Karen is even an-ex nun.
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Great post Carey! This really puts it all together in a good way. We should all keep these in mind. After pastoring a number of years I have started serving Celebrate Jesus, a nonprofit that partners with local churches with the purpose of helping churches connect with the community around them. Thanks for the blog.
Ed…this is so encouraging. Thank you! Sounds amazing. I went through the motions of the service because I was required to, even going through Confirmation. When I was posted overseas, I tried the Anglican church in the UK as a way to try getting back into church.
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I prayed for something, any way of God or Jesus letting me know I was doing the right thing and hoping I would get something out of going to church service. I never did, despite years of trying different denominations, and even giving a Catholic service a go again. We left my husband and I left our last church because we were constantly being pushed to volunteer as new members for various activities while never feeling like we were a part of the larger group.
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There were other little reasons that I did not feel comfortable being around certain people in the congregation, but my husband had enough and was being pressured to volunteer helping out in the church on a consistent basis. Thanks for that. This is just a thought…I could be totally off base.
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My first name is Rachel. My husband and I are shy, but before we were without kids attending services before, now with two toddlers, our free time is extremely limited. Reflecting back, a lot has to do with churches trying to pigeonhole not a great word, but it will do us to participate in groups just because we have expertise or talent in a certain area.
After most of my youth and young adulthood spent already providing that service, I wanted to actually feel what it was like to sit in the congregation for once. My husband was a former landscaper and now a finance specialist, and although he already does finance and accounting for a living, he was being pressured into providing the same services at each church we attended, which he would love to do when he retires, but not now.
Rachel…I wish you lived near us. I think people need space to engage their journey at their own pace. Gosh, I have a totally different experience! I have been into church music all my life, some training, not much college. But I have been told that my talents and skills are not wanted because I am too classical and too good. Basically after all those years, I have been told to sit down and shut up. The music that is done in most churches hardly seems worth the effort anyway, and I find that I just sit and grind my teeth.
Different people have different takes on music.
I get it. We can hardly force ourselves to go anymore. Cliques are a huge problem. I think it worsened with Generation X and the Millennials.
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Better to join a brand new church plant, if you can find one in your area. You raise some good points. Whenever that happens, I cheer! I can understand the discouragement. I wish the experience was different and I hope…and pray…you find a great church. I really do.
Thanks for your courage to keep believing and trying. Your consensus on the unchurched is rather condescending. The authority of the Church is G-d—and the Sovereign Christ. Not, I repeat, not incorporated voluntary subjects of the state. Each state is incorporated—and protestants subject themselves to the State and under the united nations, protestants incorporate to them as subjects as council of churches.
Romans 13—is not applicable to Christians—it only applies to Romans. Protestants worship the bible that the Roman Catholics made , and then ommited Maccabees, and Danial Canada is just as bad as the states…the RCMP takes children, they beat citizens, they destroy books sent to copyright office, and the courts take your earnings based upon false legal precedence, in their court of admirlty.
Southern Lady, I am so sorry that this is what you received from the above.
As a Christian, my personal goal is to tell you about the greatest thing that ever happened in my life, and that is Jesus. Our best witness is our lives and, unfortunately, Christians are failing in this regard. We have become like the world, totally against the teachings of Jesus. God loves the entire world and wants, as their creator, to bless them and help them and give them everything. I pray that one day you may know our Savior, Jesus, as your personal friend too.
May God bless you. I abhor the arrogance of your assumption that people need or want to hear about your religious views as posited in the first sentence. The world would be a far better place of you Christians just put a lid on it. A tailored experience, not a tailored message. There were presents under my tree last Christmas. The content was the same — the experience changed. I agree. If it were a movie house, the attitude would be understandable. This is a truly excellent list! It is very helpful to know where people are in these categories before saying or doing too much.
The hardest challenge is the dechurched who may have been badly hurt by their experiences. I dropped out of church after I graduated from college in the early s. I showed up faithfully every week — for the entire 2 year duration of the study. I made zero new friends. When it was over, I just gave up on church entirely. It was pretty clear from the lack of Sunday School and Bible study group options that someone of my age and marital status was simply not welcome. I have visited a few. I think singles, especially in my age group, find it impossible to get involved in church, because most churches erect invisible to them battlements to keep us out.
There are alternatives to church if you still want fellowship. Luke etc. There are myriad ways to enjoy fellowship, even if every single local church in your area is hostile and mean to you. You can still have fellowship, with or without an actual church. If you still want a church, join a new one. Church plants are brand new, need lots of volunteers and organizers, and if you are not passive, you can get involved and get connected very quickly. Older, established churches are not as open to newcomers.
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I am so sorry to hear about your experience with churches. Thanks for continuing to try and believe. I just wished it was different. God sees your heart. And for sure there are other options. You list some great ones.
I dream of the day when the local church is all it can—and should—be. Well maybe we could turn a blind eye on what appears to be an insanely jealous and narcissistic attitude and lack of respect for individuals if it was a small percentage of his creation that were damned. Maybe you simply are a product of matter and motion.