Belong before you believe

Check out Jack’s story and see one of our core values at work: belong before you believe.

What was your first experience like at Detroit Church? What was life like for you then?

I first attended Detroit Church on a whim - I had spent the past several years with Kensington Church, primarily playing music. My faith journey was complicated; I was a musician first, and a church-goer second, if at all. Worshipping gave me an opportunity to regularly challenge and express myself creatively, and I felt as though I was losing that opportunity in previous environments. I craved a fresh start not only musically, but in spiritual discovery. Life had led me to several dead ends in answering the most intimate questions of my soul and I was desperate for any opportunity to lighten my existential burden which was rooted in a questioning of my purpose in the totality of life. My purpose in the present was more mysterious, and its absence was the most debilitating contributor to that feeling of being lost.

Detroit Church's intimacy and authenticity at its earliest moments, which it still maintains, are why I'm here two years later. Church was always an unlikely destination to me; faith was never present in my family or social circles, and my years of worship experience were only initiated by filling an empty musician role in a worship night at age 14, a time when I couldn't explain what worship was. My relationship with ministry never strengthened in the following years. However, after several weeks spent with Pastor Sonny's congregation and the worship team, I had comfortability with the community that I can only imagine would have taken years to cultivate anywhere else. Regardless of the gains or setbacks of my spiritual journey, Detroit Church is a home to me, and I know that I am welcome and I belong.

What stands out to you about our church that makes you love what you do and who we are?

What makes being at Detroit Church such a profound experience for me is the genuine sense and expression of love in its every fiber. The concept of living the gospel was entirely foreign and untranslatable to me before I arrived. But the neighborly love and desire for community is a trait shared by everyone here. Beyond that, this expression is never out of obligation. Sincerity is a hallmark of the church, and I know that even strangers would go to the ends of the earth for me, fostering an environment that allows me to make myself vulnerable in pursuit of spiritual growth. I don't yet fully recognize the love of Jesus, but the love of Detroit Church is what I imagine it to look like in the human world.

Where do you serve at Detroit Church and what has the Lord done in your life or shown you since getting plugged in to the ministry?

I serve in the worship team playing guitar and bass. My spiritual journey is still quite complicated, but being involved in the ministry's mission gives me peace in knowing that my contributions affect the lives of countless loving individuals each week. That fulfillment encourages me to continue maturing my relationship with worship, and while I may struggle, my love for this church drives me to continue serving.

What does either ALL THINGS NEW or THE GREATEST ADVENTURE OF ALL TIME mean to you?

What "All Things New" means to me is that redemption and actualization of potential are always within reach. For me, it may take another day, or it may take much longer, but when Detroit Church endorses and lives through this saying, I know that the plan of newness accounts for me forever, no matter the complexities of my spiritual journey. The church reinforces my trust that there are gifts waiting for me to accept, and it will support me until I realize such.