Spreading The Word Of Christ: My Journey To Steadfast Faith
I have attended church service every weekend (holidays included) for about five years straight. No, I am not here to boast about an A+, highlighted-Bible, stack-of-note-cards attendance. But as someone who did not grow up going to church—except for maybe two Easters at an age I can scarcely remember and a brief second grade Communion—I know how important and encouraging it is to be in a place of worship surrounded by people of faith.
I suppose you could say I grew up Catholic. However, Sundays were not days of worship. We never got dressed in our Sunday best, nor sat in the pews, nor said our Hail Marys. It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom—until I truly understood the meaning of the church—that I became a devoted goer.
I read the words in the Bible and tried to interpret them myself, I listened to Christian music in the car, and I always talked to God. However, I knew I needed a church to call home. I needed a place I could feel safe—a place where I could repent and feel God’s presence. I was around 16 years old when I found a church that welcomed me and showed me what it meant to live a Christian life.
I know an important part of attending church is rising early Sunday morning, getting dressed and walking into the building. And although it is only an hour-long service, I can focus on only one thing during that hour, and that is Jesus. There are no calls, no dirty dishes in the sink, no bad Wi-Fi connections, no chores to be completed, no distractions; there is only God.
I was introduced to Northview Church when I moved to Indiana nearly five years ago. Northview helped me to grow rapidly in faith and encouraged me to pursue my gift of writing and working with children. Senior Pastor Steve Poe and guest speakers Steve Carter and Steve Arterburn spoke what I needed to hear to grow firm in my faith. When I heard the church was reopening in August, my eagerness to be surrounded by fellow worshipers, to grab a cup of coffee and a notepad and to sing in a crowd of people praising Jesus embraced me.
Then I saw the disappointing message that our church would never look the same after the pandemic, and it would be staying closed for service longer than expected. My heart sank a little, and I questioned Christianity. The word of God has survived for thousands of years, and the church has prospered through war and famine. We must have faith over fear and “not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11 NIV).
For me, a part of staying steadfast in faith is to be present in a place of Christ. I can't wait for Northview Church to open this weekend -- the weekend of Sept. 12. During this period of time, we must stay faithful, continue worshipping and praying and keep Christ above all else. Whether that is in person or virtually, at Wednesday worship nights, in small groups or at watch parties. We must remember that during this pandemic, as a virus spreads through the air, it does not give us any excuse to stop spreading the word of Jesus—but all the more reason to—any way we can.