Gather • Devotion #5: We are Family
Michael Young | Student Ministry Intern
When I first moved to Chicago for college, it was a very interesting time in my life. It was interesting for the normal reasons like finally moving away, living on my own, and trying to learn about myself. However, one of the most interesting experiences was trying to find a new church. Until this point, I was part of the same church for my entire life, Faith Church. It was the only place that I really understood and knew church to be. It was my family. When I pictured coming home from college and telling stories of everything that happened, it was not to my immediate family. It was to my church. I had to leave that umbrella of everything I knew and shop for a new church. Every weekend was an adventure to find the perfect church for me. I saw a crazy amount of churches, from mega churches to small holes in the wall places, to big name church plants, and even to a place that did not have a name or location. It was an awesome learning time for me.
The issue was tough; going from place to place, I never really knew what I was looking for. One week would have the best speaker and the worst music, so I would not stay. Another week would have communion with real wine, and it was way too hipster for me. Each week I would experience something I did not like or could pick apart to the point I would not want to go, right up to Thanksgiving. Someone on my floor invited me to Thanksgiving dinner with his church. I said sure why not. When we arrived, he told me it was the pastor’s house, and the entire congregation would be there. I was a little nervous. When I walked in, it was like going to a family reunion. I was blown away at this. The church welcomed me warmly and wanted to know me. The church was a family, not just on this Thanksgiving event either. I followed up with going to a couple of services, very similar experience. The church was family, and that is what I should have been looking for. The family aspect like my home church had.
When you look at the beginning of the church in Acts 2:42-47, it is more than just the meet and greet deal. Every day they did life together. It was less of an organization or building location but a family. I learned in my college church shopping time that gather is more than coming together for Sundays or events; it is family time. Family time is important, doing life together as the church was meant to do is important. The original church in Acts saw the church as more than just a location or time slot; it was a family. Is the church an event you attend? Or time with your family? Are you making time to gather with your family?