Over the last week, I’ve been doing more thinking and praying about the church situation… and have come more to peace with it.
Honestly, a lot of this ended up boiling down to looking at and praying over options.
A. We go with the old church
B. We go to the new church
C. We find a different church entirely
D. We quit going entirely.
Ok, so D is sometimes tempting, but no.
Option A.. is sort of tempting, because it feels like its where my loyalty should be.
However… considering that I was frustrated enough to be considering looking elsewhere if I hadn’t had the obligation made for kiddo going to summer camp last year… it seems like a really foolish move to just assume that magically things are going to be different just because the pastor has had a break for a few months. It didn’t help when he had a year off, and I can’t imagine that with the loss of the core of involved church members that things are going to be suddenly changed to where the feelings aren’t going to be right back… especially with the way things have gone since then.
Thus, I’ve come to realize that what is pulling me that direction isn’t a feeling that it’s where we need to be… or that it’s what’s going to be best for us for the future… it’s simply a sorrow at the loss of the way things could have been, mixed with a loyalty from what had been. Neither of which is a particularly good reason to think that it’s going to be the best move to follow those feelings.
And so, when it came down to it… I eliminated option A.
Left with option B and C… to go with the new church or find a different one entirely.
I was still pulled in two directions a bit with this. While the new church does have the members that I most respected and who were most “alive” from the old church… it’s still the same people where I really haven’t felt like I’ve ever fit in anywhere.
On the other hand… I remember how frustrating the church search process was last time… and how relieved I eventually was to find somewhere that met what I had been looking for. I don’t imagine this would be much easier this time, except for the fact that I know which ones had been eliminated last time.
And I sort of dread starting all of that again. I’m not a people person much anyway, but especially not people I don’t know… this really isn’t all that appealing even if it does hold hope of somewhere better.
But maybe the biggest thing leaning away from the searching option… is just that it isn’t critical on timing. I guess that sounds sort of weird… but, well, different churches months from now will still be the same options that they are now for the most part. There’s no critical need to take that option right at this time.
In other words, that door is still just as open if I try the new church for a few months and decide that it just isn’t working out…. where with the new start, I don’t entirely feel the same way in reverse. Yes, technically the new church should be there if I didn’t find somewhere better, but with so much happening, it just seems like it would be different.
And well, technically, the new church is a different church. A lot of the people are the same… but it’s still the new pastor.
And when I back up a bit from the situation… given the last 4 months… if I had come into a some other church as a visitor, and had seen how things went for those months, I think I probably would still be giving that church a good shot.
Yeah, there are some areas where I still feel totally disconnected from the people there… but things were definitely getting better…. the directions that things were headed was a much more positive one… and the new pastor is with us. You can tell that he is into what he’s teaching, he’s openly involving people, and he’s… well… a flawed human and willing to show it. He’s knowledgeable, but also able to admit times when he’s not where he’d like to be, and places where sometimes he’s feeling like putting things into practice is a lofty goal but still worth trying towards. He’s also responsive enough to follow spirit flow when the message ends up going in a totally different direction from where he was intending to have it go.
Had I been the new person visiting, I would have probably had no qualms about giving the church an extended chance based on that time, so, well, I guess that’s sort of where things stand.
It’s not the most firm reason for going that I would like to have… but it seems like what’s going to be the best option to take at the moment.
I guess we will see how it goes.