My Two Churches

Yesterday morning Becky and I sat in a Sunday School classroom with twenty or so other adult couples.  After a little small talk – Are you off the road for a while, Shaun?  Yea, until next weekend. – the “class coordinator” asked us to “share.” “Does anyone have anything to share?” he asked.  “A prayer request? Praise?  Something you’re thankful for?”


Then a guy stood up and taught us.  “There are giants in the land,” he said, and then told us what our giants are – worrying about money, not liking our jobs – and then taught us and our wealthy upwardly mobile classmates how to face such daunting obstacles to our personal happiness.  He asked a couple of questions he’d mapped out before hand and a few of us actually answered. But the questions never birthed conversation – there was no time for that.  There was an outline to follow, points to hit, a ticking clock on the wall, and the education minister needed our room at precisely 10:30 and stood outside the door pointing at his watch around two minutes till as a not-so-subtle reminder.

imageA few hours later, after buying a couple kites at the local dollar store (Shrek and Spiderman), I sat on the curb of a cul-de-sac with three other dads.  We untangled kites periodically, solved minor disputes between four year-olds and shot the breeze.  We talked about work, family, sex, high school, video games, a new restaurant, our kids, sex some more…and God.  He just sort of comes up when we – a bunch of Christian guy friends – get together.

So does church: Brick and mortar versus cul-de-sac.

I’m not an anti-“institutional church” guy.  But I do learn more, laugh more, admit more, confront more, and spend more time in the cul-de-sac.  Not sure what that means or what, if anything, to do about it.  Just wondering if you experience the same thing.