Not The Norm

All my life I have never been one to chase after “the norm”. I have always been OK with being… “different”. I was never motivated by the goal of just being different, I was just content with being or doing what I thought I wanted to do. That’s pretty different.

Well, at the age of 32, nothing much has changed. I have lots of “different” stories to my life. If you know me well, you’re quite certain that I am “different”. I never dated anyone.. not even my wife. We made a mutual decision to “just get married”. And, we never kissed prior to our wedding day, not even during the wedding ceremony! (We are expecting our 5th child now, so as you may have noticed, we have lifted the moratorium on kissing…) We homeschool our kids. I have never really been employed. I even continue to watch my Buffalo Bills when most others are beginning to lose interest.

And, perhaps the biggest shock to people who have known me for any good length of time, I don’t go to church.

I am a follower of Jesus, and speak with him in an ongoing conversation throughout every day of my life. I am learning from him and want to be like him as much as I am able. I long to live a life that loves God (and lives loved by God), and that loves people as he does. But, I still don’t go to church.

Why? What’s wrong with church? Am I bitter? Did something bad happen? Many believe this to be the only explanation for a good, “Bible-believing Christian” to avoid attending weekend services. It’s certainly not. At least, not from my perspective. The answer is more complicated than one post can pretend to address, and even more complicated than one form of media.

So I am going to offer another.

In July of this year, I published a book of thoughts collected from my website, in a book titled, “There’s The Steeple… Here’s The Church“. Referencing of course the child’s rhyme, “Here’s the church, Here’s The Steeple…” in an attempt to re-define what we call “church”. The term has come to mean so many things that it really is not. It’s not a building, or a time, or a service, or a ceremony, or a 501c3 organization… it’s the living, breathing body of Christ. His followers on the earth.

If you too have grown tired of the church simply being an hour on a weekend when we listen to a few people present their thoughts on God to a stationery, passive audience, who are then offered myriad programs to continue the “faith journey” throughout the week… come along with me as we re-think the corporate life of believers and followers of Jesus.

I will be posting new audio chapters here as often as possible, read word for word from the book published in July 2006. If you hear thoughts that match your own, or perhaps you hear something put to words that you haven’t quite yet been able to, you might want to consider purchasing a copy of the book to read ahead, or read along. If you are unable to do so, please e-mail me and let’s begin a discussion of the thoughts presented here. My motivation is not to change your thinking, or to gain a following for me or anyone else who may think as I do. My motivation is only to see the Church living daily in the fullness of God’s grace both received and given out.

May your journey with him be far more than you could ask or imagine. Enjoy the ride.

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