There has been (and still is) a lot of talk over the last few years about why Millennials are leaving the church, and the real reasons Millennials are leaving, Open Letters about what’s gone wrong and why some have left. (Sorry to not provide links, but a quick Google search will get you there, though my guess is you know exactly the kinds of articles I’m referring to.)
All the writers on this site fit into that infamous category, Millennial, even if just barely, and we all go to church. So I thought it might be helpful to tell our stories here at TTC in a series throughout February (and into March a bit) on “Why We Go to Church.”
I’m excited about this series. We’ve invited several guest bloggers to share their stories, and I can’t wait to watch how their voices enrich the conversation. All of our stories are different. Some of us are, like a in rocky patch in a marriage, sticking it out despite… fill in the blank of our own personal hurts, disagreements, and disappointments. Some of us have left and come back. Some of us work in the church. Most of us volunteer. Some of us find church to be a refuge. We all fit into more than one of these categories all at once.
When we say church in this series, we mean a local, physical gathering of believers.
However, I understand those who feel that with social media they are able to “not forsake the fellowship,” as the author of Hebrews instructs, without having to go to a building every Sunday. I feel that way myself in some respects. Most of my closest friends do not go to my church. Some of my dearest friends live airplane flights away. There are online communities I’m involved in that sharpen and edify and foster a life of love toward others. These friends and communities are a significant part of the broader Church in my life.
And yet, I still can’t give up on the actual physical gathering of believers. There is something about the physicality of human existence throughout the arc of the human story: Creation, Fall, Redemption, Resurrection. Climaxing with the Incarnation of Jesus, there is just too much concerning our actual bodies for me to give up the gathering of many bodies as One Body. And there’s something about an embodied community that, for me at least, takes “inciting love” to its next step of “stimulating helpful deeds.”
So that being said, this series is about the local, physical, messy, people-riddled church, and we invite you to join with us. Add your stories about why you go to church, or even why you don’t. My hope is that this series will encourage us, or even challenge us — I’m almost certain it will do both for me.