Probably not near as long as you think, and certainly there are more in your town with the same hungers. I love what is shifting in you, even though it seems disorienting and scary, he is leading you to great freedom and joy. This is where people find out if God is real and is who he says he is. He is! It will turn out well!
Hello, I’m Heather’s husband Rylie. Just joined the boards and started reading the book. Looking forward to exploring what it means to life the Christian life. I’m a big fan of The Saving Life of Christ (Thomas) and He Loves Me (Jacobsen). I’m an English teacher that works at a technology and research school. I also enjoy novels, travel, photography, computers/electronics, and board games.
Gadiela: Your experience most likely resonates with a lot of people that have connected to this site. I am thinking most of us are looking for a connection of some sort because of what we gave up. It is different on this side of the fence. I still get frustrated after 7-9 years of leaving my communities. This is what makes a site like this so valuable for a lot of us. We are connecting with people that are feeling the similar loss that we are.
We all gather together to discuss “Finding Church” and then realize that is what we are doing… Finding Church. Connecting with others on this journey. I know it doesn’t feel the same as face to face connections, but when those face to face connections aren’t there… it is good to meet in cyberspace and maybe we won’t feel so alone. I am glad we all can be with you during this “waiting period”.
Ruby from Alberta Canada…
Yay glad you are on here.
Hi, my name is Wendy and I am eagerly awaiting my copy of the book…it’s supposed to arrive Wednesday My husband and I live in northern Utah, and we have 2 grown boys and a 3 year old grandson. Less than 2 months ago, I quit my staff position at a local community church where I was worship leader. Still feeling a little raw from some eye opening experiences in “ministry” situations over the last several years, culminating with the most recent that led us to walk away. For the first time in 33 years, my husband and I have no direction in finding a new church “home”. We visited one that he really likes, but I have absolutely no desire to “go to church”. In fact, I sense God whispering to me that I am already “home” in Him, and that He has something more for us. God bless you all, I look forward to getting to know you.
Hi, I’m Kathryn, based in the UK.
Delighted to discover this book and discussion,
I am looking for wisdom and direction about the type of belonging and commitment I am being called to church wise at this stage in my life.
I moved away from a conveniently situated and lively local church for a raft of reasons - the clash of ethos with my own spirituality and journey was near the top of the list - and although I do wonder about going back, I was relieved to move away in the end. Since then I have struggled to gain clarity about where to get involved and what I should be looking for. My prayer life has deepened during this ‘season’ and I am aware of maturing in so many aspects of my Christian life. But what next? I am linked in with mature Christians through work, family and friendships so am not without fellowship. But what about a regular place of worship? What should I look for or expect? Should I seek to be committed to a local institutional congregation - albeit with the understanding that the local expression of church will only be limited? These are the types of questions I am hoping to explore in this group.
Hi everyone, I am Pete from Peterborugh in the UK.
I am 60 years old andam married to Sue. We have two beautiful daughters, both married, with very young children and we love them all.
My journey with Christ has been an off and on affair most of my life, raised as a catholic, gave up on church when they would not welcome my non-catholic girlfriend, spent years without church, then our second child died at two days old and I went to a local CofE church to ask my angry questions, met a wonderful godly man who helped me process the death, spent 5 years as an on fire evangelical bore! Then realised I was turning more away than convincing them and stepped away from that fellowship to refind Christ and my faith. That was when I read SYDWTGTCA and was introduced to Wayne’s writing and thouhgts. I left the institutional church about 4 years later and have lived outside for the past 15 years or so.
As you all know it is a journey and at times it feels easy and at other times it feels so lonely!
I am looking forward to sharing time here and getting to know some of you better.
Hi Joan- The title really got me too. I picked it up expecting 10 valid reasons I could not argue with that would send me running back even though my faith was in shreds and I was an angry, miserable Wreck from trying to fit in for so many years. Imagine my surprise. Wayne and Sara are truly a blessing to the Church not being built by human hands.
I came into this discussion group late and just found the “introductions” page. It was encouraging to see I’m not the only one who has a spouse still attending IC. I homeschooled for 12 years…my 5 kids are all grown now. I have this idea that homeschoolers already have an “out of the box” mindset and we’ve already walked away from the expected way to educate your children. So maybe that carries over into our attitude towards other things like church? I don’t know. But I also agree with the comment left by Joan that the homeschool community has created its own culture of guilt. I bought into that a bit at first but quickly walked away from that aspect of it. Yikes! It sure does seem to be human nature to want to form little groups that control everyone in them. My radar is becoming very keen to that vibe and I run! No more chains…
I think you are right; something about going ‘against the grain’ in ANY of the systems that our world has established to try and manage life on this side of Paradise seems to facilitate the ability to break away from ALL of the humanistic systems in some type of way - educational, political, medical, economical, religious and what ever other systems that can be named.
Yes, no more chains Lord.
Yeah, I’m counter-cultural in pretty much all of those areas you mentioned. Lol. And it’s not that I just want to be antagonistic, but because there is so much corruption in all of it. Everything mankind tries to control, we mess up. And yet we think we are so advanced! We really haven’t learned anything since the Tower of Babel. Oh how we need rescued from ourselves! Thank you, Jesus!
Absolutely!! It’s an humbling realization.
Shalom dear brothers and sisters,
There is so much to say and share that I might just explode! My name is Harshika and I am from India (northern part). I was born in to a hindu family, my parents being quite nominal and easy going. They brought us up with secular values and beliefs and that’s how it stayed. I got saved at the age of 20, being given the gospel by a cousin brother. Some day, I will share my testimony.
