Exit 185. Church isn’t supposed to be this stressful.

Church isn’t supposed to be this stressful and upsetting.

I’ve been hopping around between at least three different churches the last few months, and I don’t know if I’m going to stay at any of them long term.  The church I’ve been going to the last two years (which I’m counting as one of these three) just doesn’t feel like it’s for me anymore.  They have a new pastor, and I think he has some great ideas for how to bring Jesus to the trendy urban neighborhood surrounding the church.  The problem is, I’m not in the trendy urban neighborhood surrounding the church.  I’m 12 miles away in the suburbs.  I have a very different lifestyle and very different views than most of the people there, and this has manifested itself in ways that have been making me feel uncomfortable lately.  The other two I’ve been going to are very different from each other, and I don’t know if I’m going to stick with each one.

It’s not supposed to be like this.  Singing the praises of God, having fellowship with my brothers and sisters in the faith, learning from the Bible, all of those important things shouldn’t be overshadowed by my frustrations with the culture of Christianity in the USA and my difficulty finding a place in it.  But it’s hard when I don’t feel like I belong anywhere, and it’s also hard when people from churches I haven’t been to in a while ask where I’ve been.  Most of the people I know at these churches know what’s going on, but that doesn’t make it easy.

But I’m doing the best I can.  I’m not going to leave my faith behind.  That’s not who I am, and that’s not what faith is.

If you live near me, just be aware that you might see me at your church sometime, even if I don’t normally go there.  And I might disappear for a few weeks.  And I might show up again sometime.  That’s just how things might be for a while.  But that’s ok.

I need to go spend some time in prayer tonight before I fall asleep.

6 comments

  1. Having different views isn’t bad, having a different lifestyle isn’t bad, some people seem to forget that not everyone is like them. I attended church that isn’t focused on being trendy, current, our focus is Jesus and we try to share that with our neighbor which is everybody as well as the surrounding neighborhoods. But we have families attending from Beale Air Force Base and from Grass Valley.

    1. I don’t disagree with what you said. In fact, that was one of my points of conflict on this: the benefits of being out of my comfort zone and being around different people vs. the need for church to be a comfort zone in the first place. I didn’t explain everything going on here, though, because there were things I didn’t feel were appropriate for a public post which would be shared to my Facebook where certain people involved in the situation could read it.

  2. I don’t follow any religion so to speak, I’m more of a spiritualist, but what I know about religion is exactly what you described. It’s more of a chore for some people. Maybe not even a chore, maybe it’s routine, like the act of physically going to church every week or doing the same rituals or singing the same songs. I know some people enjoy that, or maybe they talk themselves into believing they enjoy that (like what you described with people going to the same church but a new pastor comes in and it’s different after that).

    I can definitely see how going to church can be a huge positive though. You can interact with people, meet new people, and share common interests. It is definitely okay to explore other churches. Who cares what people think! You don’t go to church to please them, you go to church for you and your beliefs and to find peace and calm.

    I’m rambling about something I don’t even know about, haha, but hopefully you kinda get the idea of what I’m saying? I guess my point is it is definitely okay to explore other places of worship. Like I said, I’m not religious, but when I’ve been to funerals in a church or on the rare occasion I’ve been to church (my best friend’s dad used to work at a Greek Orthodox Church in SF) there have been speeches that totally turn me off or speeches that really inspire me. I tend to like the talks about real life, real experiences, human interactions in our everyday life and how we can become better people… things like that. Seriously, if I knew of a pastor that gave those talks all the time, I might even go to church!

    Oh yeah, I was going to say that even doing prayers at home is a good thing too! You have more control over that than if you were sitting in a pew listing to the pastor ramble on about something you can’t relate to.

    Okay rambling over, lol. You do you!!

    1. Since I came to faith at 19, church has never felt like a chore. It’s only starting to feel that way now because of my problems fitting in. As for where that came from, I don’t think I explained it fully on here, which was intentional in a way. There is more going on that I didn’t feel comfortable sharing in a public post, especially since I share all of these on my personal Facebook where a few people close to the situation might read it. I’ll tell you more privately sometimes.

      But you’re right about not caring what people think, and about prayers at home. Definitely.

  3. I quit going to church because I realized I could never again invite people to come to our church. There was too much meanness and judgement. It was constant from members and leaders.

    I hope you find a church you believe is helpful and draws you nearer to God.

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