Not really been to church in a while

I have not really been to church in a while, I still get involved with things but not as much as I used too but its not that I’ve grown out of it, more that I never seem to have enough time to do everything I want too.

Earlier this week I went to a friends wedding, I’ve known her for years – we met at one of the events, harvest in the north east helping with stewarding and onto different events and came good friends. I met a lot of people that were Christians and really did enjoy the discussions and chat that was going on – I’d forgotten how much I enjoy it, and got me thinking to what I used to do.

Back then, and I’m only going back about 10 to 15 years when the internet was “safe” or there was less ignorance of the dangers I used to chat online to pretty much anyone – I’d often go into chat rooms and have discussions, and forums but not something I do anymore – there is usually too much spam being broadcast too but maybe I’ll find somewhere again.

I do plan to go to church, and thats maybe the downfall – its just a plan… something I could do. I really enjoy it when I attend but the thought of do I sleep and enjoy the dream world just that bit longer or get up and go out… choices choices… I know which would benefit me more but choices… I sometimes have difficulty with.

I really got put off going at the start of the year. I had planned to go to church and take a friend while in London. I’d been to the church and when I’d been previously, it had been encouraging, lively and enjoyable… but this time – very different. Throughout about 80% of the service it was all about getting money out of people for things.

I had wished I’d left after the second installment of it, the energy was so overpowering and felt like it was squashing the life and positivity in it all. I thought of leaving, but I’d taken a friend with me and I thought… maybe its just starting up, and some of the songs were fun too but they just went on and on and on about money… I know churches need cash but there is a line between saying so, and constantly going on and on, and re-wording it to repeat it again and requesting more and more offerings from people… I’d wished we’d never gone.

It put me off church stuff, and even though I know my own church isn’t like that – the idea of it put me off… The thought that if it put me off and I was happy to go – how would it affect those that don’t often go – can’t be good

I’ve been involved loads when at Spring Harvest, and already have my name down for next year and loved it then. I can honestly say that when I surroung myself with like minded people – life is often a lot better. Still difficult but at the same time comforting. I get it from both friends of intellect and those of faith.

I’m looking at what makes me happy, and trying to discover if there is a consistant way to do it, or do I keep at life of doing lots of little things… well thats my thought for today.


Harvest is an event in the North East of England originally based at witton castle in county durham, but now based in Teesside. It is for young people to connect together for around a week, and get to know God in a different way.

I started to go to harvest in 1994, I was around 14 to 15 years old and went with the church I was with at the time called The Tab – I made so many new friends while I was there, and learned how worship could really be expressed by youth and not just hyms in church but actual music you could enjoy singing and dancing too. There was many games, seminars, and workshops of sorts – be it learning, how to put into action or having fun.

There used to be a game – a challenge between the villages of harvest. People were split into 4 colours of village depending on the area you came from in the North East.

The challenge was its a knock out – they played it each year until around 1998 and it has never been seen before. Basics of it was silly games that involved a lot of water – knockout with sticks with foam on ends pushing one another trying to make the other person fall or bobbing for items in buckets aswell as physical challenges but all in the idea of fun. I enjoyed it a lot.

I went to harvest as a participant til around 1999 (aged 19/20 ish) after which I joined the stewarding team. I initially joined because many of my friends were already part of the team, and we were hanging out already. When I started stewarding you still paid to go, a few years in they stopped charging staff and it was kind of just accepted. From this year, they’re asking people to put something towards costs which is understandable but they seem to be getting a lot less people volunteering now.

9 years of helping out stewarding – I’ve seen many ideas on how to work it, how to help and what has or has not worked. People do seem to be repeating past things and don’t often believe its been done before – or not done as the circumstance often is. This year, 2010 I am not doing the stewarding at harvest, I’ve enjoyed my time there but its time to move on like so many friends already have.

Last year (2009) I was on stewarding team primarily, and ministry team secondary – I learned a lot, or so it felt so. People suprised me and opened up and it was good. It is time for me to do something different.

I am not sure what this year I will be doing at harvest if anything, I’d like to go and see how it is without being on the staff side althou I am not sure that is even possable. I think I will apply to be on the ministry team once again so I can help out, but also enjoy the site and see things before ending.

I feel it may be my last year helping out there, and this saddens me as it is an event that has helped me for a long time, over half my Christian life, and about half my actual life. Its helped me meet with many like minded people and has been very enjoyable but just as last year was my last year to steward, this may be the last to help before I am just a visitor.

All in all, Harvest has been amazing for me – so many new friendships and many ups and downs. Enjoyment from wandering, talking, playing, and listening. Its been a good time in life that I am glad I’ve had the oportunity to have.

Some people I made friends with in 1996, I was working with on team in 2005ish – we all said to one another – I know you, but I don’t know how? From photos I found later in the year, I discovered we’d all hung out together as one random group in a tent for a few days one harvest – some 10 years ish earlier but had lost contact – well before internet and email was the norm.

Church – fitting in?

When it comes to church, I am never particuarly sure where I fit in. I am my own person and don’t try to merge into things anymore – I try too then miss something out and be myself and its as thou your not recognised and it felt wierd so I be me and if not liked, then nevermind at least I know it.

The church I am in, I do enjoy and its the first one in a very long time where it feels like a home church. I do wonder half the time where it is, and do need to check emails reguarly to find where it is this week. It moves around the area often as the building that was used is being re-furbished.

If I miss it, I can listen to the pod-casts they have on. Its nice to sometimes just listen or re-listen to a sermon… I like the short messages they have to say – anything more than about 20 minutes and I usually stop listening anyhow but the messages they do usually last 20 mins or less.

I don’t feel a complete part of the church but do feel welcome, still after 6 months which I think is a new record. I’ve been to so many places that welcome you for the first few weeks and if you don’t manage to merge within the set groups or cleeks then you can’t get involved easily.

I do get on with event based things with YFC and other organisations and see a church via that – a place where I meet with others and we worship by doing things and helping others aswell as the singing/praying side of stuff.

I’m not sure where I particually fit in with things but happy where i am at present.