GIVEAWAY ALERT: You can win the book Reason to Return by this week’s podcast guest. Keep reading to find out how!
Are you one of the 16 million American women who have left the church in the last decade? There are lots of reasons for this mass exodus. Yet, many of these women still desire a close relationship with God and a deeper spiritual life.
Well today, author Ericka Andersen delves into the reasons why women are leaving the church in droves.
While some have left due to schedule constraints or feeling disconnected, others left in response to a painful experience involving church hurt, making even the thought of returning to church incredibly difficult.
And that’s why I’m grateful to have Ericka on the podcast to help shed some light on what is—for some—a very sensitive subject.
As we talk about Ericka’s book, Reason to Return: Why Women Need the Church and the Church Needs Women, Erica addresses this issue with grace. She doesn’t slam the church and she doesn’t shame the people, but instead speaks from a place of understanding and compassion.
With gentle insight and thoughtful research, she’ll encourage Christian women who are hurt or disillusioned to consider what the church might still have to offer them and what they can offer the church.
So, if you’re one of many women questioning whether you can ever find your place in the church again, listen in. You’ll be glad you did!
Ericka Andersen is a freelance journalist and the author of Leaving Cloud 9. She’s a regular contributor to Christianity Today and WORLD magazine. She has also been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and more. Ericka is the host of the popular Worth Your Time podcast and is also a wife and mother of two living in Indianapolis, Indiana.
[Listen to the podcast using the player above, or read the transcript below. Then check out the links below for more helpful resources.]
- You can win a copy of Ericka’s book, Reason to Return. Hurry—we’re picking a random winner on January 26! Enter on Instagram here.
Books & Bible Studies by Jennifer Rothschild
More from Ericka Andersen
- Visit Ericka’s website
- Reason to Return: Why Women Need the Church and the Church Needs Women
- Follow Ericka on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
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4:13 Podcast: Can I Have a Relationship With God Without Going to Church? With Ericka Andersen [Episode 229]
Ericka Andersen: You know, another piece of research that was so interesting is that over COVID, the only people whose mental health was identified as higher and better than previously to COVID were those who attended church weekly. And that's online or in person.
Jennifer Rothschild: Wow.
Ericka Andersen: And so no other group, only people that attended weekly. Not monthly. They even specified that. And so that goes for almost everything. And it's like a miracle drug almost. I mean, not to use church in that way, and it's not going to church that does this. But it's those who are going to church, there's so much that comes with that in terms of community, awareness, reminders of the needs in the community, getting that wisdom from God. And also, the Holy Spirit shows up at church.
Jennifer Rothschild: Are you one of the 16 million American women who have left the church in the last decade? There are lots of reasons for this mass exodus. Many women who leave the church, especially those who still consider themselves Christians, they still really want a close relationship with God and a deeper spiritual life. Well, according to today's guests, what they may not realize is that the imperfect churches of their past, or their perceptions of them, might be the reasons those longings are not being met.
Well, today author Ericka Andersen delves into the reasons why women are leaving the church in droves. With gentle insight and thoughtful research, she will encourage Christian women who are hurt or disillusioned to consider what the church might still have to offer them and what they can offer the church. So this is going to be really good, my people. You don't want to miss it. So let's go.
K.C. Wright: Welcome to the 4:13 Podcast, where practical encouragement and biblical wisdom set you up to live the "I Can" life, because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
Now, welcome your host, Jennifer Rothschild.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, hello, our people. We're so glad you're with us today. I'm Jennifer. My goal is simply to help you be and do more than you feel capable of as you live this "I Can" life of Philippians 4:13. And if you've just joined us, I want to make sure you understand what I mean by living the "I Can" life. And if you've been with us a while, let's all refresh our memories. Because Philippians 4:13, that amazing Scripture -- which I call a Hobby Lobby verse, by the way, which is anything they print on a mug or a canvas. But anyway, it's one of those verses. But we can look at it as a magical superpower or our spiritual sugar pill. And it's not, my people. We always want to read Scripture in context.
And so Philippians 4 is all about doing the hard things, being content no matter where you are in life. Paul said, "I can be content, whether I've got a lot or nothing, because I've learned the secret." And what is that secret to being content? I can do all things through Christ. The secret is not the "I can"; the secret is "through Christ." So whatever it is you're facing, it is through Christ that you can say, "I can." You can agree with his power in you. And so that means if you look back through our library of episodes and all the topics that we've covered, the reason we say, yes, you can do these things, is not because of you or me or K.C., it's because of Christ in us. He empowers us to do the hard things, the right things, all the things that he calls us to.
