on the local Church… my fair weather friend*

i would like to include a chapter on “the Church: a fair weather friend” in my “one day to be released” book about the Insecure Church. [Don’t steal that!] i am not alone in my experiences. i am not a special case or a rarity. i’ve heard the stories of the sinners and the saints… all forgotten and some even discarded. in serving for over 15 years as a church leader, i’ve experienced both the process of leaving a local fellowship and being shunned by a local fellowship.

the Church likes to sell itself as a family, perhaps under obligation, but many haven’t experienced the follow through of that. whether we chose to or were unable to serve any longer at the local church, the once evident need for us was severed. the phone calls stopped. the invitations ceased. the holiday wishes were non-existent. it’s a bitter pill to swallow, but it’s become par for the course. it can feel as though you were loved because you served them. you were appreciated because you assisted in their mission and vision. you were counted because you were a servant. you were included because you got the job done… for free in most cases. these statements may not be truth, but they are the honest struggle of many.

I’ve dealt with it and processed my emotion & frustration, but i wonder if the local church knows that this is her m.o. i am curious if she realizes that she is in direct violation when she instills in us the importance of fellowship and accountability and then ostracizes us without a single conversation.

it seems to me that family is family regardless of vicinity or effort.

fair weather family? it’s not possible.

the Church, to many, has been a fair weather friend.

*originally posted January 4, 2010

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  • Comments (4)
  1. I am totally experiencing this right now! It’s sad, because I felt like a part of a close knit family, until I quit volunteering. Now, I’m ignored. I would love to read your book!!

  2. As long as the church focuses it’s efforts inward, serving herself and calling her constituents to serve the organization in an effort to apease their God, then we will see limited, if no effort outside her stone walls. She seeks to be relevant with flashing lights and hipster tunes, however what those on the outside of her walls desire is a genuine relationship, not necessarily with God, but with actual individuals who share God’s love through community.

    This issue gets magnified when an individual has reveled in their community within the walls and finds that the same is not true once outside. Now I am not talking about being outside of God’s will…I am talking about being outside of a particular church gathering. Out of sight, out of mind. Their arms would be open, if I would simply come inside, but I am outside hanging with Jesus and I’m sure I don’t want to give Him up to sit on a bench or comfy theater seat and listen to empty rhetoric. No thank you…and have a nice day.

    • Liz
    • May 3rd, 2011

    We here in Orange County are known for being fairweather fans. We support our teams when they are doing well and pretend they don’t exist when they are losing. Why? Becuase we are most concerned with how it reflects on our worth. It really has nothing to do with the team. Orange County is so much about image.

    Unfortunately Christians and the church can do the same. We are more concerned with how we look than about the person or people in need. Isn’t that amazing how Christ’s actions are still radical today? He associated with the sinner, the broken, the outcast with no concern how that would reflect on him. It breaks my heart when we live in fear of our image instead of trying to reflect the image of God that is already in us.

  3. Oh my, touched my nerve. I like your writing its like mine just less sardonic.

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