Hi, so I am really involved in my church – pretty much the backbone of morning services and publicity stuff throughout the year. I love doing what I do, and feel called to do so, but sometimes I feel so alone in church. Pretty much the only time I get a text, email, or even pulled aside at church is to ask me to do something. I feel like no one cares about me, the person…only the me that does everything. It hurts and I am getting fed up. How do I not feel this way?
I’m really, really sorry this is happening, and if I could give you a big hug and then just as quickly drop-kick your pastor, I would.
I realize your church is not evil nor against you nor are they bad people: but you shouldn’t have to feel this way in church. You do NOT have to think you’re being silly or spoiled or selfish, as if you’re the problem: because you’re not. You’re totally within your right to be loved, served, and encouraged in the body of Christ.
If you haven’t already, please tell your pastor all about these issues. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Too many of us remain “polite” and play the Nice-Game at the expense of a single real conversation, and we end up regretting all the energy we used to hide the truth.
Just be honest. Please charge through any fears or “suburban courtesies” you might have about keeping it real. You might be surprised at the results. Most pastors don’t even realize there’s a problem until they’re told straight up: and trust me, a good pastor wants to know the deal.
If you don’t get the response you’re hoping for, then be prepared to leave that place behind. I know how much it sucks to move on from a church and you’ll mourn over that, but there are TONS of churches that will appreciate your gifts, your time, your talents, and you for who you are.
Please believe me when I say I’m not trying to give permission for a consumer mentality; I’m not trying to make this sound easy or to say you can break commitments at the smallest complaint.
But life is too short to stay in a place where you’re being crapped on. Life is too short to serve a church that claims to love Christ but hardly loves people. You want to be in a safe, gracious, humble, loving place where everyone is cheering for each other in their ministries. Believe it or not, there are churches just like this.
There is so much urgent Kingdom-work to be done that we can’t afford an uppity, sour, snobby church culture that is clearly stealing your joy. Again, I don’t mean to demonize your church and I’m sure there are good things about it, but it’s totally acceptable to believe that God is calling you elsewhere. Be honest and see how that goes, and pray hard through it.