Okay, I have been a little on the radical side a little lately but it has raised some good questions and discussion – which I know we all enjoy. But for me, it raised the biggest question – why do we attend church? What are out reasons?
I attend a little church (about 9 members on a good week) called the First Nations Alliance. My brother (and his wife) are the pastor there and it’s very ‘laid back’ (likely because we all came from a strict religious mind-frame prior to some of our de-conversion – pentecostals anyways). There is a about 4 song worship set (all my family on the instruments), then there is open sharing (and by open – I mean really open – this week drugs and child neglect were on the lips of 2 ladies), and followed by the word (which is usually framed as a counseling message). Service concludes with another song.
Now I like this church – although I have only attended twice this year (means I missed at least 4 services – all in a row). First off, I have family there and I am more than glad they support a vision for the Action Group. Secondly, the people there don’t have to impress no one and we can ‘come as we are’ and still find some acceptance (people can say whatever they want and the pastor isn’t too proud to admit his every fault). Lastly, we all have a love for our culture – First Nations (Cree and Saulteaux) and that is perfectly cool. We also have a music night where we play songs from CCR, the Rolling Stones, Elvis, etc…we just have fun with our musical talents. I know stone them all – oddly enough many of us were getting stoned before we were doing something like this (little play on words – sorry).
To be perfectly honest I don’t attend church for the worship (not much of that smacks of sincerity to me). I don’t go to get prayed for – for the same in-sincere reasons or even (in some senses) superstitious reasons. I have to be honest, I really love the word of God and when I hear someone speak on it I always learn something new…not sure why but I always do. The community is also quite cool also – we are a very open bunch of people – I can dig that. We also all know we have a lot of work in our communities to do and no one is bullsh*ting the next one on that point. Were fractured, fragile, hurt, and poor human beings trying to recover what we lost – I like that type of brutal honesty.
To be even more honest, I could live without church – it doesn’t do a whole heck of a lot. We meet at a building, sing some songs, maybe give some money, listen to someone talking, and then we leave (all of this done to the magic of Power Point). But in the end, we aren’t accomplishing a whole heck of a lot – we don’t solve many problems in our communities for as much as we talk about them (unless you count prayer) and the Action Group does what it can for the less fortunate on an extremely small scale (one person at a time) – but Action Group can exist apart from church I noticed (I just want the church as an organization with resources to get involved on a more major scale).
So why do you attend church? What makes you go week after week – or not? Is there a disconnect going on or is the disconnect each person’s personal problems? No quick and easy answer here – but a good question nonetheless.