Hello friends! I'm obviously coming in to this discussion very late! Still, Finding Church is a great book! I bought a case and I'm passing them out to many I know who are disheartened with empty promises and tired of looking for God and not finding Him where they're told they'll find Him.
My name is Erin. I'm one of God's kids. I live in Northern Michigan with my husband of 23 years, Jesse, and my three younger kids – 14, 17, 19 (home from college for the summer). My 22-year-old lives an hour away in the closest large town where we drive to do our shopping, eye appointments, etc.
I grew up in the church (Mom was a church musician) and I tried to figure out what the "rules" were so I could "get it right". It changed me completely when I finally understood grace sometime around age 30. I've lived the last 13 years in awe of His goodness and He keeps drawing me into ever-greater relationship, love, and trust.
I've questioned "church teaching" and expectations, and the lack of producing very much of eternal significance for so, so long that I finally decided to shut up talking about it because I was afraid I would actually drive my children away from the church with my frustration. I've been involved in a few church plants, always excited about the idea of sharing God's amazing grace with people. It never really panned out like I was hoping. I was always extremely frustrated with the idea that making coffee or doing worksheets in children's church was somehow valuable when it didn't seem to make any difference at all. Maybe it was valuable, but just not my gift, or just not fulfilling to me, even though they kept telling me it was supposed to be.
My husband has been on the "Lead Team" at our IC and gives the message there from time to time (which makes my frustration with IC a little dicey!). God has kept His staying hand on me as I have struggled with frustration at the anti-biblical messages coming from the regular pastor. I have wanted to leave for several years. From all appearances the pastor doesn't believe God is anything more than a nice theoretical idea. He's like a big self-help book up there. But I digress... The real point is that God has clearly told me my place is there, with that group of people, and that in this season, this is where He wants me.
On the "Yay!" side, there's a small group of people who are in love with Jesus who meet together for an hour before the Sunday service to pray together for our pastor, the families and people at our church, the marriages, our community, our country, other ministries, and, essentially, anything the Lord lays on our hearts. That is when we have church! I love it! It's my favorite time of the week! When the prayer is over, we walk into the sanctuary and just sit and listen to a guy up front comment randomly on things for the better part of an hour. LOL!
My sweet Lord has been working on me and working on me about my attitude about the pastor and his preaching. He keeps reminding me that this guy is His servant, and that in spite of whatever this guy does, "nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few" and that I'm really supposed to just settle down and keep my eyes on Him! And recently He's been opening up opportunities to really share the life of God with other people in and around that church community. This is great! because almost without fail, people come in to our "seeker-friendly" church, sit down, listen to the teaching, talk to each other about sports or the weather, and then go home until the next week without ever talking to each other about God or what Jesus is doing in their lives. Year after year after year. It's almost been a forbidden topic — in church — if you can imagine! But He is good and He is working!
I just keep walking with Him one day at a time. Maybe He'll let me leave that IC, maybe He'll just allow me to be the pipeline through which His great love flows to those people in that IC. Who knows? I'm sure He has some fantastic days in mind on this journey with Him!
Sorry to go long. In a nutshell, He keeps teaching, leading, guiding, prodding, loving me!
Other things I do and/or like:
- Teaching my kids, learning all sorts of cool things together, sharing His life together!
- Playing violin
- Kayaking, hiking
- Nature and beauty
- Flowers and gardening in general
- Finish carpentry
- Health Practitioner focused on gentle, natural healing for mind-body