My name is Ian McLoud. I am a 25 year old, single youth and family minister and I love TLC’s Sister Wives.
Feels good to that off my chest. And no, I will not defend my love for such a show. I’m fascinated by Mormons, especially the fundamentalist sects, and that is the only reason I watch. At least that’s what I tell myself. Secretly, I think I just like betting on when and how often Robyn will cry in any given episode.
I was catching up on Season 3 the other day and came across a rare gem, an episode I hadn’t seen before! This week on Sister Wives Kody and his wives are upset over the lack of a good ole “faith and morals” based social outlet. So, they do what any good Mormon polygamist family does and go visit a Presbyterian church.
You read that right. Kody, with his wives in tow, waltzes into a Presbyterian church and begins to ask poor Pastor Ray if his army of children can attend youth group activities because they need a good social outlet. Before Pastor Ray can really say anything wife #3, Christine, pipes up and says she can’t allow this.
I feel I must point out that Pastor Ray, to his credit, was willing to let the Brown Family Brigade join the youth group, but, in some moment of clarity, Christine realizes that they’re good FLDS Mormons and not Presbyterians. This would be wrong. It could lead their children down the wrong path. So they “table the discussion,” as Kody says.
What happens next is an argument between Kody and his wives. Wives 1 and 2, Meri and Janelle, are for the youth group because it’s just social. Wives 3 and 4, Christine and Robyn, are against. Kody, surprising no one, sides with Christine and Robyn.
Even though it was his idea, Kody now sees the error of his ways because this could really lead his children to a different faith. Church is never just a social outlet, no matter what wives 1 and 2 may think. Kody decides this type of thinking is simply wrong and puts his foot down, ending the discussion.
So what does this have to do with us?
Reread that incredibly profound statement that Kody makes about church being more than just a social outlet. Maybe it’s just because I’m a youth minister, but I often get the sense that some only see church as a place to socialize and make friends. I know for some of my students that is definitely the case. That’s probably why Kody’s words that church is more than a social outlet made such an impact.
Church is community. Church is where we come into contact with God by worshiping and fellowshiping with fellow believers. Community does powerful things. Community lets you know you’re safe, you’re not alone and you’re welcome. People worshiping as a community of God is a beautiful thing.
The Browns are right to be afraid that sending their kids to church is dangerous because community, when done right, is life changing. Let’s try and find that kind of community, where God is at the head and the main focus. I promise the social aspect will fall into place.
You can follow Ian on Twitter @KindaScottish.