Whenever people asked me if I were a Christian, I would say, “Yeah, my dad is a pastor.” That’s not really an answer to that question and neither is “I grew up in the church.” That’s a funny phrase, but it’s the most popular thing I hear in testimonies. I used to say it a lot too until I realized it wasn’t true. If I grew up in submarine for instance I would probably have really intimate knowledge of the ocean and it’s mechanics. But I had just sort of passed through the church experience. Eli grew up in the church. I went a few hours a week. I think it’s more accurate for me to say, “I grew out of the church.” Somewhere in college I got really tired of going through the motions and mentally/spiritually/emotionally I checked out. It wasn’t the church’s fault, it was mine.
Today’s different though. In the last three years a lot has changed. And I have a new phrase I want to propose. I’m a huge fan of “retiring” old ideas like “I grew up in the church.” So like a gun for money trade in program I’m suggesting you lay down that phrase and walk away with a new one. Instead, let’s start saying, “I grew into the church.” I think that’s what God’s about. Helping us not grow up in a location, but more grow to embody a destination. Let’s become the church. Let’s be the church.