Commitment has never been simple for Erin Lane. She’s a child of divorce, moved around a lot growing up, and says she is as “moody as the wind.” When it comes to church, Lane is desperate to belong but she doesn’t know how.
Erin Lane’s story will sound familiar to many of her fellow Millennials who often eschew organized religion or “church hop,” but she hopes to make a compelling case for church. In “Lessons in Belonging from a Church-Going Commitment Phobe,” Lane shares honest vignettes from her own struggles and how they’ve taught her to believe that church is worth the risk.
RNS: Of church, you write, “I want to belong, but I do not know how.” But is committing to a faith community really that complicated?
EL: Perhaps the decision to commit is easier for some but I think the practice of belonging is complicated no matter who you are. How do you give yourself to others without giving up who you are? When do you yield to group consensus and when do you exercise personal agency? What’s the difference between a church that challenges your gifts and one that subtly diminishes them? A large part of my story – really, the human story – is learning how to hold the paradox of self and community instead of either arrogantly asserting my individual will or passively losing myself to relationships.
RNS: You say that belonging to a church is a lost art for Millennials. How so?