Singer and songwriter Michael Gungor recently took to Instagram to announce that he is looking for a new church to attend. The announcement might have come as a surprise to some fans, as the once-renowned worship leader publicly deconverted from Christianity a number of years ago.
Nevertheless, Gungor has more recently expressed interest in recapturing certain elements of his Christian heritage. He has said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, he began to reminisce about the worship music he used to love, though he now seems to see worship differently than he used to.
“When I say ‘worship,’ I’m not talking about the shamey, homage-paying to some other being somewhere else,” Gungor said in 2021, “but the experience of love and connection that can happen when people get together and sing to their Source.”
In 2021, Gungor and his band released two worship songs. Gungor described the songs as worship music “for people who might not fit the traditional religious boxes like us” and who might be considered “the heretics and the outcasts.”
Now, Gungor is on the hunt for a church community that shares his eclectic theological views.
“Okay, so here’s a video I didn’t ever expect to make,” Gungor said in an Instagram video. “I am church shopping.”
Gungor continued, “For those of you who just have followed me recently or maybe you haven’t known my whole story, here’s a quick recap.”
“I was raised a pastor’s kid, worship leader,” Gungor began. “I began to tour the world as a worship leader. Got awards and recognition for that, and then I very publicly sort of deconstructed my faith—my beliefs anyway—and became a bit of a black sheep in that music industry.”
“For a long time, I stayed away from all things Christian,” Gungor continued. “And then I began to, after a lot of searching through different religions and traditions and practices, began to rediscover aspects of my own upbringing that I loved and now I’ve kind of come full circle, where I actually find a lot of beauty in a tradition that surrenders oneself to God.”
“And I’m looking for a group of people who have enough spaciousness to allow someone like me, who doesn’t necessarily believe in the exclusivity of any one religion but is open to God everywhere,” Gungor reflected.
Gungor went on to express that he is looking for a place that he can not only attend but also serve in some way, whether through music or something else.