Tuesday, 18 October 2011
Leaving Church, Finding Faith: Guest Post on Rachel Held Evans’ blog
I am so stoked to be guest posting today over at Rachel Held Evans’ awesome blog. In fact, I’m a little intimidated because she’s so awesome, and her blog readers are so smart, and I feel a little bit like the new kid at a huge school for brilliant people and I’m not sure I belong.
Have you ever felt like that?
But Rachel has been so kind, and gracious, and I know her readers to have the same qualities, too.
Now, by way of (a long) introduction to the post:
If you don’t know me personally, you might not know that our family hasn’t been attending traditional church services for nearly two years. It’s a decision we wrestled with for a long time and there were many reasons, and I really miss some aspects of it and really don’t miss others. But in the end, we felt like it was Jesus himself calling us to step out of the church for a while.
I know that not everyone believes that Jesus would say something like that. But I fought it for so long, and it was just one of those things — we couldn’t shake the feeling that it wasn’t right. And so we left. I’ll probably blog more about it soon.
As part of Rachel’s Faith and Parenting series, my guest post is about what leaving the church has meant for parenting and our kids. I personally know several people who think about doing something outside traditional church but stay because of the kids. I suspect it’s a widespread phenomenon.
My post is about the different things we considered before leaving, and a little of what it’s been like after.
Here’s a teaser:
We left the church a year later than we wanted to. Like a bad marriage, we stayed for the kids.
I grew up in a small, involved church community that really cared about kids. I was part of the youth group, I followed the charismatic youth pastor, I went to camps and conferences, I got caught up in the emotionalism of altar calls and rededications. I was safe there; it was another home.
But years later, my husband and I couldn’t find our place in traditional church anymore. It didn’t feel like home. We couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe we weren’t supposed to Go To Church anymore, like we were meant to forge ahead on a broader quest, redefining church and community and finding our faith again outside the confines of church tradition. We weren’t angry or bored or fed up. We just had this feeling, this uncomfortable nudge from the Holy Spirit that we’d ignored for too long, like wearing a pair of pants we’d long outgrown.
There was just one problem: We had kids.
Read the rest at Leaving Church, Finding Faith: Why We Didn’t Stay For the Kids at Rachel’s blog.