And today's conversation is no exception, because this is kind of a hard thing. I'm glad I had this conversation with Ericka. I really wanted to have this conversation with her because she's written a book called "Reason to Return." And it's a thing, y'all. I'm noticing in churches as I travel and as I minister, that people -- that churches, since the pandemic, have not come back to the level of attendance that they once had. But the other thing I have noticed -- because I am one -- is that women are leaving more than they've ever left before. And women need the church, and the church needs women, and we need each other. So this is a really good conversation for us to have. And I just love Ericka's insight.
So here we are in the middle of a chilly month, and this is going to warm your heart as we talk about this. So, K.C., let's introduce our new friend Ericka.
K.C. Wright: Ericka Andersen is a freelance journalist and the author of "Leaving Cloud 9." She's a regular contributor to "Christianity Today" and "WORLD Magazine." She has also been published in the "New York Times," the "Wall Street Journal," the "Washington Post" and more. Ericka is the host of the popular Worth Your Time Podcast. She's a wife and a mother of two living in Indianapolis, Indiana.
And now she and Jennifer are going to talk about her latest book called "Reason to Return: Why Women Need the Church and the Church Needs Women." So pull up a chair, there's room at the table for you. Here we go.
Jennifer Rothschild: All right, Ericka. You did lots of research for this book. So first I would love it if you would tell us what you learned about church attendance in the United States, and then also what may have surprised you or concerned you about what you learned.
Ericka Andersen: Yeah. Well, something that I had known for a while was that church attendance was declining in the United States. That was kind of my starting point. And then I started to ask, Why is that happening? Who is leaving? And a particular statistic caught my eye, which was that one of the highest demographics of folks that were leaving church were self-identified Christian women. And I thought that was really odd. I was like, well, why are people who are Christians -- and not those that are saying they're deconstructing or exvangelical, but folks who would say, "Yeah, I'm a Christian," but they're not going to church. I thought that's really odd and I'm really curious about that.
And so I started to investigate those numbers and started to look into why these women, who are basically just like me, are leaving church, which I see as such an important part of our Christian lives. And what I discovered was a large group of these people, these women, they simply have gotten out of the habit. They're busy, they're overwhelmed. Some of them have had past church experiences that they didn't like, but that -- they aren't exactly turned off by church as a whole, but they just aren't even sure where to begin or how to go somewhere completely new. And when I started to realize this, I thought, man, we need some resources out there for these people because they are ripe for coming back to a Christian community that can really uphold their lives.
Jennifer Rothschild: Wow. Well, and we're going to talk about this in a minute. But we need that community. And it's interesting, as you said, that you found that it was mostly women who were leaving in droves. And also that they're leaving at a much higher rate than men, which I thought was interesting. So that's not been the case historically. I mean, women are part of the foundation of the church. So you mentioned a couple of reasons. But why do you think since what you've observed? You gave several reasons. But what's your take on it? Why do you think it's happening?
Ericka Andersen: Well, first I will say that I am not 100% sure on this, but I think what it is is -- so men have always left at higher rates. And women, their trajectory in terms of how many are leaving in a shorter and a quicker period of time, that has gone up exponentially as compared to men. And so the gap in terms of men and women who leave, that gap is starting to shrink. And so that's like -- to be real technical about it, that's what's happening.
But I think there's a lot of things. And I think one of them is the fact that we are seeing less folks who are part of Christianity or the church because of -- for cultural reasons. I feel like a lot of those folks are leaving. And so we're seeing sort of a clearing out of the church. And we saw this a lot during COVID, because people had to think to themselves, Why am I going? Like, what is the point? And they got out of the habit. And so I think there's some of that. I think that's part of it. So we're seeing less attendance overall for that reason.
But for women specifically, I think there are a lot of more basic reasons, like I mentioned, like the busyness, the overwhelm. It could be lack of a partner going.
Something else that I learned actually just this week -- and I wish I had maybe included this in the book -- is that families with special needs kids really have a hard time attending church because there isn't a lot of support for those kinds of kids in churches. And so any kind of family need like that -- or a single mom, that's another group that I focus on. So any kind of deterrent that would be a difficulty or an inconvenience or just something that makes it overwhelming to go is pushing people out. Which is why I focus on a couple of church -- stories in the book of churches that are addressing these needs well and how churches can begin to help families and different kinds of families feel welcome and at ease when they're coming to church again.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, then let's go to that. Because in many ways, as I hear you describe these issues, there's a lot of friction, it's just -- it's harder. And when we're out of the habit, it's hard to do something that's not habitual to us.
