My Ink Dance

Discovering Extraordinary Grace in an Ordinary Life

When Church Doesn’t Feel Like Home

I’ve spent a good part of the last decade wandering the desert of Christianity. No, that’s not right. It has very little to do with faith and everything to do with church. I’ve been homeless for a long time.

We, as Christians often think of church as being a home. We find our place where we fit and we click in, shaping parts of our life around that home.

But what if church was never meant to be home? Click To Tweet

Because the truth is that home is where we are comfortable. The place where we don’t have to try. The place that we don’t have to work. The place to just be.

The danger in thinking that church should look like that is ending up somewhere where we close the doors and shut out the world. Creating a place where we know everyone inside and forget that an outside world exists. A place solely based on being comfortable.

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That’s it. The end.

When we make church about everything but Jesus we may live comfortable but we aren’t living our calling.

Maybe it’s time to rethink the framework of church. Maybe it’s time to think about what is really home.

 


I’ve struggled here in this place of church home for so long. My heart doesn’t have it all figured out, but I do know that Jesus is the part that matters because church isn’t a place. Church is who we are to the world.

About Becky Hastings

I am emotional and logical. I am strong and dependent. I am a juxtaposition of head and heart exploring it all through writing. And in all my mixed-up ways I am loved. I’m here to tell you that you are, too. Just the way you are.

13 Replies

  1. Erika Schutz

    Becky,
    Do you remember me? Erika (Putney) now Erika Schutz? Its very sad really, the church in became so programs oriented in the last few decades and focused on growth –hence the mega church model.
    So for me, I find the question is not, what do I want out of church or not even what do I have to offer but this, Lord, where do you want me? It took 3 years of asking before I was released from a church that was amazing and supportive but I needed to leave for a variety of reasons. Then the Lord gave me peace to be at a church I never would have picked. It somewhat meets the need but the bigger thing God was doing is giving me a spiritual dad and new teaching that has EMPOWERED me to live deeper in intimacy with Jesus.
    I would not have known I needed a spiritual dad! Also, I bring something unique to this body of believers and I didn’t know they needed me too? Its family to me. some of my siblings are now warm and fuzzy, just like real family, but we are in this together till God calls elsewhere.
    I pray HE leads and directs you into HIS paths for HIS names sake.
    PS, I still love you all! Your family made a lasting impression on my heart! If you ware ever in Lancaster Pa, look me up!
    Much much love in HIM ~Erika 717-278-2977
    erika_lcb@yahoo.com

    1. Becky Hastings

      Erika! So great to hear from you! It’s interesting to see where we all are on this journey toward home. Maybe it was my naivety, but I somehow thought that how things were then was how they always would be (and how they were supposed to be). I’m learning so much more about seasons as I get older. Where we were was right for that season, but it doesn’t mean it’s right forever. The church (institution) does make me sad sometimes, but more often than not it’s because of what I have in my head that it should be. Expectations can be damaging when we’re all human! It’s great to hear that God has you in a place where you are able to draw closer to Him. That is what it’s really about. Going to church is good; being the church is better! Thank you for reaching out! Much love, Becky

  2. Oh….this is so close to home! I don’t go to church any more. But I’m certainly trying to be the church in my community and if you read my blog you’ll see why – sorry I’m not trying to punt it, its just so in sync with what you’re saying here – https://probablyinpurple.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/31-days-of-creating-community-when-you-dont-think-there-is-one/

    1. Becky Hastings

      I keep hearing this from so many people who have left the church or are disillusioned with what it is. Know that the place you’re at in your heart is one full of company friend. Looking forward to reading your post 😉

  3. Becky, I never thought of church not being like home, but I see your point about it being more about learning to lean into Jesus than being comfortable. Thanks for the food for thought.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Thanks for visiting. Imagine if we all found a way to lean into Jesus first?! Beautiful.

  4. Sometimes I think that we’re believing our own propaganda-churches try hard to bring in people and use the idea of “home” and “belonging” to denote a place rather than emphasizing the body of Christ. Perhaps if marketers/preachers would stop promoting that idea and just encourage kindness and Christian virtues and reaching out to our neighbors, the idea of “home” would be real.

    1. Becky Hastings

      I agree that it can be disappointing to see what people have made the church. But the exciting thing is that we have the opportunity to change things. The more we lean into Jesus the more we will see the fruit of that. Maybe we can recreate “home” together.

  5. My husband and I left a church that we’d attended for years because as my husband put it ‘it was a social club’ a place where the pot luck and the local football team was the most important thing to be discussed. It was hard leaving because it was comfortable. We knew our place and we were loved there but we weren’t growing in our faith. It’s hard to step out but we feel that it’s been the best choice for us. Thanks for sharing. I’m here from 31 day facebook.

    1. Becky Hastings

      I can relate to this feeling so deeply Patti. For us it was about the cliques. I had enough of that in high school and I couldn’t wrap my head around that fitting into church. Check out some of Francis Chan’s recent work with the church and David Platt’s books. They impacted me deeply. I finally felt understood. Translating it into the real world is a bit more work though. We’ll keep doing it together though! 😉

  6. I’ve guess I’ve never thought about church as a home. I have always thought about it as a hospital for hurting people. Those of us who have been there a while and have been/or are being healed by the Great Physician are there to help the others, whether through prayer, sharing God’s amazing Word, physically or spiritually helping them. —I think you are right about our expectations. I heard once that disappointment comes when our expectations are far above the reality. –Thought provoking post! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Thanks for visiting Robyn. I love the analogy of the hospital. My only struggle with this: What happens when you’re no longer bleeding out? What does the church look like then? My only instinct is to press toward Jesus and be more of what He has called us to. This works in the institution of church or if you’ve been disillusioned by it. Maybe when we draw closer to Him we will understand more of His love for the Church. It’s amazing that you have found a place where it does feel like home. Keep pressing in toward Him!

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