20090513

The longest journey begins with but a single step

The few regular people who stop by this little blog of mine probably know that my beloved and i have been prayerfully considering leaving the church we currently attend. We've been praying about it for over a year now. There have been things going on that just grate me spiritually. One problem has been that i have not witnessed the alleged incidents personally. But i have heard about them through what i would consider "quality" witnesses. People whom i would consider to be trust worthy in that they would not slander or seek to cause division. Yet still, i felt compelled to not act unless i could be certain.
Well, since last year i have continued to see things that caused me some concern spiritually. Not in a direct affront, but in evidences of "fruit" of others. I do not want to expound upon things here publicly. While i feel there are real issues within the church where we are now, i am not within the sphere of leadership within the church, and the areas of which i have concern are not a concern to the current leadership. Last year God brought a blog to my attention that "coincidentally" talked about this very issue. (You can read it here) Since then the items presented there have been a very big help. Despite efforts we have made (which i acknowledge here have not been perfect) we are at a point where we feel we need to move on. While praying about what to do i would on occasion look into some of the other churches in the area and i took the time to read each one's "Statement of Faith" (or mission statement, or purpose letter). Other than "intelligence gathering" i haven't acted on any visiting any of them. When my beloved and i came to where we are currently (realizing that we are indeed going to be leaving) i pulled out the information and have "narrowed" it down to three churches. Starting next month, after the kids get out of school and we get back from vacation, we will visit each of the churches one per week, and then revisit each of them. Unless God takes hold of us and let's us know otherwise. These things are hard! In my first church l learned about the importance of being a part of a local church. The importance of serving within a local body of believers. Church "hoping" was not encouraged, and while the leaders of that church encouraged each believer to be "plugged in" to a local body of believers - they also encouraged visitors that if they were not "comfortable" with that church to seek out the one where they could get involved and get settled in. It is not so much about which group as it is about being with a group. I am glad that this has been hard. I am grateful for all the friends we have made where we are. but i am also looking forward to seeing what God is doing - not just in our lives, but in where he takes the church we are leaving.

3 comments:

Ms. Coffee said...

I understand why your first church felt there should not be church hoping but one of the things I have learned lately is this:

A lot of the rules we live by come from us human's and not God's will for us.

I am glad you have prayerfully considered this move and not just jumped.

I look forward to reading about the visit to each of these three!

Laedelas Greenleaf said...

I will be praying for your search, Samurai! I've been in my church for 12 years but I know the pain of leaving and the joy of discovery. May God use this to draw you ever closer to himself!

samurai said...

Well - i am hoping that God will lead us to a church that we are at for twelve years and beyond. Thank you both for the encouragement and prayers. I do hope to blog about the good experiences here shortly. :)