I am 39 now, happily married to a former Catholic (which is very similar to hinduism) and we have an 8 yr old son whom we homeschool. My husband is a busy corporate lawyer and I am a stay home mom. We have been married ten years now and have lived in Dubai since we were married, so ten years as expats. We left IC two weeks ago
What a relief and what grace that I found Wayne and his writings and books and podcasts. It took is ten years to get burned out and disillusioned to get to this point. Bear in mind, we both come from a background of ‘karma’ Hinduism and Catholicism, both teach works, works, works. That was our baggae, although not so much for me. I got saved from my hindu beliefs and life, the very life I abhorred, the very faith that pushed me towards Christ in sweet relief. After becoming a christian I dvdeloped a deep deep disgust for rituals and acts and performances because none of that saved me from those demons I faithfuly worshipped… And yet when I moved to Dubai after our marriage, I found myself getting stuck with IC all over again! This was too much of a reminder if what I’d left behind and rescued from. As compared to you all, I admit, I probably have greater distaste of ‘religion’, possibly. The longing has always been there and I will tell you why: As soon as I found Christ, I was extremely fortunate to have also found a wonderful Acts like ‘church’ . You see, my neighbourhood was full of missionaries who came and went. They were a floating population of visiting families from all over the world, mainly america though. And they took me under their wing. We gathered weekly or just about any day, we ate togther, prayed, loved, forgave, struggled and discipled each other freely. Can you imagine!!! I was young, hungry and on fire and God took me to them. There were no agendas ever, no programmes save for the annual Christmas party planning The older men taught me so much from scriptures, church history, missions, deliverance ( as things tend to be in my idol infested country) and whole lotta stuff etc , the women were truly examples of Titus 2 to me. Couldn’t have asked for a better welcome in to God’s family. I was well loved and beautifully discipled. My earthly family was persecuting me but my heavenly family was beyond amazing and supportive! Eight years later, as I moved on from this loving fold, i am happy to report, they all made it to my wedding, standing proud seeing my growth and the choices they had trained me to make in life… They love me to this day even though I’ve lost touch with many. I dont remember the older folks wanting positions, wanting attention, dictating, demanding, manipulating… It was rare and it was so close to perfect. Sigh…
Then Dubai happened! Oh dear! Before Dubai , Hillsong London happened briefly- while we were both working in UK and were so busy, didnt bother finding a way to stay away from hillsong Anyway, no harm done except ofcourse it started a lament and mourning in my heart for what I lost and what could have been. In Dubai we attended a loud, flashy, seeker sensitive and a very wealthy church. Pastor is a lovely lovely man, but even so… I would say, he is the only reason we probably stuck it outnfor ten years! Such a nice soul… But two weeks ago, after struggling for 18 months of great restlessness, I finally told my husband I am NOT going! And just like that, he agreed!! He likes this church business, so I was surprised that he is fed up too… I was so upset that I didnt notice he is following me closely So that’s it. We are out.
I have read ’ finding church’ three times in the last two weeks. I have cried and shouted and screamed in relief- no exageration here. I screamed! Every word, every line is written for me and i have been literally on my knees thabking God for leading me to Wayne’s books and podcasts. I am now spent, relived and just still, resting in the knowledge that I am not a crazy rebel. And that I am enough. From where I look, it can only get better. I am already experiencing judgement from friends and one has stopped talking to me!!! But i am also experiencing human connections, new friends already too! In just two weeks! Oh mercy! My God is so good! He is so good.
I enjoyed reading your story. I’m on my third trip through the book, too! I pray the Lord will bring others across your path who will join with you and your husband in genuine fellowship.
Welcome Harshika! Thanks for sharing a bit of our story with us. So glad you’re finding your way into more freedom and hope in God’s goodness. Blessings.
Yes, God is so good!
Thankyou Beth and Wayne
I am quite chuffed that I got two replies! Ha ha ha…
Keenly following all discussions on several threads… If I have a general question, not perraining to any chapter as such, where should I post them? Pray tell. I have two that I need to find answers to. Thanks.
Harshika, please feel free to post wherever you want and we’ll wrestle with it. If it doesn’t generally fit in a topic, just put it jn the current chapter’s question topic. I’m not real picky about this. This is a forum meant to serve us, not us serve it!
After 20 years, and the status of " most people know my story", do you and Sara still have people in your life that try to “encourage” you back to the building and back into the programs of [“church”]?
After having that conversation this past week, I still find myself defensive, I am finding no other way around the conversation of “going back to church” than to argue my way out of it. It sometimes means dodging the arrows of guilt that are shot my way. I am thankful that it hasn’t happened often, but I do not share your status of “most people know my story” . Most people don’t know my story. Not going back is my only option, but not looking back is proving much more difficult.
If you and Sara don’t have to field those awkward questions anymore, then I am happy for you. And I am hopeful that one day I won’t fear the penetration of the guilt arrows.
Ruby from Calmar, Alberta.
That’s the key, isn’t it? It’s the guilt in you that gives power to the questions asked of you. Once you have the freedom inside you’ll think of a thousand ways to respond graciously. We do occasionally have people who question how we live this but my responses is, “I am finding more life in the connections I have now with the body of Christ in more relational ways than I ever did as part of an institution. I’m hoping we can be friends without necessarily seeing this the same way.”