Yes, you read that right: I gave up church for lent.
And it was the holiest thing I’ve ever done to prepare for worship on Easter. I have never in my life fasted from something that drew me closer to Jesus and built anticipation for Easter Sunday in such a meaningful way.
I didn’t go to church for six Sundays. I missed six opportunities for corporate worship. Six hours. Six sermons. Six times where I would have sat in a row with people to praise God. It was in response to a specific call for me take a time out. Sit down. And wait.
…Humans are made to worship something or someone. When I wasn’t participating in corporate worship, something was missing. I felt that. Space created a thirst for worship in community for the first time in a long time. I missed it and wanted to be back.
…When I returned to church, I didn’t go because I had to do anything. Attendance was not being taken; I was no longer earning a cosmic gold star on some chart that kept track of the work that I did at/for/during worship. I am learning how to participate and whole-heartedly worship. Simply worship.
…I have no choice but to follow. Before this, I have never had a season where I was not involved in some kind of ministry leadership. I’m focusing on following so that when I am next in a position to lead, I can do that better.
And that’s the most important part. Fasting from church has readjusted my appreciation for going to church regularly and will, in the long-run, teach me to be a better follower of Jesus and leader for him.