Seems like an ambiguous question, but it is one that I believe should be asked. What is your reason for going to church for example. We have many reasons for that of course, I am sure anyone of us can give quite a list of reasons. My question, however, is what is your reason for leaving the church? Obvious reasons would be, you have moved, and that church is to far away, or you are attending a church that you find better suited to your needs in your walk with Christ. These and any number of other reasons exist I am sure.
What I am asking though, is what is the reason that you have stopped going to church? To be clear in this question, I am not asking for a direct answer to this, rather, my question is more to make you think about what made you leave the church.
Before I had become the pastor of my ministry I had left the church I had been apart of for my entire life and had not looked back at my decision to not be a part of a church. I did feel that something was missing in my life, and I did feel that at some point, I would find a place that I could consider my home church. This has not been an easy task however.
The difficulty I had in finding a new church to be a part of was related to my experiences that lead me to leave the church in the first place. I knew in my heart that I needed to be at a place where my faith could grow, and I could continue to experience my walk with Christ as part of a community of the faithful. Yet I could not get past my reasons for leaving, I asked myself would I be accepted? Would I be allowed to be a part of the community, rather than someone on the outside looking in? Could I express myself and my ideas and beliefs without being told I was wrong or being ignored because I was not a member of the “in” crowd. Would the pastor understand and aid me in my journey with Christ? Or would they be to busy to acknowledge me? The greatest fear I had was being hurt again, being marginalized and ignored because I did not fit into the idea of what a parishioner should be.
I know that I am not the only person who has felt this way, I also know that I am will not be the last person to leave the church, and not look back. What is your reason for leaving the church?
Once you have found an answer, ask yourself, do I feel I need to be part of a church? Perhaps you will find an answer to these questions, or you may not, there is no right or wrong answer to these questions. I offer them as a talking point for you, in the hopes that someday you may find a church (if you feel the need to be nourished with the gospels). Or maybe being part of a church is not where you need to be, maybe you can find someone who will pray with you, listen to you and assist you individually in your walk with Christ.
We all have reasons as to what we do and what we do not do, they are as individual as we are. However, if you are in need to someone to pray with you, who has experienced similar reasons to yours for leaving the church, I would be happy to be there for you.
May the peace of the risen Christ be with you always.
Pastor Lisa Chachula