Sometimes when I am driving, I wonder what people’s reactions would be if I were in a terrible car accident.
I mean, who would show up to the hospital? Who would cry? Who would call my mom? It’s weird, but I do it.
I have always craved attention. When you are an only child who grew up with a single mom, your desire for community and for belonging is off the charts. A lot of what I have felt my whole life didn’t really make sense. Well…it still doesn’t.
I just know that I crave attention, but more than that I want love. It’s really easy for me to see people as placeholders. Temporary beings in a spot that can be easily filled. I don’t like feeling this way, but after having someone who is supposed to love you more than anything bail….it’s kind of hard not expecting everyone else to follow suit.
Now, I am not writing this for you to feel pity, and don’t misunderstand me, I love my life.
What I am saying is that I have always wanted community, and a sense of belonging. I didn’t always have it.
When I first started coming to church, I was excited because that’s what I thought I was going to get, family.
The truth is though that’s not always what we get when we join a Church. I truly think a lot of people want Jesus, but they also want community, a sense of belonging.
Pastor Francis Chan did a video teaching series titled “Basic” where he talked about the core “basic” truths to Christianity. In one of the teaching videos, he spoke about a gang member who had become a believer and was baptized. Soon though he noticed the man stopped coming to church.
When questioned, the man said that when he was baptized as a believer into the Church, he thought he was becoming a member of a family and a part of something where people would have his back and he would have theirs. That didn’t happen. I am not saying churches should do drive-bys…
But isn’t it amazing that the place where community should be at the center of who we are and what we do is often the loneliest place on earth? This guy literally felt more community, family, and belonging in a gang…..let that sink in people.
I can’t tell you how many times I left church only to feel like I had nothing and no one, where I literally cried from loneliness.
Now I know what some of you are thinking, “You shouldn’t be worried about others, you should be focused on Jesus.” And you are right, but that’s not what I am saying. What I am saying is “yes, we worship and glorify God, that is why we are here.”
However, we should feel the most at home, the most love, the deepest sense of belonging at Church. If we don’t, then what in the heck are we offering people? Come join us for an hour on a Sunday, and an hour and a half during the week for small group and that’s it? Do. Not. Bug. Us. After. That…No I don’t think that’s what Church was meant to be like.
It wasn’t until I found a Church where community matters that I felt a sense of belonging. I feel loved, I feel as though I am welcome, as though I am family.
To get this though we have to do our part. We have to volunteer, we have to join some sort of small group, we need to participate.
Otherwise all we did is mimic the same environment we get at a movie theatre…only this one is about Jesus. Have you ever truly sat around after a movie to meet people? Didn’t think so.
There is hope. There is a place out there for you. Where you will not only glorify God, but feel His love through His people.
It’s the greatest joy I have ever felt, and I pray you don’t settle for anything less. Because there is nothing better than viewing the people you do life with as family.