The Risk of Enlisting [again]

This Post was originally published in January of this year.  Since then, my readership has increased dramatically and instead of relying on seekers to search through archives and discover little “gems” like this, i thought a re-post would simplify the process and once again relay the message, perhaps this time to a different soul and/or a new perspective.

i am currently in the process of enlisting in a church gathering.  i am sober and quite satisfied with my choice.  from my very first visit i had no anxiety.   i felt at ease with the leadership and at home with the congregation.  i explain it like this, “upon arrival, they welcomed me with open doors and not hoops”.  “Hoops?” Read on…

i was thinking last week that writing this blog without generalizations and metaphors is a big risk and letting my thoughts be known makes me quite vulnerable. obedience is always a risk. movement is always a risk. heck, getting out of bed in the morning is a risk. but we can’t carry out obedience without encountering risk.

in the church hunt, i have felt the risk every time i walk through the doors of a new church gathering. honestly i wonder if they will use me or love me, if they will cherish me or discard me when they’ve had their fill of me. smiling faces and warm receptions can be so deceiving. i’ve been welcomed, pursued, utilized, and then forgotten time and time again. will it ever turn out any differently?

to me it’s like coming out of a relationship with a hope for another that will be different, but a fear that it will again be more of the same. i have hope. i hope that’s clear. i haven’t given up on the Church. i serve the church well. i am an asset and a pain in the ass. it’s the perfect combo really. they’ll never have to pay me a dime for my time and they’ll never have to put on a show or do a little dance to get me on board. they’ll also never have to prove their worth to have my heart. the Church only has to love me, accept me, cherish me, and protect me.

is that a foreign idea, that the church would cherish you? we hear frequently about loving the church, protecting the church, cherishing the church, but is the institution looking after us? church managers, do you hear what i’m saying? there are people under your care that are feeling used and then discarded, courted and then rejected, spotlighted and then abandoned. feed your sheep. nurture them and protect them. they are risking everything, eternity and accountability, by submitting to your care… we cannot afford to take that lightly.

i may approach church differently than a lot of people, but i am not alone in my understanding. i am not alone in my nervousness and hesitation at the thought of joining in again. the church is a divine idea. the church is ordained by God. the church is a tool for His glory. the church is a bride in preparation. the church is an extension of His goodness. and the church is a very scary place for those that have been mishandled by its managers. but like me, there are those that continue the hunt and make ourselves vulnerable to risk again… because we refuse to give up on the Church, whether or not the Church has given up on us.

“Now it’s up to you. Be on your toes – both for yourselves and your congregation of sheep. The Holy Spirit has put you in charge of these people – God’s people they are – to guard and protect them. God himself thought they were worth dying for.

Acts 20:28 Msg

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  • Comments (8)
  1. Selah & word to ya motha!

      • JuliaKate
      • July 20th, 2010

      haha! Kelli! my motha would be proud;)

  2. That is very honest and I love it.
    I feel the exact way sometimes.

      • JuliaKate
      • July 20th, 2010

      thanks Kyle. i am finding that most peeps who have been doing this for some time can identify. though most share their reply in a DM or email, understandably so;)

  3. i release them.

      • JuliaKate
      • July 20th, 2010

      that is a beautiful thing… really it is.

  4. In even considering to risk again, I close my eyes and shudder. Am I too injured, afraid, old and believe the actions taken toward me demand that I believe that I am insignificant to the “cause”? Moving in places on behalf of God that are in the parameter of the “church” but not reachable to them. No more rejection, slander, arrogance, shallowness or indifference please…just want to live, breath and express my God with full passion of my devotion and love. Another life? Another planet? Another country? Not sure…but I do feel the gentle push to consider risking again. It makes me cry and be very afraid! It confuses my “issue” and then I long…to be among a people of like faith. So I listen, I wait and truly I hope…that He will be the healing balm, to soften the scab and strengthen the heart to risk again. Until that day…

  5. girl. i have a thousand and one things i’d like to say on here… but i wont…coz this sentence you posted captures it all: “because we refuse to give up on the Church, whether or not the Church has given up on us”.

    He loves His Bride (with her flaws and all) and we must do the same (with our flaws and all).

    thanks for writing this.

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