Sunday, November 26, 2006

Church quandry

I love the people in my church. I LOVE them! And as evidenced by my roof, I think they love me too. But I think I want to leave my church. But I don't want to leave my church. I've been thinking about this for quite some time now, and my mind was made up, I was going to leave. But I haven't found another church that feels like home, and I can't seem to break away from this one.

Why I want to leave:
I have issues with the senior pastor. Many things are done after surveys are taken to see what people want. He uses gimmicks heavily - they had a series on inviting people to church and they called it I2 - invest and invite. Then they had a class on Wednesday nights that they called D3 - Digging Deeper with Dave. I cant recall any of the others at the moment, but these are but two examples. Much of the stuff he talks about comes from books other than the Bible, and uses a lot of canned curriculum. He also doesn't make much of an effort to know his congregation. Every time I have approached him, he's said "well, it was nice to meet you!" Ummm, I've been going there for 7 years... and with what we've been through, you'd think he would at least remember that.

I have issues with other pastors. One of the other pastors there has avoided me like the plague since my ex-husband was arrested. Not even "how can we pray for you?" The one day he sat down at the same table where I was for Wednesday dinner because he wanted to sit by someone who just happened to sit at the table where I sat first, he could not face me. As soon as he got the chance, he bolted as fast as he could. I don't understand this behavior. It was obvious uncomfortable "ok well umm, Igottagonowbye!"

I have issues with how the church as a whole treated my ex-husband after his arrest. They abandoned him. Now, I know what he did was horrible and hard for us humans to understand, and that pastoral staff is HUMAN. However, as the body of Christ, if they couldn't help him, they should have found someone who could. He was aching for some guidance from Godly men and got NONE, and took that out on me. Yes, I shouldn't have let him, but I was very vulnerable at that time.

I have issues with how things went after the church did start responding to my ex-husband. After a year, there were people who started to write to him. Then they would come to me and tell me how holy and spiritual he was. If he was so holy and spiritual, why was he still being so nasty to me? They were totally snowed by him. I worry about church leadership that can be that easily manipulated and duped.

I disagree some very important points of their theology. Nuff said.

Why I stay:
I like working in the nursery every other week, huggin' on babies and givin' em back when I'm done.

The kids have friends there. Sure, they'd make friends anywhere, but they've grown up at this church. The children's programs are great, even though the high school leaves a ton to be desired. My high school senior refuses to go there (he disagrees with their theology too.) He goes to a different church regularly, so I let him choose for himself.

The people. My church class that just replaced my roof. My friends there.

That's about it... except... let's be honest... guilt feelings. They've helped me so much, how can I leave now? This church is the reason I still have a house to put a roof on! I feel guilty for wanting to leave.

Typing it all out, my reasons for staying are lame compared to my reasons for going. It's a no-brainer on paper really. So why don't I feel more peace about going? And as much peace as I don't have about leaving, I don't have it about staying either. Please pray for me if you don't mind... for wisdom, and for peace one way or the other. Thank you!


Bethany said...

Actually, I don't think your reasons for staying sound lame at all. I understand how you can be in a tight spot over this. It is a tough situation...because your reasons for wanting to leave are quite valid.

I wish I had an easy answer for you. But, I am afraid that I do not. I can and will be praying for you though. Be sure to update us and let us know what's going on.

Rebekah said...

I will be praying for you. I think you need to call the pastors on their behavior before you make a decision. Next time the one says "nice to meet you" ask him why he keeps saying that when you've been there for 7 years. And the other pastor, ask for a meeting with him and tell him how he is making you feel. Their responses to this should help you come to some conslusions...along with prayer.

Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

Gosh it does sound like a hard decision to me.. it's not everywhere you'd find friends who'd fix your roof.. but the cons are kinda big too ...

Good luck with whatever you decide!



Lyndy said...

I will certainly be praying for you. All I can say is…wow that you had a church family that put your roof on for you. I have grown up in the church and never known one to be that generous…that is really wonderful. However, I can see where your concerns are valid too. Unfortunately, you are never going to find a perfect church anywhere because “perfect” just doesn’t exist.

If you are truly unhappy, I can’t see where visiting some other local churches would hurt. With that and prayer you could at least make a better decision.

Praying for you dear one.

Lyndy in GA

Brenda said...

I will be praying for you. A good church is hard to find, but they're out there. These days it seems that many pastors are lacking in discernment and get caught up in the latest movements or programs that have little or nothing to do with proclaiming the gospel.

Let us pray for our pastors.

Janean said...

OH MY GOODNESS!! I am in the SAME BOAT! For almost the same reasons.
I tried to go "look" about four years ago...took some "time off". Tried out several churches; hubby promised he would go if we went somewhere else. Yah, RIGHT!
But I Missed my "family." So I went back where I felt safe. Where at least I had friends even if my husband wouldn't go with me.
Those people love me and I love them. We have struggled together to keep that church afloat. They saved my life, literally, several times. I feel so guilty for wanting out. But I do anyway.
I'll lift you up if you lift me up! It's a deal! :D