Sunday, January 14, 2007

From Mega to Micro Church In A Day

St. Peter's Square in the early morning.Image via Wikipedia
This morning, I got up and went to the Vineyard with the family. I then came home, grabbed a quick bowl of instant Oatmeal and boogied over to Nexus, the micro-church I have been attending. It's an interesting contrast. I never really wanted to attend a mega church anyway. But, we ended up at the Vineyard because of the people there, the music and the casual atmosphere (the first casual church I had ever been to). Now, almost 10 years later, I'm ready to move on. The church has truly become a mega church (it had a much smaller feel in our old building many years ago) and the theology that once only mildly aggravated me (or so I thought) has become less and less tolerable to me. 

I never thought I'd want to attend a micro church either. If it weren't for the family, I probably would have stopped attending church at all a few months ago (or gone to the Quaker church). The idea of home church doesn't appeal to me, really. But, there are some definite advantages to the micro church. I already feel more in "community" on Sunday morning at the micro church that I ever did at even the 8:30am (the most sparsely attended) service at the mega church. The fact that we (the congregation) have the opportunity to interact with each other and the pastor during the service (as limited as it might be) is a huge thing for me. The pastor has left room for questions/comments at the end of his sermons.  I'd like to see more of that.  But, you can't even attempt that in a service with hundreds of people in it. The other really big thing, that has nothing to do with size of church, is the micro church is progressive. When we started attending the Vineyard so many years ago, if there were any progressive churches in Cincinnati, I had never heard of them or I would have been all over that.  Shouldn't all churches be progressive?  Shouldn't everyone be progressive?  I don't understand the mentality that says we've learned all there is to learn, grown all we need to grow and don't need to move on from here.

I'm not sure what's going to happen with this. Attending both places hasn't been so bad, for a while. But, it's not something I want to keep doing. My wife is perfectly happy at the mega church and hates change. She said to me today that she thought once you chose a religion you were supposed to stick with it for life. She's already changed from being Catholic. (I'm not sure why she equates changing churches with changing religions).  I guess that's her one change for her religious lifetime. I'm just the opposite. I don't want to church hop. But, I feel that we should always be spiritually seeking and growing. Inevitably, that's going to lead us to outgrow some things and possibly some places (and even some people). I want to be accommodating to her (and have been). Serving there is one thing.  That (serving my family and others) has had to be enough for the last several months as things have just gotten more and more stale for me there. 

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