By Nate LaClaire —  May 15, 2010 — 5 Comments

I haven’t made a big deal about this, but I’m taking a seven-week sabbatical from playing the piano for worship services at PBC. The second week of my sabbatical begins tomorrow. Last weekend I took my annual trip to Belfast, Maine, and for the next six weeks I will be visiting other local churches. My sabbatical is for rest, renewal, refreshment, and restoration, as well as to experience other church services, worship formats, and teaching formats, and to, as one of PBC’s elders so aptly put it, spend time with other believers of like precious faith.

I grew up in PBC, yet while I have served in some capacity at PBC for many years, I have, at some level, been dating the church. I am not a church member and do not feel prepared to become one. I have not had the opportunity to visit many other churches because of my church responsibilities, but I have never fully committed to PBC. Therefore, I’m using this sabbatical to try out some other churches, see how other church families (co)operate, and experience other service styles. I expect that at the end of the seven weeks I will have a fresh perspective and new insight into why PBC is my church family and why I want to marry it. I also expect to return to PBC with new ideas. However, my prayer is nothing more than that God will guide me through this experience and use it to show me where I belong and why I belong there, as well as to refresh me. I would appreciate it if you would pray for me as well.

Tomorrow I visit a church in Lewiston. I am sure that my experience will in some positive way impact a future blog post. Until then, good night.

Nate LaClaire

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Nate LaClaire is a Christian millennial web developer and entrepreneur who writes about faith, life, and intentional living. He is lead developer at Home Building Estimates and owner of Netwalker Internet Services.
  • Melissa Hodgkin

    We will miss you at church Nate, but I completely understand. I still at times wish I could visit some other churhes for a while. It does help to give you a perspective about what you like, what you dont like, what we could change at our church, and what we do well. I will be interested in what you find at the end of your 7 weeks. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Thanks so much, Missy! I appreciate your encouragement and prayers!

  • I'll also be thinking of you and praying for you as you find your way.

    What would it mean for you to become a member–how would what you expect of yourself, or what others expect of you, change? I know how this worked at the Quaker Meeting I joined but don't know how it works in your church.

    • Thanks, Joanna. I appreciate that!

      I'm not avoiding your question, but I do want to contemplate it more before I explain, so I'm not going to reply right now but will soon. Thank you for asking.

    • Regarding your question, there is a lot to membership and that's something I'll be exploring more when I get back from my sabbatical so I'm not yet prepared to fully explain because I can't. I also want to re-read Stop Dating the Church because there's a lot in the book that I didn't absorb the first time, so I'm hesitant to explain the thoughts that I drew from the book. However, the short answer is that the most obvious change would be in what I would expect of myself and that is a greater commitment and sense of ownership in what goes on within the church. I think I'm going to have to leave it at that for now, but I hope that give you an idea and I'll try to explain better in the future. Thanks for asking!