Sunday, March 6, 2011

On My Heart...

Why do we go to church?  To praise our God and to be involved in fellowship with one another.  I am a fairly new Christian of about 4.5 years, so I haven't been in the church my whole life and a lot of this is new to me.  I love to go to church to worship our Lord, but the fellowship part leaves me cold.  The idea of cliques in a church just baffles me.  I thought we left this back in high school??!!  Cliques in church are alive and rampant.  They do alot of damage for believers and un-believers.  Sometimes, I don't even know if the clique is aware of the damage they are provoking. 

"not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:25

Church to me is a place to feel safe, accepted and loved, no matter who you are.  Isn't that what Jesus wanted people to feel?? Jesus loved on everybody, regardless of their indiscretions in life.  I don't feel this way when I walk into church.  I know I shouldn't care what people think, but this is the place where you shouldn't have to care! Nobody has the right to judge, except God himself.  I know we are all human, and we are bent toward sin.  I am not perfect and I find myself engaging in judging too. 

"Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not think you are superior." Romans 12:16

Cliques can make people feel unaccepted and left out, especially people new to the church.  I know people are human and cliques make people feel comfortable, but how do you stop them from forming or continuing to stop this process?  That is my question.  We left one church because we felt God was leading us elsewhere, only to find out the same problems are there too. 

At this time, my husband and I are confused and disappointed in the idea of corporate worship.  We need to be fed and so do our children.  We teach in our home about God and partake in family devotionals (not as much as I would like), we don't rely on the church for that.  We do enjoy our family fellowshipping and growing in the church and learning from those individuals that can teach us something.  But, I do want church in our lives, but at what cost?  Do we just go, get fed by the Word and not take the time to fellowship or volunteer for fear of getting hurt again?  Do we try to change the things we didn't like and make it better for everyone, is that possible?  My stomach is sick from thinking about it, but I don't know what to do, and yes I am praying about it.  So, I will wait on the Lord. 

Have you ever been through this?

"And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands.  As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love." 2John 1:6


noreen said...

Hi Shelley, I'm happy to say that I have not experienced that aloofness of cliques in my church, but I have in a moms group that was in an inter-denominational church. I prayed about it too and eventually I left the group. It spurred me on to approach my church about setting up a moms group there but that didn't quite work out either. I wish I had better answers for you and I agree we should have left the clique behavior back in high school!

Tina Peterson said...

Hi Shelley - I find that the larger churches tend to be more cliquish and it's really hard to get to know people. I know at my church I've tried to volunteer for things (and been skipped over) and join the bible studies but I gotta tell you in the 14 years I've been going to these churches I don't have a single "friend" I can count on. In fact, I don't even go to church on a regular basis anymore and i find that really sad.

The problem with the smaller churches (at least here in Omaha) is that they aren't growing. It's mostly older people. The larger churches are growing but it's like they are looking for something else that I'm not - Barbie Dolls? Families? Outgoing people? I'm not sure, but it's not me.

Anyway, keep praying. Maybe you can find out what churches your friends are going to and begin praying if God wants you to go somewhere else he'll lead you there.


Tina Peterson said...

I just wanted to let you know that I'm following you on GFC. I'm not able to follow anyone else on Networked Blogs unfortunately (I'm following you in my heart =)


Janet - AKA: Latte Lady said...

I'm sorry you are going through this. I wish you lived near us because that is not our church. Some people were forming a clique but they all left! ;)

Here, check out our church. Maybe you DO live close enought to come!

:) Janet