Life in A Church

Life in A Church

And what happens when you stop going...


Going to church is an experience that many enjoy and some do not. Going to church involves getting dressed up (depending on what church you attend - many claim that you can comes as you are), going to celebrate God's word, listen to a pastor talk about the scripture, watch him read from a bible, look at an overhead, point a clicker and discuss things that relate to not only God but our daily lives. Going to church can at times (depending on the church) involve a band, guitar players, keyboard players, singers, drummers, great music, lyrics on the overhead screen and people singing along. If you attend a large church you may get lights and special effects. If you attend a small church you may get an acoustic guitar player, a piano player and maybe a drummer. Or maybe not.

Going to a small church is a difficult experience for many. The congregation typically knows each other. They've attended for years. Many of their children and grandchildren grew up attending the church. They are on a first name basis with the pastor. They know all of the leadership. And everyone knows them. Walking into a small church like that can cause anxiety. Everyone turns to look at you. They want to know who this new strange person is walking into "their church".

The folks in the small churches will always welcome you. They will always say hello at the door. Many times they will direct you to a seat. And then as typical, the discussion begins. Who is this new person? Where did they come from? Why did they pick "our church" to attend? And many questions that many times for long periods of time will go unanswered. People talk. They will ask questions. They want to know.

Going to a larger church can also be a different experience. You can get lost. You may get welcomed at the door, have a half dozen smiling people say hello. And then when you enter the sanctuary, you're left on your own to find a seat. You may wander down the aisles in wonder as you see the large stage, the projection screens, the full setup of band equipment, multiple microphones and the background music piped into the sanctuary. A large church can hold as many as 3,000 people (or larger), whereas a small church may only hold a few hundred or less. Each church is different. But the people are the same.

The people at church will welcome you into their fold. They will say hello. They will be nice to you. Many will attempt to be your friends. They will welcome you with open arms. They will ask questions. They will appear as friendly as anyone you've ever met. They want you to continue to go to "their church" and often times you will be told that. You will hear comparisons how "their church" is better than the others. How "their church" doesn't talk about other churches in a negative light. How "their church" is the place to bring your family, your children and your friends.

Life in church can be an amazing experience. It can light up your days. It can put a smile on your face. But, it can also fill you with frustration, anger, disgust, and disappointment. And many times it can turn you against the people that follow God. It's just a way of life. It's what happens in a church.

Life in a church can involve you meeting a lot of people you will for a period of time call friends. It can involve you joining youth groups (depending on your age), ministry teams (depending on your interest), leadership teams (depending on your skill and knowledge in leading people) and can involve you becoming a part of a team. You will for a time being feel like you've made a new family. And to quote an artist favorite of mine, "it's a miracle to feel like you belong," so said Stephen Kellogg.

But what happens if you grow tired of the people you've met not carrying through on discussed plans? What happens when you get frustrated that many don't call you back when they promise? What happens when you don't get text messages from people you called friends when you've missed one or two services? They disappear. It happens. It's part of church. And God's followers.

God is great. His people? Not so much.

When you attend church, you find yourself as part of a family. When you stop attending church? You find yourself the black sheep of the family. The odd man/woman out who nobody wants to talk to. It's almost as if they've forgotten your phone number, don't remember who you are, can't recall where you live (even if in some cases it's less than a mile away from former church friends) and you never hear from a soul.

If you are a member of a church, you feel like you fit in. You feel like you belong. But the minute you stop going? You are forgotten. The phone doesn't ring. The text messages stop. The social invites that sometimes came and sometimes didn't completely cease. You may receive a random text message once every few weeks or months. It makes "them" feel good. They can go back to their friends and say, "Yes, I talked to him. He's doing fine." It makes them look good. It makes others think they care.

In reality? They don't. It's all a show. And it's all fake. They care about one thing. Impressing others. That's all.

Life in church can be an amazing experience. It can be an incredible adventure. You can meet new people. You can make new friends. But the minute you stop going? You stop mattering.

I love God. I just am disgusted and downright disappointed in most of His people.

I went through my Facebook, Twitter, Social media and my phone and deleted almost everyone I ever called a friend out of my life. I can't be surrounded by people who truly don't care about anything else except themselves. It's a sad ending to what once was a good life experience. Attending churches for the better half of my life. Meeting new people. And then when it all ends?

You stop mattering. It's almost like once you stop stepping into a church, in the eyes of God's people- you're as good as dead.

You don't exist any longer. Your phone won't ring. They won't text you. Your social plans no longer occur. It's a sad ending to what was once a happy beginning.

Life in a church - And what happens after you stop going.

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48 Of The Best Catholic Mass Songs

Check out this list of some of my favorites!

I love to sing.

But, I am very bad at singing. One thing I love about Mass is that I get to sing as loud and as terrible as I want, and that is a beautiful thing. I've compiled a list of what was originally going to be 10 of my favorite songs to sing at Mass, but as you can see, my list quickly became 5 times longer. Enjoy!

1. "All are Welcome"

A great reminder that we are to love our neighbors, no matter how different we are.

2. "All is Well With My Soul"

A refreshing reminder that God forgives our sins, and we are in good hands.

3."Amazing Grace"

A classic, powerful song that shows just how much grace means to us.

4. "Ave Maria"

A beautiful song honoring the Virgin Mary, a role model for all women.

5. "Be Not Afraid"

A reminder that no matter what we're going through, God is with us through it all.

6. "Blest Are They"

A guide on how to live out the Beatitudes.

7. "Canticle of the Sun"

A joyful tribute to God's Creation.

