Right now I’m in the process of changing churches. This act of deciding “I’m going to choose to be part of this new group of people following after Jesus after I’ve called this other group “home” for so long” has been difficult. I’m learning a lot about myself and about God in the process.
I recently began the membership process at the church I’ve been attending for a few months, which was an interesting experience. I was constantly evaluating what the speaker was saying and, while I agree with everything that was mentioned, their core values line up with what I believe a church should look like, I found myself hesitating. I’ve been praying “God, if this is where I’m supposed to be, make it clear. If it’s not where I’m supposed to be, make it clear,” and yet, I found myself wondering if this is the right choice. I’ve felt as though I’ve been lacking clarity.
While I was driving home I was processing to God and myself and the conversation went a little like this:
“I love this church.
I have no desire to look for another church.
I just don’t want to commit.”
And then it hit me: I just want to date this church right now. I don’t want to make a commitment; though I want to continue having a “relationship” with this church, I’m not planning on going anywhere, I just don’t want to close the door on that possibility.
I keep asking the Lord for an answer, a big dramatic sign to show me if I should or shouldn’t be there, forgetting that that’s not usually the way that he speaks to me. I rarely get grand gestures because I put little stock in those. I vastly prefer small, consistent, subtle signs and that’s exactly what he’s been doing. I said, months ago, “If I were to not be at this church (my former church) any more, then I would go here (the church I’m considering joining).” And yet I feel like I need more.
It all comes down to fear. Fear of disappointment. Fear of being hurt. Fear of being used and abused. Fear of failure and people pleasing and a hundred other fears that I consistently have. I so easily get caught up in all the fears and what if’s that I forget all of the amazing things that come with being plugged into a new body of people as they follow Him.
There are risks associated with every decision, but there are also rewards. Maybe it’s my naturally pessimistic outlook, but I tend to focus on the risks more than anything else, letting fear keep me in my place. But I’m learning that there are times when you have to focus on the rewards, tell fear to shut up, accept that failure is possible (and even probable) and then take a leap.
Read more about my process of changing churches here: Uncommitted