A Church Reimagined

MYGEN Church - Church Reimagined

I have been at this Christianity thing my entire life. Growing up, my relationship with God has had its ups, drastic downs, and most times its resembled more of an EKG scan. Not too low, but also not too high for too long. I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out why it has been so hard and why actually giving up on the whole thing has seemed a viable option.

I was always striving for perfection. Anything short of that was unacceptable because God deserves our very best. If I fell short, then I would ask for forgiveness, but not before or until I spent weeks/months berating myself for whatever mistake I had made. Why couldn’t I just be the perfect Christian? What was my major malfunction? Striving for perfection is and should be a Christian’s goal. Trying to reach that goal on my own without depending on God was my major malfunction.

Having been on this Christian journey many years, I have read certain scriptures many times. The Sermon on the Mount was no different. I had read it and heard it preached about many times. It wasn’t until I studied this most beautiful sermon for myself that I realized how faulty my whole approach had been. The Beatitudes in particular impacted me so much; I haven’t felt the same since.

In His infinite wisdom, while I was doing a deep dive into these verses I happened to watch a sermon by Pr. David Assherick. The sermon was from the “Friend of God” series. It broke down the Beatitudes in a way only Pr. Assherick can do (I highly recommend checking him out) and I learned so much more. I realized that in those moments when I fell short of that “perfection” I was seeking; it was because I had lost sight of my need for God. I was no longer “poor in spirit”, I felt full of my own “righteousness”. Jesus didn’t come to save the righteous, so when I found myself full of my own self-righteousness; I was no longer depending on Him to guide me.

I understood that sanctification is a lifelong process, so if I didn’t have it all figured out yet, it was okay. God is working on my character in the order He needs me to change. With this understanding of my need for God and realization that I could not do this walk on my own, I knew I needed a place where there were more like-minded people. I was tired of going to church and feeling like I had to fit some mold to appease other people.

Sabbaths were more of a burden where my first worry every morning was, what am I going to wear? I had to look my best, but my best had its limits and MUST involve a skirt. My next worry was whether the sermon that day would be uplifting or a condemnation of everything that didn’t fit into some conservative traditionalists idea of what a Christian should look like. Was I going to learn something that I could apply to my walk and feel like I had communed with God that day? Time and again the answer was no. I found myself resentful of the older members for the pressure their baseless traditions were putting on my life and the lives of other youth. My spiritual life felt like it was being stifled. This may be the inner dialogue of many Millennials like me. Millennials want Jesus and we want to be in church, but too often churches are unwilling or unable to imagine anything outside of their traditions. This way of doing church works for some, but church does not have to be a one size fits all.

Since MYGEN Church started, my spiritual life has been on a steady incline. I have heard it said a million times that Sabbath was meant to be a delight and a rest. A time to remember our Creator and worship Him. That had not been my experience with Sabbaths and I dreaded it more often than not. Before MYGEN Church, the only Sabbaths I looked forward to were the ones I spent in my home. I would watch a sermon on YouTube, blast Christian music and sing along. There were more of those than there should have been in the past year. Those were the most peaceful Sabbaths I could have before MYGEN.

At MYGEN, we do church reimagined. A church where we allow people to live authentic lives. Where we can talk about our struggles and we can learn from each other. If I tell you about my struggles, then I am opening the door for your feedback (not judgment). Contrary to popular belief, Millenial’s are open to feedback and prayers.

We are having open dialogue about topics that are real and affect our lives six out of the seven days of the week. An example of a taboo topic is sexual sin, both premarital and marital. It is and has always been present in our church. Ignoring it and not talking about it until someone is caught is not the way to address it. Discussing it in a real and genuine way where God’s word is the point of reference is the way forward.

We are a church where people can truly come however they are. We know no one is perfect because neither are we. We know Jesus, He is helping us forward and we want to introduce others to Him. We know He can change anyone’s life the way He has changed ours.

We are a church where we do not all look the same, where we do not all speak the same, where we do not all think the same, but we all believe in the importance of kindness and respect. We believe in compassion. We can agree to disagree.

Are we at different mile markers in our walks with God? Yes, which is okay. We all have one end goal: to preach the gospel and get to Heaven to be with our Savior. Let’s pick each other up and strengthen each other along the way. Kicking our fellow brothers or sisters when they are down doesn’t get us further ahead in the journey, nor is it pleasing to God. If you are looking for a place to belong, MyGen is for you. We are an SDA church. We are church reimagined.

About the Author
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Melissa Bautista

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Melissa Bautista is the secretary at MyGen Church. She lives in her head a lot trying to devise a master plan to flood the world with God's love. Her journey has taught her that Christianity is not only personal, but should also be loving and forgiving above anything else. She is just trying to do her part to help bring souls back, keep souls from leaving, and bring new souls to the love of Christ. There are too many favorite verses to choose from, but when forced she chooses: " 'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,' says the Lord." Isaiah 55:8. God shows us and offers His love, but we will never understand all of the why's so we should spread His love and let Him do the rest.

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