Been reading Scot McKnight’s posts on emerging adults with a bit of fascination. I was drawn to his conclusion: there’s much more continuity between a teenager’s faith and an emerging adult’s faith than you might expect. The religious commitments of the teenage years, and one might say the intensity and genuineness and depth of those commitments, are what shapes what happens in the emerging adult years. All of which reminded me of my musings about being “spiritual teenagers” and whether or not I’d truly outgrown some of those tendencies. But I don’t think that describes where I am in my spiritual walk. [read: this may be one of those windy sort of blogs that eventually gets to a point.]
Right now we’re half-heartedly church shopping. Come to find out we’re in a group of a dozen or so folks who are just sort of up in the air about where to land in a church. Some of us are simply tired of waiting for missional communities to actually do something rather than talk about doing something. Some of us are burned out on the whole “investing in church” idea. For some, church had become an unsafe place, a place that caused more hurts than reconciliation.
I know that we’ve contented ourselves with being back row church goers: we slip in, get our praise on, and slip out. Anonymous worship with no pressure to be someone or do something, which has helped us heal from the sense of burnout from our previous experience. Sermon exhaustion aside, it’s been a time to find contentment in just sitting for a while and being ministered to.
But that’s only part of where we are because we don’t want to forsake the idea of communal worship. (Ultimately we’d like to find a place with a relational pastor, a decent kid’s program, one of my wife’s concerns, and that’s racially balanced, one of mine.) While we’d want a place to be missional, both in mindset and deed, we aren’t waiting for that place. Our lives can be missional.
And we still have a community of relationships, both from our previous church community as well as our network of friends. I think that’s another reason why we haven’t dived into a new church. We don’t have time enough to be with all of the friends we have now. It’s kind of tough to then try to cultivate a new community’s worth of relationships or rather, make room in our lives for more people we won’t be able to hang out much with nor develop deep relationships with.
You know what I feel like? One of those journeyman ball players. The ones who stay on a team for a couple years to fill a role and then gets traded. But we’re not worried, we know we’ll end up exactly where God wants us. But I’ve been asked a few times what I look for in a church. I think I’ll write about that next week. [read: lots of deadlines this week.]