Recently, my wife and I attended a church membership class at a local church. It was the first time that I witnessed a church be honest about who they are and the difficulties of some of their specific beliefs. Many churches shy away from the less desirable beliefs that they may have.
I have been through two major church conflicts and found that I totally understand why people leave the local church. I have been the reason that we have left most churches we have been a part of over the last 13 years of marriage.
Here is my pattern.
- I normally am super excited about what the church is doing in the community and they have an engaging ministry to people.
- I then begin to pour myself into helping out with children and quickly am absent from the adult services.
- I then begin to feel disconnected from other people and begin to alienate myself. I begin to distance myself, because I don’t want others to truly know me.
- I struggle to be a part of a community group, because I just don’t ever feel like I fit well.
- I make some last ditch efforts to stay there, but we eventually end up leaving dissatisfied because of feeling not a part of things.
This is a destructive cycle that I have decided to break in my life through honest dialogue and help from a Christian counselor. We are considering joining this church, because we truly believe that I have character issues to work through. I have talents which have hidden my character issues from others, but I need more than that. I need a transformation.
I noticed something much different at this membership class. I noticed I need to change, my necessity for the grace of Jesus become much greater in my life. I have noticed the chasm separating me from it for a long time, but I chose to smile and ignore. I am ashamed of this, but I am putting it out there for others who struggle to find a community