Apparently, I “seem happy about my church” so I expect this to be easy. Well…. what Jim wrote is right – I do really like my church. Here’s my three:
a family – I’ve got to say we really don’t know that many people there, but we do know a bunch. No matter how close we seem to know people though, the feel of being around this community is just good. We haven’t felt this way since our church in Ohio. I don’t know how to describe it … but for us, we just knew. I also don’t get this feeling that we are some sort of country club – that others can’t join us. We’ve felt this frequently since moving out here to Virginia – that “Welcome to Virginia! Everyone’s friendly! This place is great! People are nice! But we’re busy so go find some other people to hang out with….”. A ‘come as you are’ attitude welcoming anyone. I don’t get a feeling at all that no matter how young or old or new in the faith or old in the faith really is a block to things – everyone is invited to not only come but to participate and join in.
- learning + growing – I’m not sure also how to explain this well, but I’m under this view that a church pastor as some sort of shepherd – a guide if you will for us in some ways. Not all ways – I don’t think we as believers should be completely spoon-fed really, but guided in some ways. Messages that guide us and help clarify some things (that’s why I occasionally write about them in here). A push for us to go deeper also – the small group concept really helps in this way. Encouraging activities where we can grow in our faith and learn – but inside what’s happening there but also outside (volunteering at the respite program, collecting items and giving and hanging out with the homeless, some getting fully-trained for a local pregnancy center, etc.) in the community.
Not traditional church “culture” – the laid-back atmosphere but really this can be considered normal anymore now can’t it? But even more so – I can say that the t-shirts that we do don’t really push the church name, but the website (www.relaxedchurch.com). Sometimes it seems we’ve “pushed the envelope” that I’m quite sure other churches aren’t willing to go into — like hosting a Porn & Pancakes forum — that in particular is a really big struggle for a lot of guys – no matter if you want to admit it or not (unfortunately so many people and churches don’t want to admit this… and didn’t come). The core concepts are all still there (as they should be – like ‘lurving‘ and serving God and others) – but just without a whole lot of that other stuff that too many get all wrapped up with that a lot of times just doesn’t matter.
I could have mentioned some other stuff I really like too but consider them secondary….
UPDATE: I initially didn’t think to call out anyone out and see if they wanted to join in this fun, but am reconsidering…
- Joe – Good News – responded in the comments below!
- Chris – Especially Blessed — his response post: ‘3 Things I Really Like About My Church’
Chris – Area 10 Project Joey – Burgeoning Artist Eric – Work:Play:Family Kamen Lee Dot Com