It’s been a long time, readers.
Before we go any further, you need to know the C word is church.
Do you still want to stay?
There will be a few other C words in this update, but the one in the title is church. I had considered making the C word: Claudio, Community, or Children, but in the end I felt like church was the best fitting for what I’m thinking about this morning.
So plenty has happened in the seven months since last I wrote here.
We’re having another baby, a girl, in August (due on my birthday actually).
I finished a beta edit of my novel, The Pale Shadow, and sent it to beta-readers.
I’m waiting now…Just waiting…
I directed Almost, Maine for Shadblow Theatre. I am immensely proud of it.
I choreographed a fight scene for Calvin College’s Sense & Sensibility.
I re-upped my unarmed certification with the SAFD.
I taught two classes for Civic Theatre Grand Rapids (Acting 1 and 2).
I played Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing at the Rose with Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company. I think Claudio has a bad reputation and consistently gets hated on more harshly than necessary. I thought about doing an, “The C Word – In Defense of Claudio” post and then thought better of it. I’m over it now.
I have read a lot…for me at least…like 20 books, I think. Find me on Goodreads. We can be friends.
What brings me back to sonofascritch today though is church.
I’ve talked at length about it before so I apologize if this is a retread, but a conversation with a friend of mine got my mind turning this morning.
“I have enough church,” he said, “what I really need is friends.”
As someone who spent their entire childhood, college years, and half of my adult life steeped in the Christian church, I find it really easy to blend in. I know how to navigate the social spheres, make polite conversation, meet needs, etc. I think one of the like 12 youth pastors I had would probably have said, “I know how to fake it.”
This isn’t a declaration of my falsehood btw, I do these things in earnest. I love my church. I love my church community. I love helping where there is a need. Furthermore, I think it takes spiritual discipline to do things even on those days when you don’t feel like it. But I digress.
My point is this: I know how to do church.
What my friend is struggling with right now is like me he knows how to do all these things. He knows how to function as a part of the body. What he’s finding, however, is a severe lack of genuine friendships coming out of doing church.
“I have enough church. What I really need is friends.”
It made me start thinking about my church community.
What if my friend was a stranger to me and started attending my church?
Would we be friends or would we be church friends?
Would we forge a friendship out of common interests and spend time outside of the church or would we make polite conversation and say, “See ya next week!”
I think for the church (the body) to function as it is intended to, we need to be developing friendships outside of the church (the building). Yes, we always have our faith to fall back on, and No, you don’t need to be besties with EVERYONE. However, I think it is of utmost importance for us to be building multi-faceted relationships. Otherwise, some folks may only have friends on Sundays.
No one can live like that.
So maybe next time you meet a future friend at church, before you invite them to more church maybe have a drink with them first. Find some common interests. Perhaps you’ll find someone to do life beside instead of…ya know… just Sundays.
Also here’s a book you can read together!