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Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Brief (Church Hopping) History

Ok Yall this series right here is about to fully explain why my blog (life lol) needs to come with a For Mature Christians Only warning label. You have been warned.

So I grew up in church. I got saved while attending Mount Calvary Baptist Church. We moved to Sacramento and attended St Paul Missionary Baptist church until my aunt came and started attending then Trinity now Epic Bible college.

Around that time I recall visiting Calvary Chapel, and CCC when it was on Howe Avenue. Finally we settled down under the brothers Trulin who at one point rented space from a 7th Day Adventist church.

I sat under great theology if you are not familiar with the pastors and churches I have just mentioned. I got saved at three and a half years old. I was also gifted and being used by God.

How I ended up out in the world single with a baby and a girlfriend is still a mystery I ask God about but redeemed am I. Amen

When God called me back into the fold in 2003 a friend had been inviting me to a new church plant in Elk Grove. Grace Community. When I got there it was about six months old and you could feel the love.

A most interesting thing began to occur. During the week I would dig into my Bible daily. Being familiar with the text I would travel from verses and scriptures pretty much at will until I felt spiritually fed. There was no path or plan laid out each day I started a fresh with no idea where I might end up or how long I would spend.

On Sunday mornings pastor would have us open our Bibles as he began his sermons and for weeks what I had looked over at least one day in the previous week would be where his text was coming from.

I knew by this and many other things that I was where God wanted me. I understood that I am part of the global body of Christ. I know that the Holy Spirit speaks corporately to us as well as individually. I respect proper leadership and authority.

Giving up Sunday mornings was not something I wanted to do but I knew the scripture said “Fore sake not the assembling of yourselves together” and when God didn’t give me some sort of exception I submitted my will and went.

I found out I dance in worship. I experienced a small group. I was instructed to write out my testimony. It felt like church had grown up with the contemporary free form as opposed to the more traditional style I was used to. I thought I would be in that church forever as it grew and matured.

Suddenly a new family moved to town and they began inviting me to the church they had found to attend. I was incensed. Don’t they know I have a church and the church frowns on church hopping?

Never the less I felt compelled to at least check it out. I loved what I found when I did even more than I had liked where I was at. The last time I found myself at Grace the school auditorium they were using was so packed it was standing room only.

I know someone would have given up a seat for me and the dd. I also knew I could have stood. Instead I felt like it was a sign that our season there was up and drove down the street to the new church with new friends that had a start time 15 minutes or so later.

Arriving at Impact I started over getting all settled in. I connected with the heart of the new pastor the same way I had at Grace. I sense the burdens God places on these leaders when I sit under their ministries. I wondered why God had moved me.

In six months I felt called to move again. This time down the road I went to 1st Baptist of EG. I found the Sunday morning sermons a bit watered down and was praying about what to do. This is a large organization of an established church. The pastor was giving his pitch for small groups and said over us “If you have such a busy life you can only do one thing concerning church during the week let it be a small group. Being in a small group is so impact fully and enriching I have confidence it will lead you back to the bigger body when and if your schedule ever clears.”

For me it felt like a release and I opted for two some what intense Sunday school Bible studies. One was on the book of Hebrews taught by a couple of guys that seemed to have some in depth knowledge of the subject.

There was also a kicking young adult ministry that med during the week for older teens and college students. There we shared meals, had communion and experienced noisy rock and roll worship. It was awesome. That encompassed my time attending there.

After that I checked out a church that erupted in a huge scandal years later. I knew the pastor was a little fast and loose with biblical stories and text from the pulpit but I could never have imagined he was building a cult.

Harvest came on my radar and I headed half way out to Galt as I liked to lament to the Lord even as I lived in El Macero a preppy area of Davis like Gold River is to Sacramento.

Harvest was great and I loved the opportunity to attend weekly Wednesday night Bible corporate study. My cousin and his wife are still there.

I attended a Messianic congregation and then God sent me to BOSS. I did not want to go because I do not feel accepted by black people. They tell me I do not act black which is whack and I just do not like to be bothered.

Never the less it was where God wanted me and began to unpack what He has to say about all of that. Yeah God! Amen

I saw some fliers at school and went to check out Mars Hill in Natomas. I felt at home there for a while. I was able to volunteer. So often as a single mom there was just nothing I could get involved in aside from Sunday worship at church.

Lastly I was at Nations 2 Harvest. Oh the joy. I was invited there by a late night prayer meeting service. I grew up in a house with a prayer warrior for a mom. Hours of tongues is normal for me to hear.

The last time I really remember attending was this summer. June 2010 God sent me to live with a woman who is recovering from having been in a Christian cult for years and years. The message was a Holy Spirit interrupt from what the pastor had thought he was going to speak on that day. Message theme: The Holy Spirit wants us ready to welcome back into the fold and family of God those who are estranged because they have been hurt by members of the church or those calling themselves members.

If that was not hot off the presses just for my situation I do not think anything ever could have been.

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