My wife and I both grew up in very structured, Christian households and in church. We were both hurt in different ways by different people in church leadership multiple times and both had decided we were done. God used Pathway to restore our view of “the church”.
I vividly remember our first time to Pathway after we decided to stop going to church. One of my best friends relentlessly pursued us and would not stop inviting us to Pathway until we gave in. He kept telling me how different Pathway was, but I didn’t believe him. We ultimately caved, and attended church one Sunday morning. As soon as we walked in we felt at home. God’s presence was extremely evident during praise and worship and the sermon was exactly what we needed to hear during that time in our lives. We met Pastor Marty that Sunday. What stood out the most to me about our first visit was that Pastor Marty did not give me the “pastor handshake” I was accustomed to and introduce himself as Pastor “so and so”, emphasizing the title of “Pastor”. Instead, he introduced himself by his first name and let us know how glad he was that we visited. To most this might not seem like a big deal, but it was to me.
We continued to visit apprehensively for the next several weeks. It seemed “too good to be true”. Everyone seemed real and personable. My wife and I had “warning signs” that we were looking for as an excuse not to come back, but the “warning signs” we were looking for never appeared. The more time that went on, we finally came to the same conclusion: everyone was actually sincere and real, even the church staff.
I did not fully let my guard down until I started serving with one of the church elders on a Dream Team and was able to see what he, and others in church leadership were really like. The more I was around church leadership the more I realized that they did not set themselves on a pedestal but viewed themselves as servants.
We have been “owners” at Pathway now for a little over three years now. I serve in the worship ministry and my wife, Jessy, serves in the nursery. Our children love going to service on the weekend and pester us throughout the week if it’s “church day” yet. Three years into it now and I can say for certain, Pathway is made up of the most sincere, real, and non-judgmental people imaginable, including the church leadership. If you are tired of religion and pointless church services, Pathway is for you.See More Stories