Christian Piatt tells the 4 reasons he came back to church in the Huffington Post:
I Found A Community That Defied Christian Stereotypes
I was welcomed for who I was, not what I could do or give, and I was included in gatherings outside the Sunday evening service as well.
I Found My Voice
It wasn’t until a minister friend encouraged me to bring my guitar to worship one night and just share a couple of songs that were meaningful to me that something changed.
I Found Deeper Meaning
I was more interested in finding deeper meaning in this life, rather than worrying so much about what comes after that.
I Found A Sense of Belonging
I wanted to find a group of people passionate about things that mattered to me, and who would make a space for me, regardless of whether we agreed on everything, or if I gave enough money, or if I had signed my name in some official book.
I’ll close this piece out with a short list of all the things that didn’t mater so much in my decision to come back to Christianity, but which many churches assume are critical to their transformation:
I didn’t care that much about the preaching.
It didn’t matter to me that there wasn’t an elaborate music program.
I was all right with the fact that there weren’t tons of small groups to instantly “plug in” to. In fact, I just wanted to hang out with people I liked and who cared about me.
I didn’t care what denomination the church was a part of.
I didn’t care about whether they had doctrines or creeds they all agreed on.
I didn’t care if the carpet was nice, the garden was manicured or the bathrooms smelled like lilacs.
All of those things are nice, I guess. I’m sure they’re important to someone. But I can hear great sermons online. I can download more great music to my iPod than I can listen to in a lifetime. I can join a fancy country club and feel like I’m a part of some fancy, exclusive group. What I can’t necessarily get in other parts of my life is authenticity.
Everything else was nice, but it wasn’t what brought me back.