Monday, July 23, 2012

Breaking up

Breaking up is hard to do

Especially a 12 year relationship

Especially if its your church you are breaking up with

We just went through a break up with our church.  

And it was hard.  

And it got break ups do.

And my heart was broken. I grieved the loss of so much, so many memories, so many relationships, so many years, so much living, so much community.

About now the Christians are wondering why I am airing this subject and the rest of you are perhaps agreeing that this sounds just like your own experience of church....or how you imagine church would be if you went.

This is what I know:

I am the problem with the church.

I, like you (I hate to break it to you), am a sinner - I like things my way, I want things to be a certain way, I judge, I criticize, I sulk.  So the minute I walk into a church I make it a little less perfect.  The more of us who walk through the doors make it less and less perfect.  And we all walk in with our own set of expectations (some of us with demands) and preferences.  Many of us try to put those things aside when we go to church, to try and be the better version of ourselves, to try and do what our faith asks of us.... to love our enemies and serve our neighbours.  

I did try, I do try to do that in as an authentic way as I can. 

But I failed.  Other people failed too.  But I own my part in this story. 

We went to a new-to-us church yesterday.  It was hard to do.  We were all anxious.  It was lovely and welcoming and we will stay for a while and see if our brokeness and lack of perfection fits here with these others who are also not perfect.  If we can be part of an authentic community that practices love.

We also hope new people go to our old church and find the same.

Have you read TripAdvisor?  Reviews of hotels, attractions, restaurants etc..... I am a HUGE fan of TripAdvisor - and I review many things.  In any one review stream of one hotel, one restaurant you can find VASTLY different opinions about it, some within days of other reviews - one give it 5 stars and the other 1....because each reviewer brings their own preferences and expectations and no one hotel or restaurant can possibly meet them all.  I have had to learn to read carefully between the lines to see if there is a real issue or just a failed expectation and sometimes I call the hotel or restaurant and ask.  The cool thing is that there are so many places for so many different people.

I think that is the cool thing about the church.  Many many people are happy and nourished and loved and cared for at our old church.  We will be friends with some of them for many years to come. But we needed something that we couldn't find there.  And sad as we were....we know there is a church that can be what we need for our lives and circumstances right now.

If you went to a church and it didn't work for you, I encourage you to try another one.  Just because you have a bad meal doesn't mean you never eat out again right? You just try a different place next time and hopefully have a different experience.

To read smarter people than I on this topic here are some links.


I welcome your views on this........

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