Why I Quit ChurchBy Chip Dizard
|Photo by Dreamstime|
Church has been a mainstay in my life for years. I remember my dad parting my hair from east to west every week before church. I remember being told when in church all the earth should keep silent.
I remember church like it was yesterday. I grew up in it. And each Saturday I remember moving around from building to building until we finally went home.
I remember my mom and my dad spending hours at church board meetings, and then coming home frustrated with things. This is how I remember church.
I never had a bad experience at church. I just never had an experience.
In my college years I got tired of going to church. Or, if I went, it was to check out a girl, or grab a free meal. Back then, the hype church was Capitol Hill Adventist Church, where Wintley Phipps was the pastor. I attended Columbia Union College* and the fellas made sure we had the fresh cuts and suits in order to impress the ladies and be seen.
But I was tired. I was tired of the same thing with no commitment. So I quit church. I left without a trace. I would show up for special days, and to tshow my parents I was going, and I gave money occasionally. But I had no real connection, and my friends which weren't into church didn't understand why I even bothered.
Years later, my cousin, Sharon, invited me to a church. It was in the ghetto of Baltimore, and the name was Miracle Temple. She said I should come and hear the preacher. I wasn't really interested, but when someone you respect invites you, and offers to feed you after, you oblige. So I went on the first Saturday of the year in 2000, and a preacher named Freddie Russell was talking about vision. I was confused, I didn't think I was in a business setting, but he had a PowerPoint presentation, and he was telling where he thought the church needed to go. I was intrigued and wanted to know how a preacher could give a PowerPoint and not a hell-fire breathing sermon on the first day of the year. It was Y2K and everyone was afraid the end was near. Pastor Russell must have missed that memo.
After church I introduced myself to the Pastor, and then came back again and again. I invited people. They came with me. I even attended prayer meeting. This was different. This was the "unchurch." In the next few years, I joined, and became lead webmaster, and eventually took charge of media. But it all started with an invitation from a friend.
Sometimes the best way to introduce others to Jesus is to simply invite them to come and see what you've discovered.
* Now Washington Adventist University