Again today has been a hard day to put into words what I am dealing with. After speaking with my wife and a few friends, I figured if nothing else I can just post my thoughts and as I get a resolution I can post that as well.
Early in our marriage, my wife and I began attending a beautiful church. I say beautiful not because of the way it looked on the outside, but beautiful because of the people that were a part of the church. We developed great friends, were involved in a lot of different areas, and were growing in a lot of different ways.
As one of my passions is music it was ever so encouraging when they hired a worship pastor that I could worship with, was challenged by, and could learn from. When we left, one of the hardest parts for me was leaving the experience, feeling, and growth that came from each Sunday.
I was on such a high there and even in spite of other challenges we were facing, I felt I could rely on God. After being there 4 years, I felt God calling me to something different. He asked me to be a youth pastor and I was so excited about it. After a few months of searching, we found a church.
Having never visited the church (even though my wife thought it to be a good idea to visit first) we accepted a position and moved. It was a hard move. Leaving our friends to start a new venture was a challenge, but I knew God had things in control.
Being a pastor at the church was challenging it and of itself, but going from where I felt filled each week to a place where I was not being filled made things extremely difficult for me. I was searching for what I left, not really looking for what God was putting before me. I became empty, run down, and had very little to give anyone. Needless to say, after being there a little more than a year, and really feeling discouraged, we moved back to our hometown.
I am terrible at always comparing things to the past. I know we should learn from the past, but for some things, especially good things, we want to try to replicate them in the future. I am sure that we all do that to a certain extent. Think about it. If you cook something amazing, you don’t want to just stop trying to cook that food, you want to try and replicate it so you can enjoy it time and time again.
That’s how I have been with church. I want ever so much to be in that place I was. I want to experience, feel, and grow in a church the way I was. Is it possible? Should it even be what I am searching for? I know God has a plan and has me where I am for a reason. I know I need to trust Him.
So here is what I am dealing with. I know I am attaching strings to what a church should be…should look like…should do for me. How is that stunting my growth? Are my standards of what a church should look like even ok?
You might be able to see why this would be hard for me. I love the people I go to church with. I like that we are not tied down to a denomination. There is so much I like about the church, but I am just stuck in the mindset of comparison...wanting what I had, but knowing God has me where He wants me helps. I know a certain part of what He is teaching me now is that I need to learn to be with Him and not rely so much on the church for the needs He should be meeting.