A year ago, if you were to tell me that you had only been to “Church” eight times in the last year after stepping down from a six year Pastoral position I probably would have secretly considered you “Backslidden”. Or at least on the verge. I am rather good at making horrible snap-judgments. I would most likely tell you that I understood, and just nodded along to your words only to try and slide in a comment somewhere that I would have considered a “humble” correction.
That was a year ago, and I have only been to church eight times in the last eight months. I can hear the *gasps* as I type this post out. I want to assure you;
I am not “Backslidden”.
I have not turned my back on God.
I am not prescribing to some anti-establishment hyper-individualist spirituality.
The last couple of years in the church had become increasingly difficult for me. Mostly because of internal issue and struggles I was having. The departure from our local body was one of the hardest things we did as a family but somehow at the same time one of the most rejuvenating decision we had made. We needed time to detox from all of our misconceptions of what church should look like and what it meant to even be the church.
The last eight months have been a vital part of our walk with God, and a very necessary season of rest and refocusing for our family. I have definitely learned a lot!
It is so easy to get stuck in the motions and I am the kind of person that if I can not do something authentically then I do not want to do it. We are resurrection people and we have to be okay with the fact that for some things to truly thrive they first must die. So with lots of tears, prayer, and peace we let church die for us.
Thankfully Jesus is in the resurrection business!
In the last eight months God has been healing our hearts (one day at a time), giving us new dreams and visions, and and resurrecting a true and genuine love for the Church of Jesus Christ!
We now long for true biblical community more than ever.
We are stronger in our belief than any day prior.
We are excited to be apart of the family of God! And long to see the vision of Jesus fulfilled on earth as it is in Heaven!
If you find yourself where we are then please let Holy Spirit do his work in you! Let him kindle a deeper love for church than you have ever had! Let him heal your heart and draw you closer to the heart of God! If you know someone who has left the church for whatever reason please treat them with kindness and grace! It is what they need! Do not box God in to your church buildings and be the love the church-frustrated needs!
Until we all are one!