November 9, 2009

Church Experiment #45: Personal Church

[You can tell I’m starting to hit the wall when I have a chapter titled Personal Church in my 52-week spiritual journey.] As I spent time reflecting on last week’s emotional roller coaster, I realized something. My readers have become part of my spiritual community. I specifically mentioned my Vineyard family in that chapter, but this experiment has morphed into much more than words on paper. It would be strange if many of you suddenly disappeared. There are too many names to list, but you guys have become another form of spiritual community for me. We’ve laughed, cried, debated, and bonded. If this was only a book, I would have quit months ago.

This experiment hasn’t just been about visiting churches; it’s been about the dialogue you guys have created. Perhaps more than the visits themselves, that dialogue has helped me learn and grow. I am so thankful for that. I encourage everyone reading this book to join our diverse tribe of ragamuffins (to borrow a term from Brennan Manning).

I definitely experienced an emotional hangover this week. After my “epiphany” that the purpose of church is to experience spiritual community in ways that resemble our biological families, I wasn’t excited about showing up at some random church. Next week, things will be back to normal, but this week, I decided to organize my own personal church experience.

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