A New Home
Oct. 23, 2014
On the twenty-third day of the month of my twenty-third birthday this year, I share with you about my new church family.
I share about my new church home because I haven’t yet closed the deal after my politically enraged rant about the previous church I visited.
My journey to my church home started with a flyer — yes, a flyer. The week after I stopped going to the church that disappointed me with its dated preaching and biased and offensive remarks on political figures and African American churches, I received a flyer in the mail from another church. I felt like God had responded to my prayers and thoughts during that particular week, which was filled with anxiety. The flyer invited me to attend this other church as it was celebrating its five-year anniversary in early September. Believing that God responded to me when I needed it the most, I visited the church.
As soon as the worship set began, on the morning of September 14, I started feeling good about the church. The band sang and played Hillsong tunes, worship that I had come familiar with at my college ministry in BG. People in the congregation clapped and raised their hands high, which felt refreshing compared to what seemed like a stiff, rehearsed and spiritless worship at the previous church I had visited. At my new church home, I felt that the worship time has been very inviting to the Spirit of God.
Another thing I have felt good about in my new church is its reputation of being the “Crazy Love” church. As the pastor has said on numerous occasions, the church is all about loving all people, especially the hurt and broken, like Jesus has for all. One funny thing my pastor said while reflecting on the church’s birth five years ago was that doubters said “there’s no way you can have a church where a Democrat and a Republican can sit beside each other,” but, fortunately, the church seems to embrace everyone regardless of their vote. Probably the most significant thing about the church’s “Crazy Love” reputation is its long-term mission to reach out to the un-churched, which the church said accounts for 70 percent of Chillicothe, Ohio. Now, that appears to be godly vision to me. Responding to this vision, several visitors have given their life to Christ during the six weeks I have attended. I think God is really moving here! Yay!
Along with the church’s mission to love everyone in Chillicothe and the surrounding area, the presence of young and emerging adults makes me feel like God has me in a good place right now. Most of the worship band are younger adults. In fact, I’m attending a small group who are all around my age, which brings me to my next paragraph.
The final thing I love about the church I’m apart of now are the small groups. I got plugged into a small group during my second week, and I feel blessed about this big thing in my life. For me, connecting to others around me is a big need. Because I suffered from loneliness from middle school and parts of college, having community is a must in my life. I also need community in my life so that I can better understand relationship with others so I can better enjoy relationships without problems. Because of my loneliness, I have had problems with girls I felt attracted to (of whom did not respond to me well) and I always have had attachment issues with all people I meet as time and changes alter my relationships. Although most of the people in my small group are married or just got married and I’m single, I feel blessed. I want to learn about godly marriage from them, and I’m also happy that I can still relate with them because we are similar in age and share similar life issues. Last week, I was so blessed because my small group prayed for community in my life after I shared about my loneliness. I felt encouraged because, other than my counselor in college, this was the first time anyone has ever prayed about my loneliness. (If I could cry tears of joy now, it would so appropriate.) It also seems that I also encouraged my small group by attending on my own, without a significant other or my parents there holding my hand. It seems that my initiative and my pursuit of community with other Christians encouraged my small group.