I think I understand Bono now.
I’ve got this church, with a fair number of friends in it, but nothing that actually resembles “Christian community.” The last vestiges of that blew apart when our small group suddenly, and without warning, imploded. It’s evangelical in most of the good ways and a few of the bad, and the folks in the church have good hearts and desire to follow God.
But I’m not growing there (though spiritually I have been engaged in perhaps the greatest growth-spurt of my life – outside of my church). And I also worry that in the end, my theology may find me outside of what is “acceptable.”
Then there’s this other church which I attend on occasion. Big church, but very friendly. Sermons are knocked-out-of-the-park fantastic. Great facilities, good children’s program, theological position which is much closer to mine than the church I go to. But I don’t know anyone there. And did I say it’s big? And it’s still basically evangelical, whereas I am finding myself more and more in the post-evangelical, ancient-modern, missional/emerging part of the Church catholic.
And yet a third that I have just discovered, though it has been around for more than a century in our city and many centuries overall. In fact, it’s about as close as you can get in the Protestant world to a direct line back to the early church. You know, the one with the Book of Common Prayer. I LOVE the liturgy, feel united with Christ in the Eucharist, and in general enjoy the flow of the service. But I wonder if I could really ever feel at home there, and seriously doubt that my wife could do so.
And finally there are my desires. My desires to be a part of a real community of faith – something which I have tried again and again to find only to be disappointed and disillusioned at the end of every experience – at times because I have let the community down and at times because the community has let me down.
I desire to find a place where I could be mentored in learning a spiritual rhythm to teach my family, rather than having to make stuff up as I go along.
I desire to find a place where two years isn’t considered a long time to be in the same “small group” and there isn’t the assumption that because you aren’t growing numerically it must mean you’re not growing.
I desire to find a place where we can love the poor and the lost, the outcast and the unloved, together.
But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.