Baby-boomers, what would you tell your grandkids about your experience with the local church?
Should they go? Valuable? It really strengthened your faith in God? It helped make Jesus Christ real to you? Other believers made a real positive difference in your life?
I found my faith there. It grew for awhile and then I went through many years where it eroded like the shoreline on a Michigan lake during a really hot summer like this one.
A lot of good things happened to me in the Lutheran church. I was baptized there. I went to school for eight years there. I was introduced to Jesus Christ and then I became a teenager and then an adult and my faith started to slip through my fingers like Jello.
If you had asked me a couple of years ago if I had a mature faith, I would have confidently said, yes. Then I got older and I started to look over my shoulder at my life.
My wife and I talk often about serious life questions, including faith in God. I recounted where I was at and she suggested that perhaps I never grew out of my baby-faith. Do you know this term? I was baptized and confirmed. In between, I memorized all the verse in the Lutheran Catechism. I went to church every Sunday.
I was never taught how it was relevant to my everyday life. As a result, my faith would slide in an out and around. One day, it was there and then it was over there. I had trouble grabbling hold of it.
I got involved in local church politics and that only made it worse. Sunday School classes were pro-forma and seemed more focused on filling blanks on a page than helping people respond to the Word of God for real change in their lives.
We finally got up the nerve to leave. We tried another and that didn't work. We've been going to another that seems to connect the dots between God and his word and life. He's now taken a seat at our table.
I feel I'm growing spiritually.