Sunday, September 10, 2006

Thought-provoking!

I have to say that I appreciate the candor (and the pain) of the folks who wrote of their experiences in this blog. It's the stories of eight 20-somethings who decided to leave the Church. They were all full or part-time church workers.

I identify with them. And it has been very thought-provoking. There's a couple of reasons...

For one, I was a 30-something when I was bruised and hurt by a church that was pushing the programming button, and I was not hip enough (in their estimation) to stay with the program. There's more to it than that, and I am NOT saying that it was all "their" fault (or all "mine"), but let's just say that it only took me, oh, five or six years to believe again that I had something to offer God's people.

Another reason I'm really struck by their stories is that Ken and I will be leading a singles small group starting next month. Many of these folks have probably had all of the "church junk" they can stand. I don't want to be part of the reason someone leaves a fellowship! I want to hear THEIR hearts and see THEIR point of view.

The other thing that's really making me stop and ponder is that, yeah, I'm looking to go back into full-time ministry during or at the end of my classes... When I read something like this I think either, "well, DUH. Working with people is sometimes really disturbing..." or I think "it's not all about ME, now is it???" And yet -- if I am going to be working in an arena that wants to help grow 20-something Christians as the future leaders of GOD'S CHURCH (not any particular brand - GOD'S...) I need to hear their voices and think about their perspective.

Besides, it won't be THAT long until our teens will be 20-somethings and I sure want to see THEM staying close to God's heart (and not my definition of what that means...)

From our home to yours...

Deb

7 comments:

DebD said...

looks like a great read. I'll have to wait until I have a tad more time to delve into it all the way (just read the first entry). Have you read the latest entry at Get Religion on Rick Warren modeled churches? Now that could get your blood boiling...very sad if what they say is true.

Its very tragic when church's turn on people.

revabi said...

Great post, and thanks for the link.

So sorry you went through the pain you went through in the church, but so glad you have found that God still is there and loves you for you, and can take that pain and use it to help others. (I know a long runin sentance.)

Deb said...

Rick Warren. Yilg. BTDT!

I did the 40 days for my driven life study... (That IS the title, isn't it?) If I were to pick a book for someone who truly wanted to grow in their understanding of Christianity, that book wouldn't be the one.

Probably Foster's Celebration of Discipline is the one I'd choose...

dv

Amy said...

Thanks for sharing. Welcome to revgalblogpals.
Peace
Amy

DebD said...

To be completely honest, I've never read a Rick Warren book. I instictively felt the need to "stay away!". But, the sad thing about the article was *if* its true (about detractors at Purpose Driven churches are being ostrazied not only at that church but "followed" to their new place of worship!!??), how very sad.

We can probably all agree with disagree with RW and his message and move on with our lives, but its another thing entirely if people are being hounded by other Christians for their convictions.

I agree- the Foster books are gems!

josh said...

thanks for your kind and encouraging words. and your honesty. i'm like you. i still believe there is much hope for the future. i'm just not sure what it looks like just yet.

Deb said...

DebD wrote:
But, the sad thing about the article was *if* its true (about detractors at Purpose Driven churches are being ostrazied not only at that church but "followed" to their new place of worship!!??), how very sad.

I can only speak for one person I know who was hounded out of one church, went to another and found out the former pastor had contacted the new pastor to "warn" him. Former pastor defends his words by saying that anyone who causes 'division' (i.e. has a different opinion) is "dangerous to the unity of God's Church".

So much for "finding your shape" to serve... the lockstep mentality of some of these churches is absolutely frightening...

DebV