So what can churches do, then? What can they do to help address these issues and reduce some of that friction and make church a place where women want to return?
Ericka Andersen: Well, one of the most interesting things that I learned during my research is that some of the things that draw parents specifically back into church are sort of educational or informational events that churches do that are not specifically about a sermon or something like that. But, for example, my church had recently done a seminar for parents on, like, parenting your teen through the tech years. And so one way that churches can begin to reach back out to women, who are moms specifically, is by offering them some of these free resources and educational components, just being part of the community.
I think one of the most important things that churches can and should be doing is really integrating themselves with their local community. And it doesn't have to be, oh my gosh, we're evangelizing, you know, with every single thing that we do. It's just being a part of the fabric of that community so you become a trusted resource, a place where people feel comfortable and welcome. I use my church as an example a lot because we have done a lot of this where we sponsor the local 4th of July festival, we would sponsor Octoberfest. And we're not doing anything out there with, like, signs and handing out Bibles, we're just there saying, Hey, we're Waterline Church and we're here to serve the community. And people see that and it matters. And when people see that you care about their family, when people see that you care about their kids especially, they are going to have a warm feeling in their heart for you, and that's one way to begin drawing parents back, I think.
Jennifer Rothschild: So, Ericka, there's one thing, though, that to me feels like this elephant in the room. And I'm curious if your research stumbled upon this with women, because it's become such an unfortunately public thing in the last year, of women in the church feeling overlooked, not heard, even some feeling violated sexually and it being pushed under the rug. You understand what I'm talking about. That's a very difficult, deep, awful kind of church hurt. And unfortunately, when one individual behaves poorly, it can brand the church poorly. So did that come up in your research, and what's your take on that?
Ericka Andersen: Yeah. I didn't get specifically into some of the specific scandals really, but I do have a chapter or two that's specifically about church hurt where I do kind of touch on that. And, I mean, that's important to acknowledge and say that's not okay how some of these churches have handled it. We've seen publicly how -- I know there's been a couple of really kind of out-there stories where there was a pastor who was invited back to continue preaching after it was exposed that he had, I think, either raped or sexually assaulted a teen member of the youth group. And so you hear stuff like that and it's hard to believe. And to me, the first thing I think of when I hear stuff like that is that grieves the heart of God more than it grieves anyone else's heart. And I just want to put that message out there. And the accountability side of church leadership needs improvement. I think this can serve as something for churches to say, Do we have the accountability that we need? Do we have a board that is actually speaking and looking into and talking with our leaders and making sure that everything is on track?
I also have done a lot of reading, that I hadn't done before, about the purpose of church discipline, and that's something that I feel like is a less common concept to a lot of churchgoers these days. It seems kind of old school. It's like, why would you want your church to discipline you? But when you're talking about leadership, transparency, accountability, that is where church discipline needs to be. And so I am hoping -- and I believe I do see this happening -- that churches are being forced to step back and say, Do we have what we need in place to make sure this doesn't happen here, and what is going to be the protocol for if we get a message like this or something has happened? So because these stories have been exposed, I think that is going to serve to ultimately strengthen the church at large when it comes to these issues.
But secondly, a huge, huge primary thing that I am pushing in the book is that you do not have to go back to a church, you don't have to go back to somewhere that you've been hurt. You don't need to go back to the same denomination even. It is okay to try something new. It is okay to step slowly back into those circumstances with trusted people, to smaller congregations where maybe being vulnerable is easier or where you feel more comfortable inside a trusted group of people. And so I want to validate those experiences. And I want to say go slowly and don't push yourself back into something, but just start thinking about it. And there is a healthy congregation out there for you if you're praying about it and you are looking to find it.
Jennifer Rothschild: That's a good word. That's a good word. The church, because we are the body of Christ, should be the safest, most inviting, most welcoming place on the planet.
So you make the point in your book too, very beautifully, that the church needs women. So tell us why that is. Why does the church need women? Why does it matter?
