Church Burnout Much?

Okay, so in my continuing saga of church burnout, I attempted to visit a different church last Sunday, believing that I would somehow be energized by the “soft opening” of a new church plant. I recruited a friend to pray for me that I would actually get up and go.

The funny thing is that I was up and ready to go and dressed, and the unthinkable happened: I started contemplating my shoes.

I love all of my shoes equally. I don’t have very many pairs of shoes. If you are reading this from a third world country, you would think I am over-shoed, but otherwise, not. I have a bunch of worn out tennies, a pair of shiny black flats and a pair of not-shiny pair of black flats. I also have a pair of Old Navy black flip flops.

Although I love all of my shoes, I began to look at my old tenny runners and think that the people starting this church would probably not think my shoes were good enough. In fact, I thought about how people might respond to my shoes as not really going with my outfit.

I had on comfortable black pants. I could have put on my not-shiny-go-everywhere-black-flats, but for some reason, I lacked the emotional energy to do so. I just stood there looking at my shoes.

Then, I sat on the bed and thought that if I have to change my shoes to reduce the chances of being rejected at the church I was going to visit that this is a bad thing. This is a bad thing because why can’t they like me in old tennies? I mean, isn’t church about being loved and cared about by both God and people who are supposed to love you just like you are, but we all know that does not always happen in churches or else wouldn’t churches be like totally packed out every Sunday by people who are just dying to “feel the love?”

I thought about just putting on the black flip flops, but my toenails look somewhat awful from all of the long distance running I have done. After I ran my one and only marathon, one toenail fell off. It grew back eventually, but it will always look funny, and my feet dry out if I go without socks for too long in this climate.

Going to a new church wearing flip flops felt like going in, well, everyone would be looking at my feet, and they would text each other about my feet. Who wants to go to a church like that?

Eventually, I just decided not to go at all because of the shoe problem. I could not rationalize changing shoes to make the best appearance, and I could not take the risk of being rejected for wearing the wrong shoes. It felt like a lose/lose situation. It was the type of situation that I felt I could best solve by avoiding it completely.

That worked for one Sunday.

I think I am going back to my home church. I know for sure that they don’t care about shoes. I could wear them on my head if I wanted, or paint with them, or paint on them. Maybe that is why I have not invested heavily in shoes. Life isn’t about shoes at all.

That other new church was just too scary. Churches can be like that. I see now why a lot of people don’t go or try to go and can’t go. It is the fear of shoes.


2 Responses to “Church Burnout Much?”

  1. SprinklerBandits Says:

    I have no opinion on which church is morally superior.

    It doesn’t seem that door #2 is actually any scarier than door #1, only that you brought your preconceptions to door #2 and gave them no chance to defend or redeem themselves.

    You don’t need to go through door #2 unless you want to, but it’s deeply unfair to blame them for your issue.

  2. thegreatfish Says:


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