My church recently closed, and although I wasn't looking forward to finding a new home, I didn't think it would be too difficult.
I have been on 4 first dates with churches in the city, and let me tell you, it is hard (to be fair, I didn't hate one of them but it only meets at night and that's harder for me). I fell in love with Jesus and His Word first, the local church some time later, and the city I call home some years after that. Finding their intersection has proven to be quite the task.
Although I try to be open minded everywhere I go, I had to walk out of a service today. I walked in and wanted to leave. It was loud, and felt like every Christian millennial stereotype had come to life. The music was unfamiliar and not only bad art, it was about people and our feelings. I was there for 40 minutes and never heard the name of Jesus, never any iteration of his gospel. I had never felt so alone in a room full of people. I was growing more and more uncomfortable every minute I was there, and when there was a message without a single word of Scripture, I had to leave.
While I was still there, I took a moment to reflect on the church cultures and communities I've engaged in lately and wrote this list of why I'm not at your church
You preach based on emotion and feelings and never open a Bible.
You will quote a sociology book before the Word of God.
You will preach a biblical topic but use only maybe one verse or two stripped from its context to support your point.
You sing lame "worship" music about people and our feelings instead of Jesus.
You go through half the service (or more) before saying the name of Jesus or reading His Word.
You elevate marriage to the end all be all and leave no place for the content single.
Your idea of community is confined to once a week dinners and don't know what to do with those who work evenings.
I love my Jesus and the church He died to save. I love my city and the people who are desperate for light and hope and abundant life. I am a 25 year old happily single Bible nerd, lover of church history and cherisher of old hymns. I value belonging to and serving a local church. I'm not giving up on my search for a Bible-loving, preaching, believing and living church in this city, but it's Sunday afternoon. I'm a little worn, a little sad, and just in case you are too, I wanted you to know I'm here.