Ericka Andersen: Well, first of all, we know that as Christians, God has given all of us a job as part of his body. It's just like the Bible says, that we're each part of this. You know, you can't have the brain without the body and all of the things. And so I think every person has a place. But specifically, women have their own unique individual gifts, whether that be teaching or hospitality, or maybe it's managing the finances or planning events. Whatever it may be, the church needs those voices and that perspective of women to come in and just balance things out sometimes even.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, yeah.
Ericka Andersen: I think a lot of times what we've seen in the church is a lot of male-centric or male-dominated perspective without them realizing it, not because men are trying to crowd women out or not appreciate them. But what you'll find -- I wish I could remember the exact piece of research I saw this in. But when someone did some research on, you know, specific sin issues or specific topics of sermons in a certain amount of congregations, they found that oftentimes these were directed towards men. And it was really an odd and eye-opening thing to hear, because it just makes you realize -- because you'll see the majority of pastors, especially, of course, in your traditional churches, are men, a lot of times that female perspective gets left out.
And so we need women in leadership, we need women giving their ideas and perspectives. Because the pastors -- whether or not you're egalitarian or a complementarian, pastors are not just speaking to men, they're speaking to both. And you can't really get that fullness of what women need and want to hear without getting their perspective on that and hearing their stories and their voices in some way.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. I think that's a really good perspective. And I know that sometimes because it's almost counterintuitive to maybe a lot of men in leadership because it's just -- they've been -- you know, certain denominations especially, it's very male-dominated leadership. And I'm not speaking any opinion about that, I'm just stating a fact.
Ericka Andersen: Right.
Jennifer Rothschild: And so for those, probably they even need to -- even if they can't really get it in their brains as to why this matters, they need to trust that it matters and strategically find a way to bring women into leadership and put them on their platforms in such a way that they still feel comfortable with biblically. Because as you said, women are half their congregation, and we are the future of the church.
Just a little bit ago you were talking about women who have left the church. And I know in your book, you encourage women who have left the church to stay open to experiencing church in a new way. You just mentioned that, maybe by attending a different church or denomination than they did in the past. So kind of coach us up. What should they look for in a new church home? Because no church is perfect. They're not perfect. What should they look for?
Ericka Andersen: Well, there's so many things. And I think I need to dig up a blog post I have about this somewhere, but -- I mean, there's a lot of things, so I put it into two categories. So there's what do you need and what do you want, and trying to figure out how to balance those two things. And so there are non-negotiables, like is your pastor preaching directly from Scripture? Sometimes it's kind of like, well, what's the line on that? But it's like -- that's why you have to explore. That's why you have to spend two or three Sundays either listening online or going to hear how is this guy preaching? Be very -- I always say be very wary if it seems more like a self-help seminar than directly preaching from the Bible. I know at my church it's like Bible verse after Bible verse after Bible verse. And if you're not getting that, that's a red flag. This needs to be about Scripture. And so that I think is the most foundational element of it.
Also you want to make sure that that church has the same doctrinal values as you. And so usually that kind of thing is listed on their website. Luckily today there are so many ways that you can explore a church before even going in the door.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, yeah.
Ericka Andersen: So you can probably cross some off your list before wasting your time going to a service there. Obviously I do recommend making sure that you attend that church that you're considering a few times before saying yes or no to it. I always say give it two or three weeks, because what if you attend on an off week and it's just a really bad example. Everybody has those.
And then there's the things that you want, like what kind of worship they have or what kind of children's ministry do they have if you have kids. How long are the services? I mean, there's so many things that you can consider in terms of your desires for the church. But it's important to make sure you have those foundational important, like, doctrinal and scripturally based sermons at the core, and then sort of move out from there in terms of what else you want or need in the church. And pray about it, because God's going to guide you to the right community. And I wouldn't recommend doing anything without starting first with prayer and really following that.
Jennifer Rothschild: Those are really good recommendations. I appreciate the clarity of it.
And as I listen, I would be curious your opinion about this. How do you protect, then, against a consumer mentality, like we're shopping for church like we shop for jeans, you know? Because ultimately the church is not there to serve us; we are there to serve the Lord through the church. So how do you protect against the consumer mentality if you've been in this situation and you're looking for a new church?
Ericka Andersen: Yes, absolutely. And I definitely talk about that in the book, making sure that we know that we -- yes, we're going to get something out of church, hopefully, you know.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, we should, yeah.
