Saturday, January 01, 2005

"I'm Leaving Church to Find Jesus"

"I'm Leaving Church to Find Jesus"
by Dan Kimball

"I just had a conversation with someone who grew up in a large evangelical Bible teaching church. She got to experience the whole quality spectrum of what a church provides for youth with great Sunday programs, camps, ski retreats etc. Yet, as she has reached adulthood and now is a mother of young children, she said that she is now “leaving church to find Jesus”.

Interesting comment. She says that she has become disillusioned with the evangelical church. She mentioned how “church” has become so shallow in terms of the teaching. Instead of teaching focused on the historical Jesus, the preaching is more about the how-to’s of basic life skills that may or may not even mention Jesus. She knows that how-to teaching was helpful, but she feels she needs to move on from there. In a way she feels she has “outgrown” this type of church. She feels there must be more. She wants to know Jesus more, and for her it means leaving the church to find Him.

She says that she is viewing church a lot different lately. She finds that the PowerPoint used by the worship team and way the words come up remind her of the Disney sing-a-long videos for children. She says that she is looking for intelligent discussion to grapple with the depth of the faith, and how to think of world religions, and how to process the issue of homosexuality – but instead she only finds that people sit and listen to the charismatic preacher and never question anything.

She is now visiting some smaller churches which focus more on liturgy where she feels there is more of a Jesus focus. She also likes that that many of the people there have higher levels of intelligent conversations about the historical Jesus that she never was able to find in her larger evangelical church. She now thinks she may even try and find more of a home church than an established church or denomination. She hopes to maybe find others who are looking for Jesus in the same way she is. And after listening to her, I have a strong sense she is not alone. I have a pretty strong hunch that more and more younger people who grew up in the contemporary church are experiencing the same thing."