I mentioned it before, I visited many churches over the last months…
And what I experienced is actually a real scandal.
I think I also said this before.
What I didn’t tell you about yet is the “latest plot” in my current church, a church where I had thought I had found a church home, somewhere safe and spiritually sound and a place filled with people I can grow fond of and a place where I can grow roots and heal and recover from the hell I went through…
None of the churches I had gone to during more than one year has actually been a place of peace or rest or restoration or a place where I had found many people who had turned out to be trustworthy, reliable and honest – Christian values, I believe………….???
I didn’t even tell you all about it, but instead of finding healing and sound doctrine and rest and peace, I got hurt in every church I attended – or it was so lukewarm that I didn’t get fed, this is actually the “best” outcome I have had so far, not to get fed, but also not to get hurt!
Sad, isn’t it?
So in this fairly new church, they started off very unpleasantly as they are making new visitors stand and everybody is applauding and looking at you and I can’t put it correctly other than saying that I HATE that ritual to “welcome” new people and it makes me personally feel anything but welcome and I have no idea who ever invented that other than someone who has no sensitivity whatsoever.
And the ushers there are SO annoying!
And many of the members and leaders also come and bombard you with questions, I call it interrogating…
But I got through all that.
And I decided to get through and be tolerant and learn to accept whatever they do there and I was determined to love everything and everyone – just like I tried to start in every “new” church in order to give them a real chance.
So I literally got past the ushers and some of them even sometimes let me go and sit where I wanted to after a while… not all of them, but some at least.
And I joined a cell group and even though some people there seemed a bit hostile, some of them were really welcoming.
So far, so good.
I don’t know about you, my friend, but I myself, one of the main reasons why I want to belong to a church is that I want to find people to do “GOD stuff” together with.
I mean, I can go out on the streets alone and evangelize, can go and visit my homeless persons and talk to them and bring them food and try to convince them to get help – I can do all that alone (which I have been doing a lot in the past), and so far, in the churches I went to, either were there no people who were up for these things or they wouldn’t let me come with them (they said I could come when I “was ready” but when I said I was ready, they found excuses…) – so this seemed different at this church and I was very pleased to find out that they have a lot of social action going on and they even let me participate in part of their prison ministry, which I love SO much!
So I decided that I would apply for their Ministry Training Course, which is a part time course over 2 years and part of it is to do projects for social action and outreach together, go on missions or even plant a new church.
I was up for it!
That’s what I wanted to do and I thought these could be the people to do these things with.
And they accepted my application!
I was so chuffed, I would finally be training for ministry and adding more depth and structure to my knowledge of the bible – and I was hoping to find some allies there, some partners to found something together with, create something together for GOD…
They sent me the schedule, they took my references, accepted my payment for the fees for the term – I actually saved to pay for this as you know I am not working at the moment… I was notified that a new account was opened for me on their online learning platform… I was even assigned a “duty” in the class for the term, everything seemed settled.
I was really looking forward to this course, I had prayed about it and I had heard that GOD wanted me to sign up for this course…
HE didn’t show me what would happen though:
On the day the course was about to start, which was earlier this week – can you imagine, I even told people that I was going to start training for ministry this week! – I was sitting at home and preparing for the course, looking through the schedule and reading the program, when the phone rang…
It was one of the elders, actually the very one who had conducted the interview with me regarding my application and he is also my cell group leader, and he called to tell me that I couldn’t participate in the course.
At first, I thought I hadn’t understood him correctly.
He said there had not been enough students who had signed up and the course was cancelled – at least the part where they accepted new students, the old, continuing ones from last year would still be there, but no new ones.
I was shell-shocked.
And also very, very hurt!
Didn’t they know this earlier?
That there were not enough applications?
Or was there perhaps another reason why they suddenly decided that I couldn’t come anymore?
After all these confirmations?
To tell you the truth, I am very disappointed.
And I don’t think that they are behaving the way Christian leaders (a Pastor and an Elder!) should behave.
And I have not come to this church to get hurt or to deal with hurtful behavior.
I can be hurt OUTSIDE the church all the time and I had already learned that before – in fact, I still think that one should come to a church and learn that there are HONEST people who take the word of GOD seriously, who do NOT lie and who do NOT act careless and inconsiderate, especially when they are pastors and elders.
