Over the holiday, I committed to my mother that I would start looking for a church home in January. Yikes. Why did I do that? Oh wait, I know why: 1. It’s important to be a part of a church family. 2. My mother has hounded me for months, saying that my Tuesday night Bible study is not adequate to fill my need for fellowship with the Christian body. (She’s half right…)
Unfortunately, I am really, really bad at this “church search” thing. I’ve lived three different places, and I always struggle to find a church. In fact, I’m much more apt to continue going to a church I’m not all that crazy about just to avoid a continued tedious search. I am horribly impatient like that. And lazy. Also, I like a stable core of people around me, and if I already have that elsewhere, then it’s difficult to see the reasoning behind making myself uncomfortable at a church where I don’t know anyone and I don’t feel welcome. For those that know me, I’m not shy. I have no problem walking up and introducing myself to people, but church people, in light of my experiences, can be less friendly than the outside world. That is sad.
Let’s do a study on my sad church history, shall we?
Scenario #1: My church in university was Baptist, and the college minister was pretty legalistic. He was a cool guy, but he was a bit like a bull in a china shop when it came to grace. I stayed because I made friends there, but ultimately, I got to the point where I disliked being there and felt like people were judging me. And I wasn’t even really a bad gal. I just needed a touch of guidance and some accountability, not a straitjacket.
Scenario #2: In Nashville, I somehow wound up at the megachurch, maybe because I was impressed by the flash and bang of the worship. And, ahem, the famous people. Sad, I know. I felt like I grew OK there. I was super involved in the young adults ministry, and actually coordinated events. Then our leader left, the church hired someone new, and no one asked the current leadership team to help work with the new group. What’s funny is God had told me to leave the church, but I kept sticking around because I didn’t want to start over. Then we lost our leader. To put one final nail in the coffin, I went to the missions pastor, saying I was interested in doing missions, and he asked me, with barely concealed annoyance, “Well, what do you want me to do?” Bingo. I was out.
I got it right after that. I found the church I should have been in all along, and to be honest, I still miss everyone there terribly. I wish I could have carried the whole lot of them in my suitcase, and set up a nice church on one of the hillsides outside of San Luis Obispo. Looking back, I am amazed I still even attend church, let alone do mission work. It’s just more evidence that God is gracious and merciful, and He never lets us down.
On a different note, does anyone else have the problem of getting their brain stuck on one thing for long periods of time? Any remedies for that?