It Can Happen

And so, last Sunday, I went to my home church, which is very large, and just sat in a completely different place. It felt like a different church. Two people prayed for me, and someone I do not know sent me a note about a nursing job that I did not want. (I love my job. Thank you very much, but no thank you for your job.)

I still feel burned out.  It is easier to go to a church that really doesn’t care how I dress or what shoes I wear. The thought of visiting churches to find a new church home is not a comforting one. I have felt so tired inside and guilty for I do not even know what for so long that it has been exhausting.The problem is that the church doesn’t really care about any of us as individuals at all. They don’t send parishioners flowers in the hospital, and people rarely get a visit. Pastors have no idea, for the most part, where you live or what you do or anything about you. It is not their concern. I have a hard time with that one because I always thought about pastors as people who care about you,not as corporate organizer/fund raiser/visionaries. I was corrupted as a kid by my local neighborhood church.

Something Mrs. A.K. Patchin told me a long time ago has measured into all of this. She said that like C.S. Lewis, she does not look for friends at church. Almost all of her friends are from other places. I kept expecting my church to somehow provide friends for me. It is not going to do that now, and it probably never will. I have friends. For some reason, it is best to cultivate them from other places. If I can keep that in mind, I will be okay. Some of the weirdest people ever hang out at churches anyway. After my last few experiences trying to have them to my home and socialize, I am taking a pass on that.

I also have to keep in mind that the modern church is run more like Walmart than like the church in the New Testament. Changing churches will not change that. I would just end up with a different form of it. The paid staff leaders run everything, decide everything, and control, you guessed it, everything. Shake it off and move on ,or don’t go. The only choice for the local parishioner is whether to write them a check or not, and for how much.

In the end, those were my choices. Suck it up and hang in there or pretty much quit altogether. I really don’t like what the American church has become, but oh well.

 

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4 Responses to “It Can Happen”

  1. SprinklerBandits Says:

    You’re looking for two different things in the same place. Naturally, you can only find one. There are different risks associated with both. The big, anonymous gathering allows anonymity and one kind of healing, the smaller is obviously more personal. Of course, you can get lost in the crowd in a big church and clash with strange personalities in the small one.

  2. thegreatfish Says:

    Yes.

  3. Apple Hill Cottage Says:

    I have to say reading this made me sad. I know whereof you speak; but for the past three years I’ve been blessed to be in a smallish church with a bunch of wonderful people who have become my friends, and a pastor who cares and visits and jokes with you as a person. Is the church perfect? No. It’s filled with sinners just like me and you who struggle with lots of stuff. I say pray about your shoes and just start visiting different churches till you find one that fits. I pray you will.

    • thegreatfish Says:

      I have found a quite wonderful smallish church in my very own neighborhood. Thank you for your prayers. I am still settling in, but I can see that it is a much better fit for me that the modern megachurch.

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