Finding a Church to Relate To

Columbia Gorge from the Washington sideDo you remember Seinfeld?  Way back in the 90s, you know, when there was grunge music, just a few clunky cell phones, dress shirts tucked into jeans, Crystal Pepsi.  Anyway one time Seinfeld found a girl who had all kinds of things in common with him, and then he said, “Now I know what I’ve been looking for all these years…myself!”

A couple weeks ago I went on an incredible journey.  The Columbia Gorge is awesome on the road from Oregon side, but is spectacular on the North side highway in Washington.  Just me and my girl and my brother spending quality time.

The Gorge, Mary Hill Museum, Stonehenge replica, great sites to check out if you ever come to the Northwest.  The weather was great and the sun would shed all kinds of interesting light on the hills and trees.

A road on Highway 14 overlooking the Columbia River GorgeMy brother and I are both a bit eccentric and tend to keep to ourselves, but we needed to get out of the city.  We had a great time and found some things in common.  She listened graciously as we would go on about Lord of the Rings or Buck Rogers or whatever.  The trip brought joy to all of us.  I’m finding out even as I help her family she is helping mine.

While I help her with my creative giftings and emphasis on grace, she helps me with her encouraging words of faith.  She loaned me a book called, “Becoming a Commander of Covenant Wealth” while I loaned her “The Ragamuffin Gospel”.

Maryhill Museum around the Columbia Gorge on the Washington side.Though we’ve had our differences, we’ve both grown much stronger the last few months. When we started going out, people didn’t understand it.  We didn’t even understand it.  In fact we’re still figuring it out.  People had pictured me with some hip Portland girl or with someone very quiet.  People had pictured her with someone more pastoral or charismatic or whatever.  It messed up mindsets, but it seemed to fit fine with the prophetic and our leaders encouraged us.

People have an idea that what’s best for them is people like them.  It’s “easier” this way.  No conflict, right?  And then for some reason they keep going from prospect to prospect and they wonder why.

This mentality applies to church as well.  People keep searching to find a church that meets their needs.  They go to one and like it, and then leave because either they don’t like the music, or they “can’t relate” to people there, or they like so-and-so pastor with this dynamic ministry.

Whether relationships, churches, networks, or jobs, people seem to look for something else rather than asking, “What can I give?”,  “How can I serve?”, “How can I meet the needs of someone else?”

Let me tell you a little relational hint.  Don’t give “friend tests”.  “If they were really my friends they would…remember my birthday…comment on my Facebook post…call me instead of always calling them…”  Whatever it is, they will fail, because they’re human.  I realize these sound like things teenage girls do, but adults can do this on a more subtle level.

I Cor 12 talks about the different giftings within a church and compares it to a human body.  Verse 17 asks, what if the body was just a big eye?  Kinda like one of those beholder monsters in games.  Gross.

People keep searching for churches to relate to and churches nowadays keep searching for ways to cater.  I see white collar churches, blue collar churches, young people churches, old people churches, white churches, black churches, churches for rockers, preppies, hippies, singles, artists, businessmen, the list goes on.  I understand everyone has their style and groove, but there’s a pattern that has some problems.

The early church didn’t have special groups.  They didn’t have youth groups or singles groups or young married groups.  But they did struggle with some division.  When Peter and his buddies hung out with their Jewish friends instead of intermingling with non-Jews, Paul got on his case.  (Gal 2:11-14)

Did you ever consider that at that church where you seem so different, God might be calling you there because of that very reason?  Maybe you have something to give that they lack, and vice versa for receiving.

What if, being single, it would benefit you to hang out with married couples so you can learn?  What if by hanging around old people you bring youth and energy as well as benefiting by their wisdom?  I used to want to maybe find a church with artists, or singles, or musicians, and yet God didn’t let me leave my own church.  I had something to give and I needed them as well.

Have you ever wondered why so many churches struggle for musicians and yet at those few larges churches, many top-notch musicians are waiting in line for their turn to play?  Something is wrong with this picture.  It’s like the popular kids table in Jr. High.

So now’s your turn.  What steps can you take to give out or serve?  Start by praying for your pastor and leaders.  Heck, even pray for your president, whether you agree with his policies or not just like it says in I Tim 2.

Give, give, and give more and once in a while you might even receive.  :-)

Category: Arts and Music, Nature, Relationships, Spiritual Thoughts, Travel | 2 comments

  • Dawn says:

    This is a true post and I am glad that you stepped forward. It is something that needed to be voiced.

    Have a greatly blessed day!

  • Josh Taylor says:

    Thank you Dawn. Yeah, it’s not really popular, but I knew it was something I had to say. Have a blessed day as well.