Old BRog

i'm blogging, despite my creative incompetencies and cognitive lackings

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Death and Life of a church

Am I just selfish? I grew up and attended the same church my entire life, until last year. My wife had attended this same church for about 7 years before we left. As a church, we failed to recognize the changing demographic of the neighborhood through the years and this eventually caused us to even resent the changes taking place around us. There were times when we would pull together as a congregation and reach out, but our efforts were soon eclipsed by the enormity of the task or by the lack of help from others in the congregation. I’ve been on both sides-the side that works their fingers to the bone and the side that really hasn’t a clue what’s going on, or acts like they don’t lest they be recruited to help. Looks like I just told on us-maybe we relied on our own ability a little too much. Factor in a little pride, poor church structure, a few dozen content believers and you’ve got a church that just couldn’t pull it all together. And we couldn’t. After many years of struggling, Danyel and I decided it was time to move on, that was 9 months ago.

This last week marked the first meeting of the remaining members after an apparent split. One of those members contacted us and asked if we would like to come back and begin serving in the neighborhood. Sounds good right? Not exactly. Danyel and I believe we have found our place at a new church, but that’s not the only reason we can’t return. It is the leadership. We cannot return because we feel that our beliefs, our style, and our approach in no way coincide with those ideals presented by the remaining members. However, our desire to reach the neighborhood certainly still exists. I still love each of them very much, but feel that I cannot serve with them. So, should I just suck it up and serve the people of the neighborhood and disregard my own struggles with the church for the sake that one more may become saved? OR Do I pick up the pieces, pray for the congregation and move on? Feel free to ask me any more questions that might help paint a better picture of the situation.

3 Comments:

  • At Tue May 03, 07:36:00 PM, Blogger Chris Merritt said…

    Well, you know that I think that you shouldn't leave your current congregation, but let me try to be impartial. Church splits are messy, and cleaning up the mess is not much fun. I'm sure you are aware of the core issues that caused this spilt in the first place and from what I have seen, those core issues cannot be resolved just by asking others to help. It takes some initiative on thier part. I say for now, continue to reach out to this community, pray for the church, and watch for God to begin some sort of healing. When and if you see signs of healing, then pray about whether or not God wants you in on it.

     
  • At Mon May 09, 11:35:00 AM, Blogger kab_live said…

    If it counts for anything--love the community, pray for them, serve them, but so not suck it up and close yourself within a community (or rather, institution) that you are not comfortable or happy with. Instead, gather with those who you respect, appreciate, and connect best with--then, be sent everywhere. It takes such a toll on your own motivations, efforts, mind, heart, energy, etc. when you try to be something you can't fully be in the place you are at. (you will have to weed through the knotted sentence).

     
  • At Tue May 10, 04:58:00 PM, Blogger Cameron said…

    Since I don't know what was going on at your old church, I can't really say what you should do (or have done), but it sounds like the root question is this: when is it acceptable to leave a church? And by "acceptable" I mean acceptable to God, not you or me.

    We've had a few people leave our church over what appears to be disagreements on petty issues, so I've been thinking a lot about this lately. I plan on posting something to my own blog in the next few days, so I'll be sure to let you know when I do.

     

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