First Church Experience?

Do you remember your first memories of church? Maybe it was when you were a child and you remember your parents getting you up early on Sunday for church. Quickly your parents would pull you out of bed, get you dressed, and hand you a pop-tart as you unfortunately walked past the television and morning cartoons to get in the car to go to church. Why were they in such a hurry?

Maybe it was when you were a little older. Maybe elementary age? Church was different. People you didn’t know started asking you really personal questions. You remember waking up every Sunday with this knot in your stomach because people might find out all the bad things you had done that week and they might tell God! It was if they had some hidden spiritual x-ray machine that could read your mind. Why did your parents start going to church? Where did this come from? Had things been so bad that your parents were actually turning to God for help. This can’t be good.

Maybe it was when you were in high school? Maybe you were tired of your group of friends, maybe your parents were tired of your friends, but some how you ended up in church and making new friends. Do you remember all those inside church / bible jokes that people would laugh at? Something about some sport game being like David and Goliath and that one guy being like a sling shot and then everyone breaking out in simultaneous laughter. It was really awkward, but for some reason you wanted to be there.

Maybe it was when you were an adult and it seemed like everyone else there had such perfect lives. Everyone seemed so well put together. If they ever found out how messed up your life was they would never let you in this place again, but you kept going back.

Whenever it was it was likely that we all walked into the same experience. Some nice people are there to say hello and ask you about the weekend, and oh yea, the really nice weather. Why do people talk about such surface conversation? I guess it is just a starting point.

As we find a place to sit, not too close because we don’t want people to notice us, but also not too far because we don’t want someone to come and talk to us so somewhere in the middle, on the right, next to the exit, we find a place to sit down. Everything seems somewhat normal at first. People seem warm, nice, almost inviting, and it is slowly starting to feel like this might be okay.

Is this what church should be like? Is this what Jesus had in mind 2,000 years ago? How did we get to this point?

What have your experiences been like?

5 thoughts on “First Church Experience?

  1. ialeks

    im not really a big believer of church.
    yes of course i do believe in God
    ive been raised in catholic religion
    my grandma would wake me up every sunday morning and take me to church-it was considered normal and i never questioned it, but as time went by and i experienced freedom and more knowledge came across, i started asking more questions and doubting what i’ve been exposed to.
    right now i wish i could be more spiritual but all the negativity coming from the catholic church disables me to just simply believe and go along

  2. Michael Dennis Post author

    ialeks – i think a lot of people are in this place…of wanting to believe, but not sure who to trust. it seems like jesus might have had something else in mind when he started this gathering of people who looked past background, sex, education, and status. what do you think were some positives of your grandma taking you to church?

    1. ialeks

      since ive never had a full family and until this day i don’t really know how a stereotypical model of a family should look like, i would say that the most positive was the fact that i felt some kind of unity within my grandparent’s home. it was one of those rituals that enabled all of us to get closer to each other as a group of people living under the same roof–something that we did together every sunday. a part of us. rather than all of us doing something different and for their own interest

  3. Kyle Smith

    wow. i literally just put up a post on my blog about this. here’s a brief excerpt… “I’ve had pastors that have deeply disappointed me. But when they did, I treated it like it was God that was letting me down. Though pastors have a greater responsibility for their church, they’re still sinners. They still screw up. But why is that so hard to accept? Still don’t have the answer to that one. But I think knowing this helps me with my church relationships. Nothing bothers me more than for people to be something they’re not at church. All my life everyone at church puts on those smiling faces and speaks only of their perfect lives. Never of their problems or struggles. So no wonder I think that everyone at a church has to be flawless.”

  4. Michael Dennis Post author

    yeah i agree kyle. it seems like it is a struggle because of both perspectives wanting to take the place of jesus. we end up elevating others because it seems like they must know jesus so much better than we do and they are easier to see than jesus and so they make for an easy fill in of the gospel, but a lousy substitute 🙂

    however, we also can drift toward present perfect lives because we like how how people respond to it and it makes us feel good about ourselves when ultimately people should walk away thinking about jesus not how great we are.

    good thoughts


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