just been a consumer. Yesterday, as we were driving to church Emma and I got into a discussion about it as she didn’t want to go. We talked about her reasoning, and it came out that a part of it is that there is no involvement, we just go on Sundays, not always at the same time, or even consistently and she is put into a class with other kids she doesn’t know for one hour. There is no relationship there, no after church play dates, no weekly activities, nothing. This is not the fault of Mars Hill Church, but the fault of mine, her father.

This goes the same for Amy and I. We go on Sunday’s to hear some good teaching, take communion, connect with the Lord and leave.  Yesterday Bubba, one of the pastors there taught. One of the points he touched is the exact thing I am talking about here. He asked how many people just come to the church on Sunday’s and leave without giving anything back. He related it to a father who comes to the dinner table every night to eat. After dinner he leaves to do his own thing, not helping with clean up, fellowshipping with others in the living room, or playing with the kids. He just eats, leaves and assumes that is enough to make him a part of the family.

What am I saying here? I need a church. By church I don’t mean a building, but a group of people who gather together on a regular basis to worship the Lord and serve each other, and the community around. I have not had that in my life at all for some time now, not with YWAM, not with a home group or a church. I miss it. I want something to give to, something to receive from, something that my family and I can be a regular part of, outside of my work with YWAM.

Thoughts?

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3 comments so far on “church

  1. Clayre says:

    Wow I love the metaphor Bubba used. That’s awesome. I am a huge fan of Mars Hill. I went there while I was in DTS and loved it, but it was weird because I come from such a small church where family and involvement are everything. Mars Hill was so big and being so involved with DTS and not a true resident of Seattle I didn’t really get to connect and serve. They did have some home groups I wanted to check out though. I wouldn’t change my church now for anything. Church works when we don’t just go as consumers. Sometimes it sucks because at my church it’s pretty impossible to attend and not just consume. Connecting and serving aren’t really an option. It can get wearing sometimes, but that’s just the laziness in me rearing it’s ugly head, or it’s my walls coming back up making me not want to interact with people in such a personal way.
    It’s so mature and perceptive of Emma to pick up on the lack of involvement. I am glad that she knows that it can be different. Phil, be encouraged, you are raising a servant of God and a leader, not just a Sunday morning consumer. That’s awesome.
    You need something outside of YWAM. It’s a way to really connect to beievers in Seattle. Find something. I know you can.

  2. .justin says:

    i imagine pastor bubba was hoping to point people to joining MH Community groups?

    is that an option you think would “fit” what is needed in your life?

    i think a mature believer like yourself, and myself, especially those in ministry, like ourselves [this is getting silly] have a hard time connecting or respecting the small group model that is the “lifeblood” of most mega churches today [even though we all know it’s the awesome sunday morning “experience]. do you agree?

    i don’t know the answer.

    sometimes i feel like i’m tolerating our small group time and my requirement to be involved, and other times i feel pressure that i have to run it, facilitate it, and move it forward, and i don’t like that most of the time.

    and i’ve got great people in mine too! james dale family, marcus cliton family, and many others.

    again, i don’t know the answer…

  3. hey phil i can so relate to you hiding out after dad split i felt like it was always a topic that was brought up every sunday in church.I know my church family were not out to hurt me but i got really sick of talking about dad and mom every sunday.Well as you know we ended up or i pulled my family away from our church and went to hide in a church were know one new about my family.It has been 2 years of hiding which has gotten me know were.At least in my old church i had churuh family praying for our family.I think i am done hiding.I love you bro!

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