I am guest posting on Debby Hudson’s blog today, about how I have relearned what it means to be part of a church since moving. Debby is a fellow member of Hope*Writers, and she writes about creating space for grace. This month, she is running a series all about the church–what it is, what it’s not, and what it could be. I’m honored to join the conversation!
About a year and a half ago, our family packed up a giant yellow Penske truck and moved from Florida to Michigan. A lot has been challenging about this transition: adjusting to new schedules and routines, living far from family, making new friends, finding a replacement for my beloved Publix, living months at a time with no Chick-fil-A sandwiches.
But in many ways, the most challenging element of our move was finding a new church.
When my husband Evan and I were long-distance dating, attending his church was one of my favorite things about our visits. I still remember where I was sitting the first time I heard someone say the church’s vision out aloud. I now know that it wasn’t groundbreaking—it’s what God called His people to long ago—but it was the first time I heard God’s vision for Church articulated so clearly. I was hooked. We didn’t imagine that soon, that community would be our family, and I would spend several years on the church staff, doing what has been the most fulfilling and life-giving work of my life thus far.
Leaving that place felt like heartbreak. In many ways, we are still mourning the loss.
I’ve been following along with the other posts in Debby’s series. My favorite so far is this one from Racheal Webster about what’s really behind everything we hear about millenials leaving the church. Racheal wrote, “I offer up the suggestion that Christian millennials are not disenchanted with Jesus; rather, we are disenchanted with a church culture that contradicts the Jesus we know.” And all God’s people said “amen!”