Monday, April 6, 2015

So You're Thinking Of Leaving The Church....

I’ve been hearing it more and more. People, saying they are leaving the church.

“The church isn’t a building. The church is the people,” I hear. And yes, that is true. And I understand that many people have been hurt by church denominations and those who occupy its’ walls.

But there is a danger in this new philosophy crossing so many hearts and minds. There is a danger in this mentality that we can simply “worship” online or on our own. That danger is in lack of Christian community.

While it’s true that we can listen to sermons on our ipods, television screens, or study the pages of the Bible for ourselves – we cannot and will never be able to, replicate a body of people who can encourage, minister, and support us. That is, unless we attend Church.

It is dangerous to go life solo or alone. It’s too easy to lock yourself away when you’re hurting or going through a huge challenge in life. The easier it gets to separate yourself from others, the longer it lasts.

I, like most others, don’t want church to become a ritual in my life that I do simply by habit. I want it to be meaningful and long lasting in my heart. But I also don’t want to wipe away its influence on my life altogether, leaving myself vulnerable to Satan’s attacks on my life.  Without the love and encouragement of my Christian brothers and sisters, I don’t know how I would find the strength, hope, and peace that I need, to go through certain things in life.

I need others. And they need me.

So if you’re reevaluating your place and presence in church – I say, do so. Evaluate how much time you spend volunteering or giving yourself over to church activities and functions. Evaluate the morals and values of the place you are attending. But don’t write church off altogether.

It’s important. It’s needed in our lives. And it’s life giving.

We need an army in this battle of life. If we abandon the church, we are abandoning the army that God has placed here to help support us and back us up.

God’s people may be far from perfect. They may hurt and wound us at times. But they are all we have. Hold on to them.


Chel said...

Dionna, I agree with you especially since I am one that walked away due to many reasons. I have deeply missed the fellowship of the like-minded. You see, it was the "like-minded" that believed the ridiculous ramblings of my ex husband. He played at church for years, they did not hear the things he said or see how he treated us. But some of them, even those who betrayed did see a glimpse and they knew it from me too. Some even knew it when they saw my childrens faces yet they chose to believe his lies. They would contact him, let him know they were praying for him but not one word to me. Even the pastor who I had gone to against my ex's wishes. I attended this church and served in many capacities for 13 years and not one single person came to my door to see how I was. They simply believed him. When I saw in writing what some said I quit attending there. I have struggled with getting back in but I am now actively searching. People are people and even in church they believe the bad stories and never verify the truth. He now barely goes after he was sure to put a wedge between me and them. that among other things nearly destroyed me. thank you for sharing.

Unknown said...

Since moving to Atlanta we haven't found a new home church yet but I'd really love to find one I connect with. I understand why so many people are leaving the church lately but I find myself missing the community and really needing to reconnect with the church body. I'm hoping we find one soon.

Dionna said...

Chel -
I am so sorry for your hurt and pain from church members. I am sorry you didn't feel supported or valued during a tough time in your life.

You are so right. People are people. I hope you find a GREAT church that loves you and makes you feel like you matter (as you most certainly do.) I know it takes courage to step back in....hang in there until you find the right spot for you. And don't give up!

Dionna said...

Ashley -
I know what it feels like to be in your shoes. We moved to Texas a year and a half ago. It can be sooo hard to find a new church that just "fits."
I'm glad you miss the community though, as that will motivate you to keep trying! You can try bible studies and church events too - as a way to see the mood or atmosphere of a church body.
Hang in there. It can take time - but I'm confident you'll find one.