A friend of mine recently wrote about being free from churches...as in the four wall, brick & mortar structure. It got me thinking about the churches we've attended over the past 5 years.
I struggle with churches. I have been an active member of a church for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a very close church & I think because of that my expectations may be skewed. We have not found a close knit church like that again. My husband & I visited many churches and tried to become active, but they get so clicky and we realize we either aren't wanted there or don't belong there.
I'm thinking particularly about the last church we were members of. We joined and were excited because people seemed nice. Things went south shortly after we joined. It was like we no longer mattered... they added to their number and that was great. We didn't give a ton of money to the church, we are a one income family! There were others who joined around the same time we did who were two income families and they were definitely welcomed in with open arms much more than we were. It was hurtful. I remember being out sick for 6 weeks and never having one single call from anyone wondering where we were. We were invisible, depsite the HOURS I put in helping w/ the nursery scheduling and children's ministry. The only time anyone noticed us was when something went hay-wire with the nursery scheduling. THEN I would get a phone call.
Needless to say, it left us feeling used and not at all cared for in the way a church should care for it's members. So we left. We've been cautious about participating in anything at our "new" church. (We've been there for over a year and I still call it that.) I *just* barely volunteered to be on the nursery schedule. I help out here and there, but try not to get very involved. I don't want to be hurt again ever, so I keep my distance and try not to expect to be a part of anything that goes on there.
It's a sad realization to me that churches will never be what the church I grew up in was. People seem too self absorbed and uncaring these days. In that church people didn't even have to ask to be helped with a move or a house project. It truly was like the "New Testament" church. (It was actually called The New Testament Church. LOL! :) )