Of course, there is always a very valuable and important learning in everything.
And just as I learned from all the job hunt and all the trials that I truly don’t really care as much as I used to what kind of work I do and that I can do anything for HIM, the lesson this time was similar – sometimes we need to learn it a few times and in a few different ways before we truly understand:
I have a ministry when GOD gives me a ministry, not when I complete a ministry training made and conducted by men.
I am already ministering and witnessing to many people, here online and also in my offline life – and when it is time that GOD wants to put this into a new form or change the way I am doing what I am doing now for HIM, HE will.
Nothing I currently do is insufficient.
I am serving HIM.
My life is for HIM.
No matter what I work, no matter who else is in my life, no matter whom I know and no matter to which church I belong to, I AM already a priest, part of THE CHURCH, we ALL are.
And some of the people in the churches are so preoccupied with everything but doing GOD’s work or seeking HIM that they are further from HIM than many people who never ever set a foot into a church building!
I will continue to do what I do and HE will continue to teach me and to guide me.
IF I find other like-minded people I can do these things with and IF I manage to stay in an organization where I can do more of these things than I could do alone, fine.
If not – fine too.
I will not stress anymore about this.
I am a child of GOD and I serve HIM every day and I worship HIM in spirit and in truth, no matter where I am, no matter who I am with and no matter what I do.
No need to mention that I never felt hurt by GOD, only by people.
I think sometimes, there is confusion about this and people stop loving GOD because a person hurt them, and these things can get mixed up because the pastors in the churches like to tell us that what they are saying and doing is from GOD, but that’s clearly not always the case!
And when we get hurt in a church, that doesn’t mean it was HIM.
Even prophecies are not always from GOD.
We need to have our own relationship with HIM.
Need to hear HIM ourselves.
And need to learn from HIM directly.
And I don’t really need a pastor to tell me what to believe or a bible teacher to teach me the truth or lead me through the bible.
I read the bible every day and I am learning more about it every day – from GOD directly.
It is nice to have a good word “served” on a silver plate, but I am not depending on them.
I am very well able to find what I need to learn online and I have the best teacher in the entire universe:
THE HOLY SPIRIT!
HE has been teaching me all I know all along and HE always leads me to and through what I need to know next – and if there are people I can meet along the way who know things which can help me, good -and there aren’t any, that’s fine as well.
Church will from now on no longer be something I see in a building or within an organization, the church is in me, I am the church, together with all believers – and if a church which calls herself church can add to this or teach me something or bring value to my Christian life somehow, I will be happy.
But I will no longer push myself so hard in order to find a church I can belong to and adapt to and cope with.
And that’s been the goal and that is so sad, I was trying so hard to find a church I could cope with.
Regarding the people who did this, I told them that I have lost my trust in their leadership and even in their integrity as Christians and that I want my money back.
They said they would send me a refund and that there would be a conversation with the senior pastor on Sunday – I actually appreciate him even though I have hardly spoken to him and I may go there or I may not, I don’t know yet – I may stay a member there or not…
I will speak to MY FATHER about it, because it was HE who comforted me, HE who told me that I didn’t need any certificates to be a minister in HIS kingdom, that I knew a lot of things which could help other people and that I should rather concentrate on doing what HE had for me than spending so much time doing and studying what “people” had thought to be a good curriculum…
That’s the lesson and the entire Ministerial Training Course in a nutshell.
Course done, exam passed 🙂
And I may sound a bit bitter, but I am actually not.
Of course I have forgiven them already even though I don’t know if I will stay a member in this church or not.
In a way, I am relieved.
Because I was trying to meet a standard which was so hard for me to meet and it was a great relief for me to learn that this standard is not at all important to HIM.
I can relax now…
My friend, I pray that this will bless and inspire you. And that THE LORD will bless you richly in all areas of your life. That HE will keep you and shine HIS face upon you and bring you peace. In JESUS’ name I pray. AMEN.
This is now after a few days and most of all, after the Sunday service.
GOD has healed me completely from this, has shown me that it is an old issue in my life which is now released and also, the leaders of the church, who were involved, plus the senior Pastor sat me down and apologized properly to me.