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Our family history with churches

Some people have all the luck with churches. And then there are those of us who found ourselves in a succession of church train wrecks. I don’t know what your church resume looks like, but ever since hitting Georgia, we’ve bounced around like a bad penny. We’ve loved the people and many of the pa…
By Seth Barnes

Some people have all the luck with churches. And then there are those of us who found ourselves in a succession of church train wrecks. I don’t know what your church resume looks like, but ever since hitting Georgia, we’ve bounced around like a bad penny. We’ve loved the people and many of the pastors, but not the institution. If more churches were committed to making disciples it might have been a different story, beginning in 1987.

7 years in a FL Presbyterian church; was made an elder. We booted a pastor who abused the congregational sheep and brought in another one who did the same thing. Nothing pastoral about either of those guys, though they could teach. Our weekly small groups were great – we’re still the best of friends.

3 years in a nondenom church. The pastor is a friend who has since repented of his control issues and started a home church, but the church was in a death spiral and blew up after we got out.

1 year in a start-up Calvary Chapel where the main feature was a very dry sermon followed by a good meal. The church struggled and we left.

2 years in a Baptist church. The pastor was asked to leave after getting caught in an affair with a staff member’s wife. Whoops. I don’t think anyone ever expressed an interest in getting to know us there.

2 years in another small nondenom that had an expensive building project and a therapeutic vision.

2 years in a small home church that at least felt authentic, but never reached critical mass.

2 years in a small nearby church that ministered effectively to one of our daughters and helped support another daughter on her year-long mission. Good people moving along at a certain pace.

Simultaneously we’ve attended (and been safely anonymous at) a mega-church and have continued meeting with a small group on Friday nights that feels right. We’ve continued to do that with the same friends for about six years now. At the end of the day, I know these folks would take care of Karen and my family if anything ever happened to me. We laugh and cry and worship together and exhort each other. We don’t forsake assembling together. We watch each other’s families grow and the children all feel safe and loved there. Maybe at the end of the day, that is the real church we’ve been looking for all these years.

There’s my “religious resume” What is your experience?

 

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