Ericka Andersen: You know, we don't want to go and be completely emptied. But we also -- if you're looking just to be served -- which so many people are I see these days that are just going, oh, you know, just looking for a great sermon, just looking for great worship, and then you see that they're not volunteering or they're not tithing or they're not participating outside of Sunday mornings. It's almost like, well, what really is the point of going if you're not going to be more invested than that? And I think the thought process here is to remember that this is a big -- it's actually a pretty big decision, deciding where to go to church. Because you are choosing -- and that's something I don't think people have recognized so much in the past. But when you're choosing a new church, you're essentially choosing a new family to be a part of. Like, when you choose a new church, you're choosing the people that you're going to invest in. Like, you have a responsibility as a Christian and a member of a congregation to be there for these people that you are committing to.
So much these days we don't see people joining churches as members, like signing, you know -- you don't see that as much, especially in bigger churches, people joining a church as an official member. But part of the reason I think maybe we should bring that back a little bit more is because it seals and cements this important duty that we're committing to, that this isn't just a willy-nilly decision. Like, you have a responsibility when you join that church. That doesn't mean you have to donate 25 hours of your life per week to volunteering. You have to have boundaries. That's something else that church people that have been doing this for years will tell you, you got to have boundaries --
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.
Ericka Andersen: -- otherwise -- you know, churches need volunteers. They can't run without these volunteers. So set your boundaries. But be in the know that God is calling you to serve, not just to be served. And so that is a part of it. And if you're not willing to do that, then there's really no point in being a part of a church. Although, let me caveat that by saying don't feel like you have to walk in on day one and start volunteering.
Jennifer Rothschild: No. Right.
Ericka Andersen: But give it some time. It's a process. You get to know people. You know, take it slow, by all means.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. That's a good word, Ericka. I appreciate that perspective. Like you said, you're joining a family. And when my daughter-in-law joined the family, she didn't do Thanksgiving dinner for everybody on the first year. You know what I mean?
Ericka Andersen: Right. Exactly.
Jennifer Rothschild: She eased her way in. And that's what we do in a new church family, we ease our way in, get to know people and then see where is God leading us to be an investor. And there are benefits, I mean, for us, as you already mentioned. And in your book, you say that going to church increases generosity, volunteerism, and civility, which, boy, could we use a little more of. So tell us about the research that led to those findings.
Ericka Andersen: You know, actually it was -- I had the great opportunity -- this was -- really kicked off a lot more of my freelance writing career, actually. I got this idea to write about some of these statistics. It's probably three years ago. And I pitched this idea to the Wall Street Journal, and I had this op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that was related to some of these statistics about generosity and civility and depression and anxiety and all the many ways in which church attendants help people's lives. And it wasn't just like, oh, church attendance, like, whenever or wherever; it is very specific. It is going to church on a weekly basis. And that is for pretty much everything.
Another piece of research that was so interesting is that over COVID, the only people whose mental health was identified as higher and better than previously to COVID were those who attended church weekly. And that's online or in person.
Jennifer Rothschild: Wow.
Ericka Andersen: And no other group. Only people that attended weekly. Not monthly. They even specify that. And so that goes for almost everything. And it's like a miracle drug almost. I mean, not to use church in that way, and it's not going to church that does this, but it's -- those who are going to church, there's so much that comes with that in terms of community, awareness, reminders of the needs in the community, getting that wisdom from God.
And also the Holy Spirit shows up at church. And I know the Holy Spirit can be anywhere. He can be here in the room with me alone. But there's something very special about the community of believers coming together in which I have seen and believe that the Holy Spirit just shows up in a way that he doesn't show up anywhere else. And I don't know how to describe that, I can't necessarily give you, like, the specific dimensions of what that looks like, but from my reading and understanding, this is where -- it's like God's favorite place to be, is among -- I really think that.
Jennifer Rothschild: That's a great phrase.
Ericka Andersen: It's among the believers. And you think back to the Old Testament when people built the altars and when they carried around the temple and all of that. Well, it's the same idea. Like, God is in the church. Not the building, but in the people together gathered. And, I mean, it's just heaven on earth. I mean, that's what the church gathering is.
And Sam Allberry -- I wrote this in the book. But Sam Allberry put it so well in his book where he talks about the church being a little embassy of heaven on earth. You can't get to heaven right now, but heaven's embassy is the church. And so when you enter the church, you're in heaven. Technically you're in heaven.
Jennifer Rothschild: That's beautiful.
