I have recently had a struggle I have been fighting for 3 years now come back to the surface. It's hard for me to admit, but I struggle with church.
I've been in church since I was a few weeks old. My family moved churches a few times while I was growing up, so I've experienced different types of churches over the years (admittedly, most of these churches were baptist). I grew up in Sunday school and VBS. I did GA's and Awana's. I've been to DNow, Crosspoint, beach retreats, Student Life Tour, Student Life Camps, spring break mission trips, weekend missions, volunteer centers, middle school retreats, high school retreats, and now BCM retreats/missions/etc.
Why is it that I still feel so unsure about the church at times? I love the place. I grew up there.
I came to college after having my heart broken by my home church. I was determined to recover from the leftover hurt and the orphan feeling of no longer having a church home. I visited around to many different churches in Auburn, including a few that felt far too much like the church I was no longer a part of. Even into my sophomore year, I still visited different churches with different friends, but in the end, I always came back to Church of the Highlands.
Highlands is a non-denominational branch church based out of Birmingham that just so happens to have a location in Auburn and one close to Alabaster. It is extremely different than churches I have attended in the past.
This church is exactly the change I needed from what I grew up thinking church looked like. Last Sunday, I looked around during church and saw an elderly couple together; the woman had her hands raised in worship, while the man sat. They were next to a group of college student on one side and an Asian family on the other. The members of Highlands come from all ages, ethnicities, and denominations---I love it. That it what heaven will be like, after all.
I am guilty of this too, both in the past and the present, but I am calling for us to come together as the global church. We should not be arguing over what we like and don't like about a certain denomination or church. We should be fulfilling what God intended for the church. And, under NO circumstances should the church be hurting it's members.
Church is a body of believers, not a building. Coming to this realization was how I changed my perspective on church. I have a great church here in Auburn and I'm excited to watch the Body of Christ grow in the coming years, both near and far from me, wherever God places me.
41 So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added. 42 They were devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Reverential awe came over everyone, and many wonders and miraculous signs came about by the apostles. 44 All who believed were together and held everything in common, 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and distributing the proceeds to everyone, as anyone had need. 46 Every day they continued to gather together by common consent in the temple courts, breaking bread from house to house, sharing their food with glad and humble hearts, 47 praising God and having the good will of all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number every day those who were being saved.