Yesterday Jason and I went to church.
But we didn’t.
Our car was parked in its usual spot (on the south side of 4th street because the north side fills up faster). Our son was in his class (he “got” to graduate this week to the 2’s class, whether he wanted to or not: he’s a little to “exhuberant” for the babes on the nursery floor). But Jason and I weren’t in our normal pew. We were sitting in the library, trying to figure out why we didn’t feel okay about going into the larger worship gathering.
And to think I actually could’ve been helping to lead this Sunday’s worship. Gregg was speaking at Northside Community as part of the “there’s one church in Newberg that meets in lots of different places” reality. So this Sunday at NFC was going to be a Worship Workshop – looking at what we do and why we do it. I was asked to talk about silence, which made me laugh considering that as the mother of a toddler and a bounding dog there’s not a lot of silence in my life. When I heard about the idea of sharing about the importance of silence, the writer in me starting internally transcribing, but before I got too far, I realized I just couldn’t add one more thing to my plate at this moment, particularly in the church dish: as much as I talk about being missional and present in my community, I find myself pouring more time and energy and resources into the church. I’m wondering when my words and actions are going to line up. True, my words can act as a catalyst for those in my worship gathering, but still . . .
Neither Jason nor I felt peaceful about going to church, but the idea of another day home with Judah seemed daunting (I read somewhere that people get yowly around their half-birthdays and birthdays – in nine days he’s going to be experiencing the later). So we dropped him off in the nursery and looked for a place where we could process. We didn’t come to any specific conclusions in our conversation, other than that we’re on a journey and we need to pray and talk with others. Community is important, both for us as well as Judah – he’s such a social creature, and we’re not, and there’s a reason that God felt it would be wonderful for us to act as his parental hosts. Participating rather than just consuming. Action and contemplation. Being present with folks in the unlikely places. Laughing and eating and working and being present to each other.
A friend saw us sitting and asked if we were doing our own form of emerging church. We laughed. He wasn’t present in service, either, but rather was in the Prayer Room because that’s where he found the good stuff to happen.
We need to connect with folks, to see where they feel God leading them – tugging, pulling, encouraging, prodding. If we don’t pay attention to those nudges, they’ll leave and find more receptive ears, and dang it: I wanna be part of God’s Good Stuff! What do you hear? Is it making you uncomfortable? Are you finally feeling freedom? Wanna hang out in the library? Baby Steps, baby steps (at least for me: I’m not so much a free fall kind of gal . . . yet). 🙂