8. "Center of My Life"

A reminder to put God first, a reminder which is always necessary in this materialistic and egocentric world.

9. "Change Our Hearts"

An uplifting song reminding us that God saves even the most disobedient of his people if they give their hearts to Him.

10. "Christ Be Our Light"

A classic song that reminds us even in our darkest of days, Christ will light the path.

11. "City of God"

A song inspiring the building of God's Kingdom- something we should strive to do as Christians.

12. "Come Back to Me"

A song all about repentance and forgiveness- God is waiting for us with open arms every time we fail him.

13. "Companions on the Journey"

A reminder that we are not alone in our journey to spread the Good News, and we can work together to spread His Word.

14. "Eye Has Not Seen"

A reminder of the joy and happiness that awaits us in Heaven.

15. "Fly Like a Bird"

A comforting song reminding us that we will always be in God's care.

16. "For the Beauty of the Earth"

A song that captures the essence of how wondrous Creation is.

17. "Glory and Praise to Our God"

A song full of thanksgiving and praise to God who showers us with blessings every day.

18. "Go Out Go Out"

One of the favorites at my school- essentially a "pump up" song to go spread the Gospel.

19. "Here I am Lord"

A encouraging song, inspiring us to serve the Lord with all the talents we have.

20. "Here I am to Worship"

One of my all time favorite gathering songs that inspire me to give all the glory to God.

21. "How Can I Keep From Singing"

A reminder that God's works are wondrous and He is deserving of all our praise.

22. "How Great Thou Art"

A classic song inspiring us to look around and see God in everything and everyone.

23. "I Am the Bread of Life"

A comforting song telling us that if we live our lives in Christ, we will be reunited with God when death comes.

24. "I Know That My Redeemer Lives"

A song that tells us Jesus is alive, and He has redeemed us by his death.

25. "I Will Choose Christ"

A song inspiring us to recommit ourselves to Christ each and every day.

26. "In Every Age"

A reminder of the timelessness of God- He has always been there, and He will always be there for us.

27. "Jesus Christ Is Risen Today"

An Easter song which joyfully celebrates the Resurrection and the defeat of death.

28. "Lead Me Lord"

A reminder that if we seek God, He will lead us.

29. "Let There Be Peace On Earth"

Always a song that inspires us to act for justice and peace among all people.

30. "Like a Shepherd"

A reminder that God cares for us as his own because we are his own.

31. "Litany of Saints"

A beautiful song, often sang on Easter, in which we ask the Saints to intercede for us.

32. "Lord of All Hopefulness"

A prayer asking God for the strength to get through the day.

33. "Loving and Forgiving"

A reminder that God is always wanting to forgive us of our wrongdoing and heal our pain.

34. "Only a Shadow"

A reminder that we have seen just a glimpse of the love God has for us, and there is much more in store for us.

35. "On Eagle's Wings"

One of the saddest, yet happiest songs of all time- although we die, we will be raised up and be with Him forever.

36. "Our God is Here"

A reminder of the true presence of God in all things.

37. "Prayer of St. Francis"

A beautiful song that makes the prayer feel even more powerful.

38. "Rain Down"

A reminder of the endless love of God.

39. "Roll Away the Stone"

My favorite Easter song of all time. HE IS RISEN!

40. "Shepherd Me O God"

A popular song serving as a reminder to put our wants aside and follow God's will.

41. "Sing to the Mountains"

A song of thanksgiving to God for the abounding gifts he has bestowed on us.

42. "The Summons"

A great song for those who are discerning their calling.

43. "Ubi Caritas"

A song all about the love of Christ.

44. "Unless a Grain of Wheat"

A reminder that without God we have no life.

44. "We Are Called"

A call to service and justice.

45. "We Are Many Parts"

A reminder that although we are many people, we are all part of the Body of Christ, and we all need to work toward peace together.

46. "You Alone"

A reminder of how although we are undeserving, God still loves us and should be praised.

47. "You Are Mine"

God has called us each by name- He knows YOUR name, and you belong to Him.

48. "Your Grace Is Enough"

A necessary reminder that God IS more than enough for us! We don't need to be consumed with this world because we have HIM, and an eternity of happiness awaits.

Singing, although I am terrible at it, has really improved my prayer life. It could do the same for you!

Cover Image Credit: Allie Daniel

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My Relationship With Religion Will Never Be Black And White

and that's okay!


I was raised Christian let's get that out the way. Growing up in a small town I went to Awana (a children's church group Wednesday nights) and then once I was in middle school started youth group that night instead as well as a normal church on Sundays. If you would ask me from me being really young to probably around 15 I was all about church and building a relationship with God.

After leaving public school and growing my presence online and meeting so many people from all walks of life, I started questioning things.

Suddenly, I was immersed in this community with the best people who just loved everyone regardless of gender or sexuality or race and it was the place I was able to come to terms with something I had always repressed, my feelings towards girls.

I knew the moment I started talking to a girl named Laura that I had feelings for her I would normally have for a boy and because of the people I now had around me I just didn't suppress it. I identified online and eventually to family and friends as bisexual.

My questions started with wondering how my god this loving all knowing entity I had always known was un-accepting and promoted the exclusion of the LGBTQ+ community from the Christian faith. I knew that this community was full of the most loving and creative and beautiful people I have ever met and that was the start of me knowing my relationship with God would never be the same.

As I grew up and have become an activist for the things that mean a lot to me I have stopped attending church and have begun to see that I do not want any part in ANY religion that takes part in shunning anyone based on how they identify. I have been vocal about this to many people some more excepting then others but regardless I will never again take part in something that I myself am not 100% accepted within

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