I am not going to lie, most of my growing up years, and into my 20’s, I had my own issues with attending church. Growing up I had to go since my parents made me, but I never felt like I belonged or fit in.
During my college years, I struggled with it, because I was figuring out who I was really for the first time in my life.
It wasn’t until at least my mid 20’s, that I realized where my issues lie. I grew up attending a large church, where I quite often still feel lost. I had gone off to college, where I integrated myself into a small church, where I could finally be myself, and be a part of a small church family. After I graduated, I had to move back to where I had to attend the big church, which to date (6.5 years later) I have never tried to reintegrate myself into. A lot of that is nothing more than being a warm body taking up pew space.
Having found that the large church doesn’t work for this introvert, is why I have spent many a Sunday evenings visiting a couple of the smaller branch church, one of which is the one I attended in college.
A lot of Rend Collective’s story, and message behind their music (especially their campfire albums), has resonated with what I had felt was missing for years. The Gospel is not complicated, and is more than just feeling warming a pew. Another couple things I love about their albums and music videos, is at least 2 of their albums were made while outdoors around a campfire. Many of their videos are outdoors. That resonates with me because I am more at home outside than I am inside, and that God is bigger than just a physical church buildings. Many of my most memorable encounters with God have happened outside of church, and my most memorable happened a couple years ago, while I was just sitting on the beach thinking about God and what he wanted me to do with my life. It was at that point when I had no doubt was real. I had felt his presence there, and that my favorite place to be, he created, if for nothing else, for me to enjoy. Something as simple as sitting on the beach, staring at the ocean on a beautiful summer day.
I am not down on church by any means, church is important. My point is that God is bigger that just a church, and for some of us, God is more present in other places, like sitting around a campfire at the beach or in the woods, taking in God’s creation at it’s simplest and finest.