Our Faith Journey 1 - The Backstory

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What do you do for church on the road?

Ah yes.

The question I’ve been sort of avoiding here on the blog.

We are Christ-followers but haven’t talked much about that.

And that’s not out of shame, rather because we were feeling confused. Uncertain. Unclear. Like we hadn’t figured things out enough to write anything with authority.

And we still often feel that way. But we have realized we don’t need to speak with authority.

Just honesty.

So I’m going to write a small series of posts taking you through how ditching the suburbs has impacted our church life and faith life. This post will give you our backstory, then we’ll discuss our road-church experience and talk about how those experiences shaped where we are at now.

West Michigan

We are from West Michigan, which is a church-centric culture (it was settled by Dutch immigrants looking for religious freedom).

When you meet someone new “Where do you go to church” is often the second question asked after “Where do you work?”

Growing Up

MsBoyink and I both grew up in the Reformed Church.

I made profession of faith at age 9. MsBoyink at around age 16.

Youth groups, Catechism, potlucks, church campouts, retreats, and special services were all part of our childhoods.

Single Life

We met in a church-sponsored group, which MsBoyink was in while attending a denominationally-affiliated college in my hometown.

We dated for four years. I’d often follow MsBoyink back home an hour away and attend her home church on the weekend.

Church Wedding

We were married in MsBoyink’s church and then we kept going back as a newly-married couple.

We were part of a small group with others at the same stage of life.

Young Parents

We moved back to my hometown and found a new church home in a large “seeker-friendly” church. Our kids were both born and baptized there. We had our “papers transferred” there.

I was active on the sound crew, putting in 7-8 hour days a few times a month. MsBoyink was involved in the kid’s ministries.

Smaller Church

After 8 or 9 years at the big church we felt called away (and yes, those words mask a long and painful story) and found a smaller church home.

I did the church website and still fiddled with the sound board at times. Our kids became a tween and teen at this church.

All to Say

I give you these details to help you understand - MsBoyink and I were steeped in church culture from the time we appeared on this earth until the week we drove off in the RV.

We thought a lot and talked a lot about church and what aspects of church life we should take part in as a family. Church helped define who we were and how we thought of ourselves.

And Then Everything Changed

Our home church prayed over us. We hugged. We said tearful goodbyes.

We got in the RV to travel the US for a year.

Our plan was to keep going to church - just finding local ones to visit each time Sunday rolled around.

How did that work out?

Read Our Faith Journey 2 - Church Sampling & Disillusionment.

3 Comments Our Faith Journey 1 - The Backstory

  1. Picture of Nico Veenkamp Nico Veenkamp December 29, 2015

    Thanks for sharing your journey as a Christian. I expect that what you miss most is the community and the ways of sharing with your group in Church.

    I was raised in the reformed church too and stayed there until I left my parents home as an atheist. But that is my personal journey. But for you as a Christian and for me as an atheist, community and sharing is important.

  2. Picture of Heather Gebbia Heather Gebbia January 01, 2016

    We were used to attending church and Bible study every week until we started traveling. Like you said I assumed we would just attend church on the road, and maybe watch our home church online. Well, that hasn’t worked out so far. We’ve only attended church on the road a few times this past year and haven’t watched it online at all.  I look forward to hearing the rest of your story. Thanks for sharing!

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