"I never in a million years thought I would be doing this again. Many of you know, I've been VBS and Sunday School Coordinator at my church for a few years now. And I love it. I really do. But that's as far as my love for this church goes any more. A very wise woman told me that being busy in the church is just that, busy. It doesn't make you any more faithful. I want my children to grow up in church. In this day and age, there are negative influences all over. And I want my kids to have positive influences. I'm not a great Christian but I love Jesus and I'm trying. I want my children to have a great relationship with the Lord. And that's just not happening at our church. We're not getting spiritually fed. I've found that I've lost respect for my pastor (but that's a whole other story). I never thought I would have these feelings toward a person in his position. And it's become acceptable for me to take the kids to Sunday School and not even stay for the church service. It may be socially acceptable, nut I'm not ok with it. I want more from my self. I need accountability. Our church is dying and I've struggled for quite some time. I just don't know what to do... Should I stay and try to help rebuild it? Or do I take my kids somewhere else? Am I really going to be looking for a new church for my family again? Am I strong enough to ignore the stares, to not walk in to a new church and feel like you're crashing someone's family reunion?"
That ran through my mind constantly a few weeks ago. I could barely see through my tears to write it. I decided to resign my positions. I did so with the intent of going back to church for the right reasons, not just because I was obligated to be there. I though, "I'll get up Sunday and sit in the pew and listen, take my kids down to Sunday School and not worry about if the teacher's showed up or if they have enough materials. I'm just going to be an ordinary church goer." After I resigned from my positions, a friend from church asked if I would like to try another church with her the next Sunday. What did I have to lose? So we went together and I left the kids at home because I didn't want to drag them around "church shopping". But I loved it there. It was so lively and upbeat. And even though folks there are struggling, they're praising God. It was such a refreshing change from what I am used to. One of the things that drew me to the church I've been at for 6 years, was the traditionalism. Every thing about it was just like I remembered church being from when I was a kid. So naturally, I thought, this is how its supposed to be. Nothing about this other church is "traditional". There is a full band instead of a choir, the pastor wears blue jeans. No body is judging you by what you're wearing or how much money you're giving. They're just glad you are there! And I haven't even gotten to the children's part yet. They're main focus is on growing Godly children. They know that our children are the focus. So instead of dividing up their resources into lots of little ministries they focus on the children's ministry. And the absolute best part... My KIDS LOVE IT!
We will definitely miss our old church family. But it's time for us to move on. Of course, I've been asked repeatedly in the last week to come back to our old church. Right now, I just can't. Monkey is 10 now. I feel like the next 5 years are going to be crucial in his spiritual growth. I only get one shot at giving him the best. I've prayed about it. If I can take him somewhere that he wants to be at, where he enjoys learning about God, and building his relationship with God, then how could I not? And Banana is not far behind him. I want my children to have a relationship with God throughout their entire lives. And I NEED for them to know Him throughout their teen years. When they feel like they have no one else on earth, and they will feel that way, its teen tradition, I want them to think "I'm ok. I don't need anyone else on earth. I've got God on my side!"
Although choosing to leave my church has been one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make, I'm 97% confident that I made the right decision. For my children and my self. Hubby even came with me one day. He said he didn't hate it, which was way better than anything he ever said about our other church. Keep praying for us. Maybe we'll settle in and this will be our new church home.