It’s been just over three weeks since our satellite church held its final worship service. And it hasn’t been easy for Chad and I to acclimate to life without out it. We are still trying to figure out where we belong, if we should return to our home church or find somewhere new. Don’t get me wrong, I love our home church. The opportunity it gave us over the past two and half years to be vital to a ministry and connect with others in seriously real and meaningful ways is something that changed me into a better person, friend, follower, and believer.
But we also struggle to connect there. And we haven’t been to a service there since the opening of the satellite campus two-and-a-half years ago. The biggest difference between the main campus and the satellite one we helped build was the size: hundreds of people over three (now four) worship services versus 40-60 at one small service. We knew when someone was missing, and most of the time, we also knew why because we were involved in each other’s lives and because it was noticeable when someone wasn’t there serving in whatever ministry they were a part of. It was good to be church with these people and not just attend. So we haven’t been ready yet to just attend.
And I know there is something valuable in simply attending a Sunday morning church service. It’s a good opportunity to refocus yourself, listen to the words of your pastor as s/he teaches you about the bible, worship together with other believers, and feel God’s presence. Sometimes it’s nice to just absorb and concentrate on what’s happening in front of you, right? Instead of thinking about what has to be done next, what you’re going to teach the youth that day, what might go wrong with the technology during the service, what we should do to make visitors feel welcome… But then again, I believe in having an active faith, a faith that calls me to serve, a faith that isn’t always easy, but is often tiring because we’re working on big, important things– God’s things.
We haven’t been to a service at our main campus yet, but we have been to bible studies, youth group meetings, and even a business meeting there. And each time, it’s been hard. Each time, I feel sad again, and even a little angry, that I have to try so hard here, that it isn’t natural anymore for me to just walk into my church and make myself at home, make myself useful and usable. I’m sad that my church is gone. And the main campus has not yet felt like a sufficient replacement.
Instead of being able to focus on serving and worshipping when I go to church now, I find myself focusing on my feelings, my experience, my loss. But maybe I should just get out of my own way and let things fall into place. I just wish that sounded easier to my stubborn, wallowing spirit.