By Natasha Crain
My husband and I had a spotty record of church attendance in our first few years as a married couple. We wanted to go to church, but none of the churches we attended felt much like a church “home.” We wanted to connect with other people our age, but every church we visited had an older congregation. During that time, an idea started to take root in my head: Young people like me don’t go to church. Maybe I’m supposed to be doing something else.
When we had been married 5 years, we moved to another city. We decided to look at churches again and randomly selected one around the corner to check out. A friendly elderly man greeted us at the coffee table that morning and told us how happy he was to see a couple “like us.” He then asked a question we still laugh about today:
Have you met the other young couple that attends here?
It was funny enough to think that there were only two young couples (including us) in a rather large church. It was funnier yet that when we met the other young couple, they were at least 25 years older.
Funny, but disheartening. The idea that young people don’t “do” church became more firmly planted in my mind.
As a last ditch effort, we tried a local megachurch to see if we could find three or four other young Christian couples (we like to push our limits).
That church – which we’ve now attended for 10 years – changed our whole spiritual trajectory.
We found hundreds of young couples there. For the first time in my adult life, I looked around each Sunday and saw people my own age. These young people were passionate about their beliefs, they looked like they wanted to be at church, and they were people I knew I would relate to. I was exuberant.
Can I tell you something I didn’t realize at the time, and really don’t want to admit today? Please hear me say this in a whisper, because I don’t want to say it out loud:
It was only after I saw thousands of passionate young believers in one place that I felt being a Christian was normal enough and cool enough that I wanted to go “all in” with my faith.
Ugh. I really wish it weren’t true, but it is. It wasn’t until I felt it was socially acceptable to be a Christian that I opened my heart to fully seeking God…
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