We all have a unique background with the local church. It is important to understand your mindset and history with the local church, to help you navigate the current church you are in.
Our family was one of five families that helped plant a church and then my parents served there for 55 years. So I grew up with a self-perception that who I was a person who is one the core people In a church and helps serve and operate it.
As an adult, my husband and I met and married at another small church where we assumed similar roles of being part of the families that stayed over the years and helped wherever necessary. Depending on the season of our lives we were involved in every area of service from women’s bible studies and prayer groups to missions, mowing, painting, teaching Sunday school, working in the nursery and anything else that needed done.
When we got added by the Lord to another small church, but spirit filled, we saw ourselves in the same light and immediately went to the leadership and asked where we could help. We asked if we could come in a help vacuum, clean or anything and were told no. No, they had staff for that and no there was nothing to come in and do. That was our first hint of ‘oh, we don’t know how to navigate a church that doesn’t need or want help.’
The type of church we come out of will always impact how we see the next church we go to. It is important to be aware how you see yourself and what you are used to and realize that every church is unique, and they do not all operate the same way. It doesn’t make them bad, or this or that, it makes them different.
The last discussion point for today is to understand that there is a difference at times in how GOD sees you, how YOU see yourself and how a particular church sees and interacts with you. This is important to understand, that although church is where you fellowship with other believers, people do not allows interact with us like God does. And it is important not to confuse the two. When we got there, sometime in the first few years, I asked to be part of the praise and worship team. I had grown up being part of the worship team and it was something I loved. I was told ‘yes of course come practice with us before the service next week and sing with us.’ I went to rehearsal; the service went well and was fun and I went home happy and gave my husband a good report. The next week I went back to rehearse and as I was stepping up to the platform with everyone, the worship leader met me and apologized that they would not be able to allow me to be on the team because someone had complained about me singing with the group. I was stunned and mentally checked off everything I had done, said, wore, etc. I hadn’t had any problems with any of the people, what could have gone wrong? He explained that someone had complained that I should not be singing with the team because my husband was not at the service. I was stunned. No one really knew my husband. No one asked why he wasn’t there. And there were plenty of people that served at the church whose spouses were not at services.
It was my first introduction to the dynamic of people anonymously complaining and instead of coming directly to me and asking why my spouse wasn’t there, making a decision that impacted me, but really had nothing to do with me. It had nothing to do with my heart, my singing, how I interacted with the team. It had to do with someone else's idea, and on top of that, had not checked out the facts of our family and the fact that my spouse and I were still trying to help the church we had left as much as possible, as their pastor had stepped down a few months before unexpectedly.
Again. Local Church Is NOT the same as the Person Jesus. The church is the body of Christ, but it does NOT always reflect His heart or mind on things pertaining to how the church OPERATES. HIS WORD should be preached, but how a church is RUN is as varied as there are people. And people most of the time treat us based on themselves not us. So know when you go into ANY church that sometimes decisions will be made that will impact you and limit what you can do at the church, but they have little to NOTHING to do with YOU! That is important.
I talked to the Lord about it, and over the years the Lord opened up the opportunity to lead a service in a local nursing home and then also in the local jail where I was able to lead worship myself, and teach and move with the flow of the Holy Spirit. So He will do the same for anyone.
Every local church will give you both specific challenges AND specific opportunities that would not otherwise be possible.
Join as next week as we look at some of what we can all do as sincere believers to helps us be the greatest benefit to our churches and navigate them successfully.
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