Ericka Andersen: And I was like, that's amazing. And it's so true. And I think that's why the Holy Spirit shows up in such a powerful way, and I just want more people to experience that.
Jennifer Rothschild: That is so compelling and so beautiful. Well, and it's scriptural. Where two or three are gathered, there he is in our midst. But I'm going to remember that -- that's my favorite line of this whole conversation, that the church is God's favorite place to hang out. I love that.
Ericka Andersen: Totally. Totally.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I feel like you may have already answered this last question, but I'm going to ask it anyway. Just put simply, why does going to church matter, both personally and on a societal level?
Ericka Andersen: Sure. Well, I think number one, if you're a Christian, God calls us to the church. It is obedience to be a part of the church. So if you're a Christian and you care about obedience to God, which you should, then that's number one.
But it's really so much more than that. We have the opportunity as human beings to learn from our fellow Christians, to experience God in a way that we can't any other way in going to church. It enhances our faith, it enhances our happiness and apparently gives us the ability to see those fruits of the Spirit and our heart grow, because those things seem to grow with your happiness and with your satisfaction and contentment as well. But then that just has a multiplier effect on so many things, including marriage satisfaction, your mental health, your philanthropy and giving.
One of my favorite stats is that people that go to church on a regular basis, they give far more than those who don't. But not just to faith-based causes. It's not just, oh, we're tithing and we're giving to Compassion International or something like that. It's like they also give statistically and significantly more to places like the Humane Society or the American Cancer Society. And so we're talking about beneficial on an exponential level that helps out the world.
And then in addition to that, you're talking about people that go to church are more civically inclined, they're more civilly inclined. They are creating better communities, stronger families, better leaders, and a better world. I mean, it literally is the foundation of society in so many ways. I mean, I could go on, but I'll stop there.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I think you've given us a compelling reason to return.
Ericka Andersen: Thank you.
Jennifer Rothschild: Great, great stuff, Ericka. Thank you.
Ericka Andersen: Thank you. Thank you so much.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, you heard it, my people. The church needs women, and women need the church.
K.C. Wright: The church needs men, and men need the church.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes. Yes.
K.C. Wright: The church, even with all its issues and imperfections, is still God's best idea for keeping his kids close to each other and growing his family. I say it all the time, the local church is the hope of the world.
Jennifer Rothschild: It sure is.
K.C. Wright: And we know this conversation today may have hit close to home for you because you're the one dealing with this right now. Or maybe it hits you right in the heart because someone you love, or lots of people you love, have left the church. Well, we want to get you Ericka's book called "Reason to Return," because she has a way of addressing this issue with so much love and grace. She doesn't slam the church --
Jennifer Rothschild: No, she doesn't.
K.C. Wright: -- and she doesn't slam or shame people.
Jennifer Rothschild: No. I love that.
K.C. Wright: Yes. The best part is you can win a copy of this book right now --
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
K.C. Wright: -- by simply going to Jennifer's Instagram. Which, by the way, you need to follow. It's daily inspiration. I love following it myself. I'm always loving everything there. Simply go to Instagram and look for @jennrothschild to get entered to win a copy.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes. And if you don't know how to get there on your own, we will have a link to my Instagram on the show notes, and to Ericka's book and podcast there on 413podcast.com/229, Episode 229.
So, our 4:13ers, let's be part of growing God's church and blessing our communities. We can, because we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. I can.
K.C. Wright: I can.
Jennifer Rothschild: And you can.
K.C. Wright: And you can.
Jennifer Rothschild: Absolutely you can.
K.C. Wright: I have a friend who since COVID has not returned to the local church and is only watching online on Facebook streaming and stuff. And we praise God for that.
Jennifer Rothschild: Right.
K.C. Wright: But I encouraged him, "Well, when you're watching online on Facebook Live, who's your pastor? When you're in the hospital, who's your pastor?"
Jennifer Rothschild: Right?
K.C. Wright: Is the Internet preacher going to come to your hospital bedside? No. But I also -- I made him laugh. I said, "Okay, so next time you're hungry, instead of going to a restaurant, just watch a TV commercial." See, things are better when you're there, right? When you're actually eating. And he said this. He ended the conversation, "Well, the church is filled with hypocrites." And I said, "Yeah, but so is Walmart. I still go in and get my milk and bread. And you know what? We always need one more, so come on. Come on. There's a parking spot for you." Of course we're hypocrites. That's why we need church.
Jennifer Rothschild: Amen.
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