I rarely blog about religion, but it’s been very heavy on my heart lately. I attend a church that is hurting & I feel like I have done everything I can to help heal, but the resistance in my church is very strong and I feel nothing but anger and distance when I walk through the doors on Sunday mornings.
I’ve prayed many time about my predicament- by feeling so distant from my church I know I am suffering in my relationship with God. Monday night, after our monthly church council meeting, I sat in my car and prayed about the conflict in my heart. Afterward I felt the need to ask Siri (on my iPhone) for a random Bible verse. This is what a got:
“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21
Well dang. Sometimes God is a subtle man and sometimes He’s not. I’d say He was fairly straight forward with me Monday night.
To be less vague, our church is comprised of very few millennial. Actually, there’s only a handful of folks under the age of 60. Some people see this as a problem and some do not. To attract a younger crowd there needs to be some change and, again, some people see this as a problem and some people do not.
The real problems lies within my own heart. I grew up in this church… but I am one of two left from my “generation.” I don’t feel fellowship, I don’t feel closer to God, I don’t feel anything. Sundays were once my favorite day but now they’re a bummer.
Over the last 5 years there has been a mass exodus from our church, so leaving wouldn’t be unheard of… but for a long time it was unthinkable for me. (Our family is deeply rooted in my church.) Now I just don’t know.
I’d like to blame someone, but there’s no one to blame. My anger has no target and that makes me even more frustrated. I know that K gets nothing from our church services and we’ve discussed the lack of child/youth opportunities that will one day strongly effect us.
“I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” 1 Corinthians 1:10
I feel like I’m not united in mind and thought with anyone right now. I’m craving fellowship and growth and just not finding it. Obviously I will continue to pray about it, but beyond that I am stuck. I’m not looking for resolution with this post; I just needed an outlet.
We all struggle with ourselves and our faith and our community- this is just a struggle that God will led me through. I have faith.
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4 Comments Add yours
Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart and experience with your church. I pray that you would find discernment and fellowship in this challenging time and that your church would be revived for all generations to feel comfortable worshiping.
Thank you, Laura. I really appreciate that. We’re in the midst of calling a new pastor, as well, so I hope that with him or her comes some peace and renewal 🙂
I am so glad you expressed your heart! I would just like to encourage you that it is not always a bad thing to leave a church and find another. I’m not saying people should do it all the time (because that can become very self-centered, very quickly), but when there is a legitimate reason, or a legitimate pull at your heart, God is not condemning you for looking else-where. In fact, depending on the situation, He may be leading you to find another church home.
Obviously, I don’t know your personal situation and I have no clue what you should do. But what I do know is that sometimes people place a lot of unnecessary, self-inflicted guilt on themselves about leaving a church.
Also, I am curious: what did you feel God was speaking to you through the verse in Isaiah? I mean, I get the verse itself, but I was wondering what you personally were gleaning, since you are still listening for that voice to say “go this way, or go that way”.
Be blessed, blog-friend 🙂
Kristin // thepeculiartreasureblog.com
Thank you, Kristin. When problems first started within our church I was a teen and then I went off to college away from home so I’m only recently (the last 2 years) faced with tough decisions like these. I really appreciate your kind words regarding a church home 🙂 Right now my husband and I are trying very hard to keep an open mind (and an open heart)!
When I was presented with Isaiah verse I decided to crack open my Bible and read the context around verse 30:21. Mostly it just reminded me that God is right beside us, guiding us in our decisions- if only we stop, pray, and listen. I tend to over think and over plan, so I took this verse to mean “listen and go.”
Thank you, again, for your comments and support!