to add to my reading list. I now have four Catholic blogs and am not Catholic.
So tonight I was bouncing around Google and I found an article on Changing Churches. The author is against it.
He says there are no perfect churches. I agree with that.
He says YOU are responsible for your church. Er, not quite. “If you think your church can do better, accept some responsibility for that.” No. I’ve been doing in my church, volunteering and praying. But I’m not in charge of my church. I’m not the one who has decided that we can’t walk and pray at the same time. I’m not the one who has decided that women teaching is anathema. I am not the one who gave nine people a job and then, after months of work, took it away from them. I am not responsible for this church because I cannot be. And since I can’t change it, I am leaving.
It’s about Jesus. Hmm. Could he tell the elders at my old church that? Because I think they think it is about them. “The elders are the ones who must make all decisions.”
His blog entry linked to this article on changing churches.
If you feel the Lord genuinely wants you to leave and go elsewhere for good reason, go to the pastor and discuss it with him. Don’t just stop showing up for church. That is inconsiderate and immature.
There are several faulty presuppositions in this paragraph. One is that the pastor is the head of the church. Another is that the pastor knows or cares who you are and will notice if you leave. A third is the idea that leaving somewhere that you have tried to improve without discussing (again) the problems is immature.
My guess is he’s a pastor of a small church and people leave because they don’t like someone else’s mode of dress or something.
No two churches are alike in their personality or methods, any more than two people are alike, but it’s not really very mature to abandon a church over such, shallow, external things.
He says you can’t leave a church because of the style of worship or the pastor’s preaching style. Why not? If I learn more and grow more somewhere else, why should I stay at a church just because I went there?
I have always noticed that the most critical people in the church are usually the ones who do the least. Have you prayed faithfully for the church and its leaders? Have you made yourself available to serve or help in areas of ministry? Have you expressed helpful suggestions or brought your concerns to the leadership (in a non-judgmental fashion)?
And there’s his small church-ness again. I have taught children’s Bible class for three years, all but the summer quarter. In the summer I have taught VBS and one quarter I taught and created the curriculum for a class on missions for all the children. I have taught the children’s church this year. I served for a year on the youth ministry search committee. I have worked for a year with the Monday evening service projects. I have been in small groups, including hosting. I have attended ladies’ Bible class and taught a class when asked. That’s all within the four years I have been at this church.
I may not be a 20%er (20% of the people do 80% of the work), but I am involved.
And it doesn’t matter.
When an elder went outside the process that had been set up, the other elders defended him.
When a teacher was rude to my child and informed the elders that my son had been rude to him, the elders ignored the situation.
When someone went and complained to the elders because a woman was teaching a middle school class, co-teaching it with a man, they removed her from the teaching team.
When the elders set up a committee, they put in charge of it a gatekeeper, someone who desires to be in control, and someone who ultimately was untruthful. They knew about the problems early on and did nothing.
When an elder insulted someone from the pulpit, nothing was done about it.
The elders have changed the stated movement of the church. I don’t want to walk back down the path they are choosing. So I am choosing to leave.