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What spurned your longing to move beyond the comfort of the status quo?


#1

What has been the drawing in our hear to look beyond the conventional congregational model for something more alive or authentic? Was it a frustration at something that seemed wrong, or a drawing to something more? What?

How long did this longing grow before you made the difficult choice to follow it down the road less traveled?


#2

For me, I noticed problems in the early to mid 1990’s, and at the beginning of the year 2000, I went to a contemporary church and saw similar problems, and saw it in some of their sister churches also. At one of the contemporary churches I learned from a small group of people about Gods love and how to walk by faith (and that changed it all for me). When I saw a lot of the same old problems, I eventually left for good in 2005.

I first noticed (in the 90’s) that it seemed like what I saw in the New Testament wasn’t what I saw in the churches I attended… I then noticed most leadership acted like tyrannical dictators,and finally I noticed that it seemed to be more about peoples own efforts instead of living by faith and living by Gods love.

I believe God called me out of it all, and that I was being led to step out in faith , step away, and see what else was out there that God could show me.

Lenny
Bailey, NC


#3

I am probably one of the few on this blog who still attends an IC. In the “least religious” state in the union, Vermont, our church has done an admirable job of being open to seekers, trying to reach out to families, and having many ministries to reach out to many different people groups. That said, my husband and my deepest growth in this church has been in the small group setting…either in classes or at our home. This is where relationships are formed, and people can be free to be honest and to share doubts. It is also a place where I see the intimacy of prayer and forgiveness. My journey has gone from wanting to have a “key leadership position” in the church to being content to use my gifts in a small corner of community. I believe we were created for intimacy, and I find that only in smaller settings. I do see the bigger, corporate church as an introductory avenue for those who are new to faith. Probably one of my biggest frustrations is that churches like ours grow…and then need more space…which requires more money…which requires more leaders…which requires more bureaucracy…


#4

For many many years I was part of congregations, leading worship, leading small groups, “leading” and yet instead of seeing beloved human beings grow and change and become this glorious church without spot or wrinkle, I saw us all squashed into a box of perform to please. I was so disillusioned and felt so guilty I was disillusioned. Then I read Ephesions 3.
Eph 3:8 This grace was given to me, I being less than the least of all the saints, to preach the gospel of the unsearchable riches of Christ:astonished: among the nations,
Eph 3:9 and to bring to light all, what is the fellowship of the mystery having been hidden from eternity in God, the One creating all things through Jesus Christ,
Eph 3:10 so that now to the rulers and to the authorities in the heavenlies might be made known through the assembly the manifold wisdom of God, :astonished:
Eph 3:11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Eph 3:12 in whom we have boldness and access in confidence through His faith.
Eph 3:13 Therefore, I ask you not to faint at my troubles on your behalf, which is your glory.
Eph 3:14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Eph 3:15 of whom every family in Heaven and on earth is named,
Eph 3:16 that He may give you, according to the riches of His glory, by His power to become mighty in the inward man through His Spirit,
Eph 3:17 that through faith Christ may dwell in your hearts, having been rooted and grounded in love,
Eph 3:18 **that you may be given strength to grasp, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and depth and height, **
Eph 3:19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge , that you may be filled to all the fullness of God. :astonished:
Eph 3:20 Now to Him being able to do exceedingly above and beyond all that we ask or think or imagine according to the power working in us,:astonished:
Eph 3:21 to Him be glory in the assembly in Christ Jesus, to all the generations of the age of the ages. Amen.

When I read that all I heard, all I saw was that there was MORE. I read it pretty much every day, when I despair that there is any life left, when I rejoice in the small moments of connection and deep calling to deep. I read it because it fills up my tank so that even tho it seems that She is stuck and shackled in the performance driven culture of this age, there is change EVERYWHERE. like spring after the winter. She is rising, this beautiful, spectacular bride filled with boldness and confidence in HIS faith, walking out this grace she has been given, sharing the unsearchable riches of Christ with all those God brings across her path today. Displaying the manifold wisdom of God to those who watched and waited. It is DONE… it is accomplished this eternal purpose of God in Christ. She is growing in this knowing, this knowledge that surpassess knowledge being rooted and grounded in the love of Christ… To HIM, who is able to do exceeding abundantly above and beyond ALL that we can ask think or imagine… to HIM be glory in the Church in Christ Jesus.


#5

Looking back… it wasn’t so much a longing to leave. I left and just found out that I couldn’t return. I’ve left a lot of clubs in my time… but it was always seemed like I was just moving on. Being gone from a committed gathering place for almost 8 years… There is nothing that draws me back there anymore.


#6

There is something seems wrong here was my awakening, as mentioned in my post under Chapter 6 “Favourite Quotes” I was sitting in my seat when the Pastor called his cell group men up to the front. A cell group was made up of twelve main men and women give or take. There was no real hard fast rule to that as single folk could join so that would throw the numbers out a little. The Pastors however was 12 men. Now to demonstrate how they where to live the Pastor had his men lift him up so he was kind of sitting on a human chair. The idea is that their lives where to serve in the lifting up of the leader and so it went down the ranks. Much like a pyramid scheme in business, you even won favour whilst enrolling other members into the net, I mean scheme. :laughing: Crazily this 12 scheme excised in the cult I was a member of and that was what got my ears picked up when I heard the magic 12 number. What didn’t ring quiet true though was although modelled on the 12 disciples Jesus had, the way to live lives was the other way round to what the gospels showed.

I was in a pickle good and true, which lasted for about a year where I was wondering what or where was this going. Thankfully I was on my way home after a Sunday meet feeling rather disillusioned and bewildered when I felt these words drop into my mind. "I want you to come away as there is something I want to show you."
By then the choice was not difficult at all I simply left that day and never returned. I felt I would be better off backsliding than going through another 5 years of that.

Happily it was far from that, a few months later God started showing me the start of what is now a very different journey.

Ian in Colnbrook. Berkshire UK


#7

I finally realized the ‘status quo’ didn’t bring abundant life, rest, peace and joy that scripture talked about. Instead it brought anxiety, stress, fear and pressure to perform. And I began to think, “What are we doing here? Where is Christ?” I felt dead in the ‘status quo.’ I finally realized I didn’t even want to be in ‘church.’ In IC I was taught that I could position myself (by my behavior) to receive His blessing. But that meant it was all up to me. What pressure! Nothing was ever enough, so I finally gave up. Then God had me where He wanted me…depending on Him alone… :wink:


#8

I remember feeling about the same 10 or so years ago. I liked being part of corporate world of IC… but I really flourished in the small environment… It just took a few more years to realize the corporate world wasn’t working… so I moved away from big and tried to go smaller. Every move I made was to a smaller community than before. I would go back often to see if I was missing something… I found I only missed the people.

Thank you for sharing your story. We are all kinds here. It is good to have you here.

Ruby from Calmar Alberta