Monday, June 22, 2009

Church Experiment #25: Jesus Christ University

I debated for a long time what to do this week. I never actually considered quitting the experiment. Last week, I said I wanted to quit, but that was just a feeling. I committed to 52 churches in 52 weeks, and I don’t believe it’s right to quit just because something gets difficult.

Whatever I decided to do had to qualify as “church” in my mind. Since I am in the Outer Banks all week, I tried to convince myself sitting on the beach with my Bible was church. And maybe it is, but my brain wasn’t buying it.

There are a few dozen churches around the Outer Banks, but nothing stood out. I never did find that elusive church service on the beach. I had no idea what I was going to do until we were driving along Friday night and I noticed a sign that read, “Jesus Christ University.”

Saaaaaaaaay whaaaaaaaaat?

I bet the frat parties there are laaaaaame.

I was intrigued, so when we got home, I did a quick Google search and realized Jesus Christ University wasn’t actually a college; it was a church.

Sold.

I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit a church that came up with a name like Jesus Christ University.

To finish reading about this experience or any of the reflections from my 52 visits, please purchase the full book here.

24 comments:

Cyndi said...

Yaayyy! God is so cool like that. :)

Christina said...

I eagerly read your blog on Monday mornings before anyone is awake. I was in the kitchen getting my first cup of coffee, thinking about my own church while thinking about your frustrations. I, too, sometimes forget that God is much more than the church service. People are desperately flawed, but God isn't. I sometimes just want to pull up stakes and find a "fun" church instead of the church that consistently feeds me with the nutritious word of God, but has zero zing.

I reminded myself before sitting down to read that God is not limited to that boring hymnal singing. He is the song within me if I allow it to be sung.

I was so glad to read that you have been refreshed. I am so restless, but living in a VERY small town has made me choose a church that is right for my family and support it. I imagine if I lived in a big city, I would really be like a kid in a candy store, running amok. As I write this, I think God definitely does know that I am where I need to be.

Lynda said...

Well Steve it is about time you realized that God loves you and can be found in the simplest ways if you just listen. I believe you are not searching for God per se but a church community whose people are also searching and reaching out. I like your blog and look forward to it each Monday. Start meditating, clear your mind of all and listen to the voice of God, he rarely shouts, he whispers "I love you I love you I love you"

bshawise said...

so this counts then?

The Reverend said...

You will not beat me to LifeChurch.tv. You already had this idea before me, you will not take my review of LifeChurch! :)

Oh, try finding a church plant. Those are fun.

Peace,
Rev.

Lydia said...

I am so happy to know that you have finally felt God with you. I was praying that this would happen for you soon. It is so hard to be in that dry place, but it makes the knowledge of Him so much better.

What a wonderful, difficult journey we are all on. I appreciate you writing about it so well!

Dan Kalbach said...

the best

wendymhall said...

A Big Amen!

Amy said...

I've followed you on this journey from Day 1 but this by far is your best post yet. Really thankful that you were able to hear God in such a profound way. Looking forward to seeing how your experience yesterday impacts your future posts!

LTorres said...

Great post! I look forward to reading about your adventure every week. A fun road trip would be to visit Al Green’s church in Memphis, Full Gospel Tabernacle. I was in Memphis last week but couldn’t make a visit work. I’ll bet it would’ve been great. I’ll check it out eventually.

Judy in Indiana said...

Do you know that Jimmy Carter teaches Sunday school? Or at least he used to. Sunday School is first, then church afterwards. If yo stay for church, you can meet the Carters afterwards. I think the church is called Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, GA.

If you are interested, it is quite interesting. We stopped by when on vacation a few years back. The church has something like 25 members but 300 visitors a week.

Sarah said...

Great, inspirational post. I love how God speaks to us like that. :)

Anonymous said...

Any chance you're going to visit a Gnostic church this year? I'd really, really love to see a review of one of Sylvia Browne's Novus Spiritus churches.

Sara said...

Your post and experience this week made me smile, big time! Glad you feel refreshed and renewed. Getting out and really appreciating God's handiwork can do that do a person.

tami said...

While growing up my folks took us all over camping and we always went to church on Sundays.

One year when we were camping we went to a Drive In Church. No joke. The speakers went on the windows, but we couldn't see much on the screen as it was day time.

My Mom still made us wear our church clothes, even tho, we were in the car...
Deacons worked their way around the lot and took offering.
It's a good memory for me.
I learned we really can worship everywhere.

PS- Remember, not only is God big and we are small but that we MaTtEr to Him- a lot! Psalm 139

Thanks for sharing Steve-
tami

Lee Ann said...

I was torn by your previous week's post. I wanted to write you and say your problem is exactly that, YOURS. Often times we rely on a church service to give us inspiration and conviction, and church services often do serve that purpose. But often our problem is that we do not open ourselves to what God is wanting to tell us through the messaged delivered to us by a speaker. I am glad that God spoke to you in such a profound way. God bless you and keep you on your spiritual journey. I am glad you have been refreshed and been given fresh insight regarding your journey.

Anonymous said...

For trying Church Online. I recommend lifechurch.tv. Go to http://internet.lifechurch.tv for more information and times. There are times all days of the week.

CFHusband said...

If you're still in our area this Sunday, check us out: Nags Head Church, 9am or 11am.

meMonica said...

Can I post part of this week's blog on my facebook in my notes? I loved what God said to you and I think it important to share that message with others.

Rohmeo said...

Not to jump to another subject but I was going to mention this a few weeks back.... I always love hearing/discovering songs mostly secular or unknown so- called "Christian" artists that are really spiritually thought-provoking that mean a lot to other people for one reason or another.

I dig a lot of the worship songs that have come out the last few years but sometimes songs like Steve you pointed out a few weeks back like Brett Dennen's "Aint No Reason" and I think it was Garth's "Make You Feel My Love" (I actually like Adele's version) are just raw and honest and sometimes makes you grieve in your heart for what they may still be looking for. I think songs like that can build some common ground with non-believers (I'm not saying compromise) and is wonderful to see how common Grace is poured out on a ton of artists...not to mention how those songs can be used by God to do a particular work in us.

Anyone want to share some songs others' may not necessarily know?

Steve Fuller said...

meMonica,

Sure, post away. :-)

Anonymous said...

I agree that God is everywhere, which means that anywhere can be a church. Church can be a beach or even a burger joint. When I was thinking about starting a church in a burger joint, I found the best one in Cincinnati by visiting www.cirquedusavory.com. My life has never been the same.

vixen kitten said...

I've always found God at the beach, or watching sunset from the comfort of my kayak. My friends like to call it Lake Church. I find him in places where I see his amazing gifts to me. The dazzling stars in the midnight sky, the colors He paints at sunset, the way my Sweet Pea's fur shines when she's sleeping in the sun.

I loved this post. It's the first I've read, and I'll have to go back and read the earlier ones. I found you by looking for others who had minto chocolate chip listed in their profile. *smile* I love when life works that way.

Have a beautiful day.

~vk~

Suzanne said...

What an epiphany! Having been a regular visitor to the Outer Banks when my daughters were growing up I can picture your surroundings and know how conducive they are to discovering that God is constantly discovering us.