When it comes to the church, we all have stories. Some stories are of ones where we feel welcomed and included, comfortable and free to worship; while others are stories of pain and confusion, uncertainty or discomfort.
I remember my first few months away at college, hopping from church to church in a small prairie town, trying to find the one that felt most like home. One Sunday evening, while out for a walk with a friend, we encountered two elderly ladies on their way to an evening service in the school gym. I’ll never forget how excited they were when we agreed to join them, how overjoyed they were to show us off to the other attendees during after-gathering cookies and coffee. The love of Christ radiated off our new, white-haired friends. That church wasn’t the one for me, but I’ll never forget that feeling of being welcomed so warmly. That was what I was looking for in a church family: community, a warm and open invitation, and most of all, Jesus.
In Traci Rhoades new book, “Not All Who Wander (Spiritually) Are Lost,” readers are invited to look past the denominational differences that separate us and instead find Jesus amidst the differing worship styles. As she says, “We don’t all practice our faith the exact same way, but our God is big enough to embrace all the ways we encounter Jesus. And Jesus sits at the head of the table. Always.”
This book is a beautifully written look into the ways we worship and approach Christ. Through her own personal experiences and the stories of others, Rhoades invites us to explore the different Christian traditions with the expectation of finding Jesus there. From liturgical worship to speaking in tongues, or the way we approach communion and baptism, this book is a gorgeous glimpse in the Church as a whole.
Rhoades’ passion for the Church is evident, as is her desire to walk in community and fellowship with all believers. This book is insightful and encouraging and has already had me scrambling for a refresh on certain aspects of Church history. I love hearing about the faith stories and experiences of brothers and sisters in Christ, and Not All Who Wander (Spiritually) Are Lost is a precious testament to what it means to be found in Him.
This book is a conversation — a memoir that allows us to question and reflect on our own experiences and understanding of the Church, all the while reminding us that first and foremost, it needs to be about Christ.
Released May 17, 2020, this is one that I definitely recommend checking out!