“Don’t go to Church be the Church” DO NOT READ IF YOU WANT TO REMAIN AS YOU ARE

“I don’t go to church anymore Crock;  haven’t been much in the last two years.” her apprehensive look spoke volumes as I perceived she waited for the usual condemnation berating her failure to attend ‘meetings’.

She and her husband asked me to meet up with them in Sydney to discuss their distress at no longer being able to fit into the traditional church scene. They had been avid Pentecostals where Sundays was church. Their leadership positions meant they were consumed every weekend with ministry and home church during the week. Gifted leaders they were not pew sitters; not that I applauded their over-activity.

After many years of ‘faithful’ service conflict finally surfaced; as it must. Their spirituality, God, their Christian walk  and their friends of many years came crashing down around their ears over a few weeks. Their lives got turn upside down. Thankfully!

The events that followed ousted them from their mega-church and the group they ministered with each week in home cell group. Unfortunately the closest people in their cell who had been pleased to receive my friends ministry and support over many years were unable to be there for them in their hours of need.

Also their fellow mid-level lay leaders (what an abomination of a term!)  found it was too much of an ask to be there for them because  their energy and giftings were consumed by the mechanism to keep the organisation going with its programmes, meetings and events happening. In other words organisation was more important than love, compassion and faithfully supporting one another.

Unfortunately for my friends who had given so much over so many years the ‘clergy’ support they received was professional but not what they needed.

Financial disaster and the ensuing marriage break-up for one child, another married son and his wife were ‘wife’ swapping with two other couples in ‘lay’ leadership in the church; they exited the mega church leaving my friends distraught. Another had a serious accident and required months of rehabilitation. As a consequence they were unable to fulfil their roles of leadership in their mega church

That is when the proverbial poo hit the fan, so to speak. Their inability to perform and to be involved caused them to be out of contact with their many ‘friends’. The continuing escalation and the nature of their problems proved too hard for those who they had labored beside . Gradually their many church ‘friends’ faded away adopting other leaders to supply ministry my friends had vacated.

The revelation that they had done to others what their friends were now doing to them hit them causing added grief.

Grief happened for them on multiple fronts personal, social, spiritual, family, ministry, relationships, power, prestige and position – all ripped from them. They were left bereft, cast adrift without much support from those they had given so much to over many years. When I met them they were distraught in a quiet sort of way wondering what life was all about; wondering what they had given their lives to for so long. Yet strangely there was a faith that smelt of quality rather than distress. Hhhhmmm! They had gained a ‘trust‘ in the furnace.

However the protracted nature of  my friends’ ‘Job’ experience eventually saw them ignored and forgotten; in-brief the clergy rationale was “Sorry you have gone through this but get over it. We’re here for you when you need us”.

My friends were left to their own devices. Their grief was compounded.

As my friends were telling me this all too familiar story with an all too familiar ring which I heard on all too many occasions in one form or another; an anger began to rise within. I was not upset with my beloved friends’ pastors I knew all too well the prison of their inability to love; having been there too long myself. No, my anger was directed to a system and an evil intent that binds God’s people, that seduces God’s people to be other than He intended;

Church, for my friends had been the Sunday meeting where it all happened. Now that was gone. What was going to fill the void? They felt used and betrayed by those they had given so much to for so many years.

“Well Lord how do you feel about shepherds who are unable to look after your flock when their salary package, position and prestige demands attention elsewhere? Lord how do you feel about the suffering of your people like my friends?”

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About Eagleholme

Growing together to live and to love radically
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11 Responses to “Don’t go to Church be the Church” DO NOT READ IF YOU WANT TO REMAIN AS YOU ARE

  1. Vaughan Baby says:

    hey Crock. great to see you contributing again in something so meaningful to so many ex church goers who got caught up in it all, and those who are now!
    thankfully, church and I never really seemed to see eye to eye from the outset so I never fell into that trap. Plus, I just detest being told what to do by some guy who knows less than myself!!
    The biggest problem I believe in the modern day church today boils down to ONE thing! and that is, the predisposition that the Pastor has some type of authority over the church member! Once that rule or basis is accepted, every other foul thing follows! I could go on and on, but I’m sure you’d rather I didn’t!
    With that one basic tenet of pastoral authority comes the sheeple mentality. Real thinking people with brains, new ideas, and real prophetically gifted people are shown the door, either directly or indirectly. therefore, you end up with masses of men and women who are afraid of disagreeing with anything, or who just don’t bother thinking for themselves anymore. then, that environment accelerates the paths of hangers on, and the yes men into power!
    Good article Crock! If I was to be a critic, I’d say shorten it a bit and refrain from the commentary during the story telling part! But, what the hell do I know?
    love ya Vaughan

    • Eagleholme says:

      Hey Vaughan great to hear from u thanks for your comments

      as to shortening it a bit – I am rather verbose – so it has to be edited mate down – it started as a small article and it grew grew grew ………………… u have the idea …………… once started mate inspiration just flowed – locked up somewhere inside me ………… u may like to read the rather verbose plus version if u r a beggar for punishment 🙂

      Thanks for the heads up re commenting during the story telling – that is something I need to work on – I will get there …………. I hope before the grave calls etc.

