Sunday, September 19, 2010

Honesty

Acts 2: 42-47
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
I wrote another post this morning, but I didn't publish it. I just don't want to come across the wrong way. I don't want to come across as being whiny, I simply want to state my heart in this matter. My heart has been heavy on this very issue for some time. I don't want to get into my complaints or disappointments here, at least not in depth!
We have attended our current church for over a year now. A year ago we joined a cell group. We go to a relatively large (large to us) church that has two morning services to accommodate numbers. We haven't really gone to the 'coffee time' between services too often, I admit. I attended a Women's Retreat in the spring and Zach just attended a Men's Retreat. We've had I think only one family in our home for fellowship, aside from the normal cell group times, although we've invited a few others. I've gotten together with the gals from cell group to fellowship and have dinner or dessert or coffee. Aside from those instances, aside from the 'set' meeting times there's been little else, although we were provided meals after losing Nathaniel from both our cell group and a sister group.
Today is a 'big' day. A few months ago we attended the 3 hour long membership class. A few weeks ago we turned in our membership application, enclosing our written testimony. The next part is to meet with the deacon(s) and verbally give your testimony. That is what is taking place tonight. I am nervous. I don't feel ready. Not nervous about my testimony or sharing it, but nervous about joining a church that I'm just currently not comfortable in. I think Zach's main goal in becoming members is so that we're able to serve, which makes sense. I love the preaching, the songs/worship are wonderful but I feel like the fellowship is really lacking for us.
I know we're 'new'. I know many people have gone to this church for years. Many went to Bible college together. Many are family with one another. But does that excuse them from embracing new families? Are we just falling through the cracks or are there others like us who feel the same way? Now that we'll be official members will we be more 'accepted'? I just feel like a church body should be like the verses above. We should be breaking bread together, meeting throughout the week, etc. I have had one very short playdate with one person from our cell group (at my house). One. One family has come for dinner. One. Whatever happened to the encouraging one another, fellowship, meals, actually knowing one another?
I told Zach last night that I feel like in the 3 weeks that I've gone to a homeschool co-op that I've met and am getting to know more people than in the year and a half we've been going to church. I knew of maybe 2 or 3 women before said co-op but never really sat and visited with them much. How sad!!! I don't mind that my fellowship comes from co-op or other homeschool events, but should said fellowship come more from those than from your own church family?
And my husband really put himself on the line going to the Men's Retreat not really knowing anybody too well. I'm proud of him! I think it's (normally) easier for us women to do such things than men. Do you know that the people who talked with him were older men??? Men our parent's age and older? Seriously, how sad is that!?!
UGH, I am just so frustrated! I'm really not 'feeling' it, really not desiring to be a part of this body. I will follow my husband's leadership if that is what he feels is right, and I'll pray that maybe more doors will open for us to fellowship with others once we're finally 'in'. But why should it take a form and interview to be 'accepted'? Or maybe I'm just putting too much in the way of 'feelings' into this. There are also some other instances I could write about that have me doubting this step, like the fact that a friend who doesn't even go to this church contacted them after I lost Nathaniel and was really needing tangible help, but I was never contacted on it and neither was she. Could this be the reason I feel so ill this weekend, why my stomach is seriously hurting? Please just pray for us. Pray for me, that my emotions don't get in the way of my judgement on this.

6 comments:

Becki said...

We've been at our current church(after moving to a different state) for two years next month. It wasn't until earlier this year when we started getting involved in the different ministries(children, youth) that we started to make deeper connections with people. Maybe once you are able to serve that will happen? Praying for you! It's so hard to find a good church, and then on top of that be a military family and have to find a new one every few years. Growing up I went to the same church practically my whole life! Lot different moving around as an adult.

Amie said...

We attended a church for 8 years without becoming members, although we still were able to serve. I, personally, don't really get church "membership". If your a Christian than you are a member of the body, period. I think it's more politics than anything.

DDK23 said...

Just about everything you wrote I have felt. We were at a church we kind of liked....but only because the kids church was good for the boys, but we never "felt" a part of anything. I tried in vain to be part of a small group, but none of them worked out for us. We just stopped going, because we found a new church that is starting up, we didn't want the boys to get to invested and then leave. The first service is next week. We figure if we don't like this new church we can just go back to the mega church with the good kids program and try to again to get involved ourselves.
I'm with Amie I don't get the whole "membership" thing either. We have a packet to fill out if we want to be "members", that is the final thing that turned us off from them. I talked to someone briefly on the phone about membership, and she mentioned she would send us a packet. But....I don't know there was no face to face contact from anyone.
Maybe Zach is right though, once you become members you'll feel more at home. Every church is different.

I am OK said...

Hmm, Blogger doesn't love me these days. I keep trying to comment but nothing takes. My last attempt mentioned the funny difference of Catholics and that I'd be praying for you. Follow Zach! He wants to lead you to serve.

Love Love Love
Jamie

I am OK said...

Sure that one took.

Anonymous said...

Because the tone of our voice doesn't come across...I mean this in a soft, loving tone:)
Just my thoughts and honesty about your post.

We can NEVER know what other people are thinking. Only God knows our hearts. Yours and the churches included. These things are most likely oversight and nothing else.
I grew up in a Pastor's home and the funny thing about Pastors and church members is we are all human.
Unless you are making every possible effort to show yourself friendly and they are throwing it back in your face, in an obvious manner, I would say give it time and DON"T give the devil and inch because he will always take a mile and having us thinking things that are not true. It has happened to us all:)
Go with a good attitude and ask God to hook you up with those that he wants in your life and HE will.
God has caused it to happen in my life everytime we have moved.
Iron sharpening Iron...

I say all this because I have been in your situation and looking back on it I wish someone had caused me to take a step back (like you are trying to do) and really think about it instead of just getting a bad attitude and giving up like I did:)

Be Blessed,
It will all work out,
Gina