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.

  1. I normally am super excited about what the church is doing in the community and they have an engaging ministry to people.
  2. I then begin to pour myself into helping out with children and quickly am absent from the adult services.
  3. 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.
  4. I struggle to be a part of a community group, because I just don’t ever feel like I fit well.
  5. 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


3 thoughts on “Belonging

  1. That’s cool Chad…being able to see that cycle in yourself and work towards breaking it is a huge step in spiritual maturity. Well done sir.

    May God continue to work on your heart and the Holy Spirit transform you as you move forward on this journey.

  2. This is great, Chad! I resonate with you completely. Working the 12 Steps through Celebrate Recovery has greatly helped me in this struggle. This blog post is actually your first step: “We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable.” You’re 1/12th of the way there, buddy!!!

    Also, I love that you have found a church that is open and honest about their issues and beliefs. That is rare…very rare. 😦

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