      Please continue to be a critic – it helps

      Peace Blessings and Joy etc. in Him
      Love to ya mate
      Crock

  2. roger thoman says:

    Great post, here, Wayne (or, I guess I should call you Crock?). I had not known much of your own journey before and it’s great to get to know you better.
    You have so many quotable quotes here, ie, “Due to their friends over-commitment to keep the wheels of the organisation moving and life’s many demands their friends were unable to be there to bear the couple’s burdens with them.” How sadly typical… and we see this all over the world!
    And: “I was not upset with my beloved friends’ pastors I knew all too well the prison of their inability to love; having been there too long myself. No, my anger was directed to a system and an evil intent that binds God’s people, that seduces God’s people to be other than He intended, that abuses the people of God by perpetrating injustice and unrighteousness not only in their hour of need but also in growing healthy believers who are actuated. No, many make of Jesus something He never meant and thus have become something not from Him.” I couldn’t have expressed this better if I tried.
    And then the impact this has on the world around us: “The result for the world is devastating; they rightly see a lack of authenticity in who we say we are. Why would they be attracted to a belief that espouses love yet throw doctrinal daggers at each other to prove the correctness of their particular slant of theology???? In other words it is obvious to the world we do not love one another but we love being right more…”
    If it’s good with you, I would like to share some of your thoughts here and link to your post from my Simple Church Journal.
    Blessings to you, Wayne, er… Crock…

    • Eagleholme says:

      Roger be free to share and link any info from my blog with any media you have. My pleasure – likewise I’d like to connect your stuff as well to my blog if that is ok with you – eerrrhh when I find out how to do it 🙂 technically challenged am I – that is a desperate prayer point for me I need someone to help me through all this techno stuff – appreciate your comments and encouragement – it gets lonely out on the fringes but I wouldn’t be anywhere else waiting with the Father – the last forty-eight years have been incredibly difficult and very testing to stay the course. I feel as if I am now on the verge of God bringing me into His purposes – the preparation time has been deep, enduring and metamorphic.
      Like what u r doing Roger – look forward to catching up when I breeze through the States next year to see some friends in Toronto who are fellow travellers and on a journey of being deloused :-). Love, Peace and Joy abundantly to you dear brother Crock eerrrhh .. identity crisis … never 🙂 ….. some call me Wayne the Brain others Call me Wayne the pain. Please forgive the attempt at irreverent humour as us Aussies have a warped perspective on life.

  3. Dawn says:

    Wayne – thanks for your post and sorry for my late-ish reply. You have so, so many things in this post that I’m finding it difficult to comment. Perhaps one thought that comes to mind is that I am no longer doing battle with the church. I’ve resigned my post as resident critic and I’m just trying to figure this whole journey out with God and the help of a spiritual director.

    Bless you… Dawn

    • Eagleholme says:

      Dawn I resigned from the battle twenty years ago. I love His Body with every beating breath; it deeply grieves me what we do to each other and what we call church, anointing and God. Actually it sickens me to the core of my being when I sit with the damaged, the spiritually maimed and those whose hearts are breaking – all in the Lord’s name. I cannot help but speak. Neither am I critic who is right in everything I say – I do have something to say – though the article is a critique.

      God is inviting us closer to Him, it is not about structure, what structure is right, or what system works; it is not about duty or what I can do for God – that is the whole issue – it is about being in love with the God of the universe. It was written to give hope to those who, like you, are on a journey. Not for one second do i see my writings changing the church that is (Jer 1: 9 -10).

      I write to seek kindred hearts who want a way out of their grief and disillusionment; to tell them that there is someone who cares, who understands, that they are not alone.

      I realise my inept attempts are just that. ………….. Love to you and John ……. Wayne

  4. Maeda Atsuko says:

    Amazing blog! I dont think Ive seen all of the angles of this subject the way youve pointed them out. Youre a accurate star, a rock star man. Youve got so significantly to say and know so significantly about the subject that I believe you must just teach a class about it…HaHa!

  5. Leroy Minton says:

    I think you have noted some very interesting points , thankyou for the post.

  6. Rattling nice design and style and fantastic content material, nothing else we need :D.

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