Yep you read that title correctly.
I’m a PK (preacher’s kid) and I’m not in church. And not missing it either.
The beginning of this journey would occur back in October 2009, on a seminary visit, ironically. I don’t really care to discuss why I left church, beyond just being churched out. I’d rather talk about what life has been like, outside of the institutional church, and just so many different assumptions I’ve had.
For starters, I never thought I’d say this, but not being in church has enhanced my marriage. I cringe when I think about 20-year-old me, because that’s how old I was when K & I began dating. I was quite religious. I judged folks based on how they worshipped at church (crazy, I know), I fussed at K for listening to Jay Z in his car. Yea I was outta control. Now, K & I are on the same page about religion, not out of either of our’s effort. It just happened, and I’m thankful.
Not being in church has enhanced my faith. I’ve had to see what my faith looks like outside of the bible, outside of regular church attendance. And it initially wasn’t as strong as I thought it was. I learned first hand, for the first time ever, what faith really was. And no, I don’t make extra efforts to go to church on Christmas or Mother’s Day.
I learned what God’s unconditional love TRULY feels like. It wasn’t based on emotionalism, or what worship music was playing at the time. It wasn’t based on what I’d done, how many scriptures I’d read that day, how many hours in prayer I’d spent. And I’d learned that communicating with God isn’t as complicated as I thought it was all my life.
Not being in church, helps me to enjoy life more. I’ve seen life from a multitude of views. I’ve been humbled in ways I couldn’t even imagine. I’ve learned to love people in ways I didn’t think possible.
I had alot of misconceptions about people who didn’t go to church, growing up. I thought the folks who didn’t go to church on Sundays were religionless, going to hell, etc. But I’m finding, that’s not at all the case. Not even close.
I must admit, most of the last 2 years out of church were spent working on Sundays. Only recently have I had Sundays off, so I’ve gone to watch hubby play football. And that’s been great 🙂
Whenever we have kids, if we do raise them in church? We’ll make sure to supplement it at home. Not necessarily by ‘bible studies’ like my father did with my sisters and I. But just conversations about real, every day topics. Things not talked about in church. I feel like so much is sugar-coated in church, which saddens me, because life isn’t sugar-coated. Life is raw, dirty, messy. And yet, we create this theology that fits inside nice neat little boxes. They don’t match up. And people like me, can tell. I want my kids to love God, in their own way. I want my kids to know, what life is really like. And how God can bring redemption into a broken world, in spite of. I really hope, me and K can help them to understand that, by showing them and teaching them, things that can’t really be taught inside a church service.
Life without church has been a breath of fresh air. Maybe hubby and I will return someday. Maybe we’ll never return. But I haven’t lost my faith, nor has K. I just know that nothing in life has ever felt so right. I feel like right now, we’re not meant to be in church. Whenever I am there? It doesn’t feel right. I don’t feel peace. And it’s not about being at the ‘right church’. I know I’m not meant to be in ‘church’ right now. It’s meant for us to walk this way. I know it’s for a reason. And someday, I’ll know why. Til then? I’m enjoying ‘no church in the wild.’