Several weeks ago, I was elated to find an email in my inbox which welcomed me to the Searching For Sunday Launch Team. I’ve always been a fan of Rachel Held Evans, particularly because of her ability to speak her mind firmly, a trait I strive to become better at. I could not wait to dive into this new book. And also, I felt like a bad ass, because I was reading the advance reader’s copy.
Within minutes of receiving the aforementioned email, I was also added to a Facebook group, which was created for myself, the other members of the launch team, and even Rachel herself! We immediately started introducing ourselves, thanking Rachel for picking us, and expressing our excitement to be chosen. Days later, quotes were getting posted, Word Swag’s being made. With every new post, people responded, people noticed.
This was a community of people, bonded together by this beautiful piece of writing. This community of people was my reminder that we, as a church, are bonded together, similarly, by God’s word, and by His perfect hand on our lives.
Rachel Held Evans’ third book, Searching For Sunday, is divided into seven sections, each section devoted to a specific sacrament. The book explores the good, the bad, and the ugly of church, a task that is hard to accomplish. Page after page, I found myself using my highlighter often, marking just some of the stand-out lines.
Rachel walked the line of humor and unapologetic honesty about the nature of our church. She lead me, the reader, through laughter, anger, and embarrassment. Through it all, she and I connected. She let me know that I was not alone. Y
es, the church is imperfect, and it’s full of imperfect people. Yes, the church needs serious work. Yes, what is supposed to be a sacred and holy place is causing some people to hurt to the extent of fearing the church as a whole. The church is, at times a place of judgement. Rachel let me, and lets us know that yes, this is real, but it can be fixed.
I believe we need to approach church differently. We need to rethink church.
What is seen now as a place we go every Sunday, dressed in our ironed slacks or floral dresses needs to be a place where those who were up all night with their crying newborn baby can show up in under-laundered pajamas and not be stared at.
Church needs to be an everyday occurrence, a time where God shows up in the open spaces and the dark crevices of our life, and a time where it’s not just okay, but encouraged to ask questions and express doubt.
Christians need to be people who see love as a verb, and who practice this to all people; male, female, transitioning, gay, straight, asexual, CEO, unemployed, etc.
“Our churches should be less like country clubs and more like recovery groups.”
-Rachel Held Evans
After reading all 37 chapters, I have never been more convinced that these things need to happen. I’ve never been more excited either, or more scared, more inspired, more ready.
In Searching For Sunday, Rachel Held Evans presents an honest, straightforward, and very much alive representation of the church that we, as the body of Christ, are a part of.
Obviously, if you haven’t ordered this, it’s time to do so.