I have been a member at my current church for more than 4 years now. I believe the Spirit led me to that place, at that time, with those people. That body has been a haven for me in so many ways. Through the church I have met a few folks who have helped me to know Jesus better and to find some measure of peace in my life. When I first entered through those doors, I felt that I was an integral part of a movement, of something big. Given the palpable energy and the Kingdom vision, I felt that this church and its mission were unstoppable. I felt that I was part of a revival. Yet as the years passed, my attitude slowly changed. Instead of feeling like an individual who belonged, I felt more and more like a number. I felt like my questions and voice could not be heard over the din, over the push to get the attendance numbers up, up, up. I was told again and again that if I felt otherwise, then my thinking was selfish or un-Christian. Instead of feeling like my church was a safe place to get to know Jesus, to move closer to Him, I felt marginalized and pushed to the fringes. My uneasiness and uncertainty turned into negativity, which caused me to not be fully present during worship. After much thought, I felt that I had reached a plateau in my church and it began to suffocate me.
I spent some time recently praying that God would let me know in a large bold-faced font where I was supposed to be. If I was supposed to stay where I was or move on ... and if I was supposed to move on, where was I supposed to go? The whole idea of "church shopping" does not sit well with me. Well, two days after I prayed my prayer, a friend of mine and a pastor in the area announced that he was starting his own church. Hmmm, curious timing, don't you think? Could this be the large bold-faced font that I requested? Though I am a bit scared of change and trying new things, I think that I must check this out, especially if I am ever to reach the next level.