Gonna go to chuuuuurch. Yes that’s right, for the first time in a very long time, the James family shall be traipsing to church tomorrow. “But wait Jennifer! Don’t you go to IHOP?”
Yes, we moved here for IHOP, yes we love IHOP and think it has a TON to offer families, kids, adults, young adults, old adults etc. But right now I am feeling like it really doesn’t have a lot to offer us. There is nothing wrong with going to ihop, it’s just not where we are at right now. When I list the reasons we are trying a different church, you MUST NOT take that as criticism of IHOP. A lot of it is what’s been going on in my own heart, not what I am not finding at IHOP etc etc.
It’s the traditional “it’s not you, it’s me,” speech.
It’s not IHOP. It’s me.
One, I’ve never done well at big churches. When I got re-saved in college, I would get up every Sunday morning, and go to a massive church all alone. I hated it. To this day whenever I walk into a big church I feel lost. Then, we had a baby, and we just didn’t have the drive to get out the door. We were connecting spiritually with our big circle of ihop friends, and could listen to teachings online, so it never really felt like we were missing out. But lately, I’ve felt like I’m missing out.
I grew up in home churches, so something small is really my pace. My heart right now is really yearning for a culture of genuine community, and honor, and walking out Christ-like principles in my normal workaday life. I know some amazing people that strap their kids to their hips and open their homes and minister 24/7 and it FEEDS their spirits. That’s not where I am at.
We’re checking out this church tomorrow in the art’s district called Bridgeport. John and Tracie Loux take their family there, and if a place has the Loux stamp of approval, that’s the stamp of approval a gal can trust.
I want authenticity. If I could just be blunt, I am sick to death of Jesus sound bites. I need to go back to God 101. How to love God, how to love people, how to raise Godly kids. And it would be super nice to go to church with people who know my name. When you’re in a populous environment, it gets clique-y as people form groups to feel like they belong. Those groups become exclusive, and I get sensitive. Like I said, it’s not you, it’s me.
I’m nervous but super excited. Bridgeport is in the arts district, and has a big artistic community. And I’M AN ARTIST. I think that’s neat. Artists’ who love kids and Jesus and hang out at each others’ houses? Yes please.
Tell you how it goes tomorrow.
Also, again, me telling you, the reader, what I am looking for should not be taken as criticism or faults of IHOP. For after all, we moved out here for IHOP, and it’s a good place with good people.
I’m following the adventure.