Today I woke up and rather than looking out the window, seeing a warm sunny day and launching the boat I said to Danelle that I’d like to ‘go to church’.
That’s a tad unusual for me as I am not part of any Sunday church these days. (Our church meets on a Monday night.)
"Where?" she asked.
"Probably just Quinns Baptist (our local)" I replied. "It’d be nice to get along and say g’day to some of the people there."
Now I know Quinns is a small church. Its definitely not bells and whistles, amazing music, sensational drama etc etc… But it really was good to be there.
I am finding it hard to describe what I felt…
Perhaps it was the familiarity of being in a local Baptist gathering of 20 or 30 people that was nice – like a pair of comfortable slippers. Perhaps it was the lack of pretense or attempt to be anything other than ‘a church’, a bunch of people come together to worship, learn, hang out etc. I’m not sure.
We arrived late and were some of the last to leave as we spent some time chatting with the locals.
At Christmas time I went to my folks church, another small fairly stock standard Baptist church and felt some similar things to today. I think one of the things I liked in both was the sense of ‘everybody in’, the sense of all generations meeting together. There is a danger in new more homogenous groups that we separate into stages of life (for the purpose of mission) but then stay there because it is more comfortable.
The ‘family of God’ notion is one that doesn’t seem to have as much currency in newer expressions of church because most of us are younger.
quest for camelot divx From a distance and occasions I enjoy these gatherings. I am not foolish enough to think they are anything but a bunch of people on a faith journey grappling with issues like we are. I know once you ‘lead’ something like that the joy of just being there evaporates pretty quickly as you hear people’s complaints about the noisy kids, or the inadequate music, or the tacky greeting routine… whatever.
You simply can’t please all the people all the time and as a visitor I don’t need pleasing.
I’m not sure if any of this makes much sense, but today I just enjoyed being there. I didn’t sense God ‘speaking’ in any discernible way, I wasn’t wowed by anything… it was just… enjoyable.