Church – Should I Stay or Should I Go?
“BIG THANKS to every ALC Lifer that shows up every week. (I think I also mentioned today that people who showed up for church today “wanted to” and people who didn’t show up…”didn’t want to”! Your life has been changed by that comment, admit it.)”
Pastor Jeff Hennigan, Abundant Life Church, Plano TX.
I have never been much of a church goer. At least, I haven’t been since garnering some sense of independence from my parents. Growing up, I sampled a Smörgåsbord of religious denominations including Catholic, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Lutheran (but we don’t talk about it), Baptist, and others simply defining themselves as Christian. As a child, I had little understanding or appreciation for the church. Entering into adulthood my church experiences while not negative, had little impact on my life experiences.
My church visits were limited to holiday sessions–annual meetings celebrating Christ’s birth, and His resurrection. I made an effort over the years to find a church, and while I never attended regularly, I continued on my journey of faith.
Last year I started attending Abundant Life Church after an invitation from Ben. While I don’t sit in the pews every Sunday (I am trying to be better), it doesn’t matter. Let me clarify that statement, while Pastor Hennigan certainly challenges me to attend, he along with the congregation, have welcomed me at every turn. Technology also plays a strong part at ALC Plano (as called by its members). Big God Radio makes it easy for me to stay connected on the road with the ability to listen to Sunday services live via the Internet. ALC Plano also creates podcasts of their worship services. Pastor Hennigan maintains a blog, and even Twitters with the best of them.
But it’s not the Pastor, the congregation or even the cool technology, that has me up before 8AM on a Sunday. It’s the feeling, the one I always heard about, and saw acted out on TV, that envelopes me when I participate in the morning’s worship. For the first time, in a long time, I can say that I feel better after attending Sunday service.