Growing up, church to me meant sitting in straight backed pews, and trying not to fall asleep during the lesson. It meant rolling quarters across the lobby floor, playing tag with the other deacon’s kids, and always waiting for the endless meetings to be over.
As I got older, we switched congregations. My view of church morphed. It was, still, ritualistic in nature; mandatory, but comfortably familiar.
As a teenager, it was something that I disliked. I still believed in (and loved) God, but I found the political undertones to be distasteful. I was often on the receiving end of a disapproving gaze, and I found their narrow minded worldview both objectionable, as well as decidedly unChristlike.
For a while, I swore off church. I felt that attending regularly took away from the intimate, unstructured nature of a true relationship with God. I also felt like sitting in a pew and putting money in the plate was a facade, created to present the ‘right’ image.
It was not for me.
During my sophomore year in college, everything changed. I found a congregation filled with authentic, real people– flawed beings who are pursuing Christ passionately. They are only concerned with loving Him, and serving those He created.
I love them.
However, my view of church has changed once more.
While I’m keeping up with my new church over the summer (#podcasts4dayzz) I have begun to truly understand that ‘church’ has absolutely nothing to do with the building, the pastor, or those gosh darn pews.
Church is purely fellowshipping with other followers. That is it.
I feel church at work, when I share coffee with my fellow believer.
I feel church in the living room, eating ice cream and laughing with my roommates.
I feel church when I catch up on tv with my little sister, and during 8 a.m. ballet class with my sisters in Christ.
I no longer believe that church is confined to Sunday morning– it’s a living, breathing illustration of our relationship with God. We get to experience it daily, as we spend time with other believers… Even when we’re not ‘worshiping’ in the traditional sense.
Church. I feel it now.