18 October 2011

Loving the church: {Day 18} If you have to leave

I had a question a few weeks ago about my post on committing to church.
Okay, wait.  Let's just stop and take a moment.  I had a question on the blog.  And I'm answering it.  I'm a real live blogger, y'all!  Hee hee!
Sarah asked when I would "give up" on a church.  Friends, that is a hard question!  John and I had a few years in our church lives where we really struggled.  We were in a church that wasn't doing anything wrong, but it just didn't really feel right for us.  We were uncomfortable.  We were in a minority in more ways than one, and I really wanted to flee.  I wanted to go back to the place that felt familiar, as imperfect as it may have been.  The music irritated me, we were some of the only ones with children, we lived far away, we were a minority culture within the church...blah blah blah.  Not in and of themselves good reasons to leave.  Let me tell you why.
The role of God and church in our lives is not to make us feel comfortable.  I will say it again:  the role of God and church in our lives is not to make us feel comfortable.
Just this morning in Bible study, we were looking at the beginning of Acts, where the early days of the church are described:
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-49
Someone in the group asked, in all honesty, "Doesn't all this togetherness seem a little overwhelming?  Didn't they ever just want to go home and do their own thing?"  We all nodded our heads, understanding her point of view.  While it is true that the early days of the church are unique in some ways, our Bible study leader didn't let us off the hook by saying that this was only for a set time as the church was established.  She advised us to sit in that discomfort for a while by pointing out that the church and being a part of it should be somewhat undoing for us.  The church should make us question our expectations and desires.
I'll continue this discussion tomorrow by actually answering Sarah's question, and talking about what it looks like to leave a church in a gracious and gospel-centered way.

This is the 18th part in a series.  Go here to read the series from the beginning.  Go here to read over 700 other 31 Day series on all kinds of topics.


1 comment:

  1. what a cliff hanger...i love this series you are blogging about, and can't wait to hear more of your thoughts on this topic! thanks for blogging so faithfully especially during this busy time in your life!!

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