Sometimes, to borrow a phrase, we long to be in the church but not of it. We love Christ, but the church is full of people—and problems—we'd rather avoid. In Lessons in Belonging from a Church-Going Commitment Phobe, Erin Lane, a divinity school graduate and pastor’s wife, explores her difficulty (and that of her millennial generation) in feeling fully devoted to the body of Christ. Laura Turner, a contributor to Her.meneutics, talked with Lane, a program director at the Center for Courage & Renewal, about the paradox of belonging and the practices that help to sustain commitments to others.
Such themes will also be explored in "Making Peace with Church: Finding Grace and Authenticity in an Age of Skepticism," a live online panel discussion co-hosted by Regent College and CT. Join Lane, New Testament scholar Scot McKnight, Vancouver pastor Darrell Johnson, and theologian Hans Boersma this Tuesday, February 3, at 12pm PST as they discuss millennials' relationship to church and building authentic community in the body of Christ.
Why is the concept of belonging so important for the church at this moment?
Sometimes the world can feel overwhelming, especially among the younger people of my generation. There’s a really deep need to find our place in it. We have so many options for connecting with one another and all this pressure to make the most of them. But it’s often the case that the institutions that used to broker these connections—institutions like the church—are losing their influence.
The major premise of the book is that we’ve forgotten how to belong—to institutions, to one another—and we need to recover some basic practices that remind us ...1