Monday, January 4, 2010

on the local Church... my fair weather friend

Warning: this is a meaty subject and still in mid-process. i am currently processing the loss of fellowship and partnership. i am not bitter, but i am not obligated to process quietly. these are my thoughts...

i would like to include a chapter on "the Church: a fair weather friend" in my "one day to be released" book about the Insecure Church. [Don't steal that!] i am not alone in my experiences. i am not a special case or a rarity. i've heard the stories of the sinners and the saints... all forgotten and some even discarded. in serving for over 15 years as a church leader, i've experienced the process of leaving a local fellowship on 6 different occasions.

the Church likes to sell itself as a family, but i haven't experienced the follow through of that. when i chose to no longer serve at the local church, any need for me was severed. the phone calls stopped. the invitations ceased. the holiday wishes were non-existent. it's a bitter pill to swallow, but it's become par for the course. it can feel as though you were loved because you served them. you were appreciated because you assisted in their mission and vision. you were counted because you were a servant. you were included because you got the job done... for free. these statements may not be truth, but it's the struggle within the heart of the one that served and then moved on.

i am dealing with it and processing as i have done many times before, but i wonder if the local church knows that this is her m.o. i am curious if she realizes that she is in direct violation when she instills in us the importance of fellowship and accountability and then ostracizes us without a single conversation.

it seems to me that family is family regardless of vicinity or effort.

the Church has played the role of family, but hasn't actually made the leap to become family.

fair weather family? it's not possible.

the Church has been a fair weather friend.