11. The number of Sundays that have come and gone since my church closed its doors.
10. The number of Sundays since then that I have not attended a church. There was a week in there where I visited a church because I was invited.
This isn’t just a pattern anymore. It’s becoming (if it hasn’t already become) a lifestyle.
And I have to say, I miss going to church.
I know that it’s an uncool thing to say, especially among Christians. The cool thing to say would be that I don’t miss it at all. That I feel freer. Like a burden got lifted off of my shoulders. And that from my now enlightened perspective, I can slam the church for all the ways that it’s deficient and how there is impending doom if the church doesn’t get its act together (and soon).
But cynicism sucks.
And I actually miss going to church.
Part of the reason is that I’ve gone to church my entire life. And now, I don’t. I feel the loss of the habit of going to church.
But here are some of the other reasons that I’ve been able to identify so far:
- Friends: I had friends in the church. And they’re still friends. I just don’t see them as often as I used to. And I can’t count on seeing them with the same regularity. I miss seeing them as often as I did.
- Sense of belonging: There was an ease about knowing that I belonged to a group of people not because of what I’ve done or what others have done for me, but because of what Jesus did for all of us. Nearly all of my other relationships are dependent on my ability to do something for others. And it’s often exhausting.
- Eschatological: The book of Revelation shows that we are headed toward a destiny of worshipping God with songs. I believe that even if we can’t articulate the theology behind it, when we sing songs of worship with other people, we experience the connection to our eternal destiny. Since I haven’t been going to church, it’s been harder to experience the unshakable hope that comes from experiencing even the smallest taste of our eternal destiny.