I feel bad. We're a young church, only six years old. I've been here since the beginning.
I'm committed to this church. I tithe 10 percent, I volunteer once a month. I've done plenty of small groups, I was the one who started blood drives at this church. I've been here long enough to see pastors come and go. I know most of the staff. I've met a lot of great friends at this church. I like going, for the most part.
And yet I'm bored.
Why? I'm not learning anything.
One of the reasons I like my church is because they take their time. If we say we're studying the book of say, Ecclesiastes, then we're going to STUDY it. We're going maybe six to ten verses at a time in a two month study. I dig that about my church, so much more than any other church where they decide on a theme and then cherry pick verses to go around that theme, ignoring context and historical cultural themes.
And yet lately, the sermon series is not interesting to me, because it’s not really digging into the context of what was written, not like they usually do and the topics haven’t been interesting for six weeks, which is a long time to be bored.
Maybe this is something all Christians go through - when the bliss of Hey, I'm Learning NEW STUFF wears off, and it's back to Advent season for Christmas. Again. Sigh.
Maybe my church is defining itself as the perfect church for newbie Christians trying to suss out what it means to be a Christian in today's world. But if you're not a newbie Christian, if you're interested in having conversations in small groups examining all sorts of viewpoints, even if they're controversial, and you're met with a resounding silence, what do you do?
A couple of months ago in a small group, I pointed out that on Paul's famous list o' These People Will Not Inherit The Kingdom Of God (1st Corinthians 6), homosexuality was the only sin that didn't actually cause harm to another person (assuming the gay sex is consensual, because if it wasn’t, it’d be rape.) And I was met with a sea of blank faces. Nobody wanted to talk about it, nobody wanted to discuss it.
Nobody wanted to have a discussion about how homosexuality in Biblical times might have been considered wrong because Biblical times was all about the family, to make sure you had a family to help you tend the fields, take care of the house and each other, how God's chosen people's most important goal in those times was to PROCREATE to ensure their survival, and you couldn't do that as a gay couple and how in modern times, that need is no longer relevant so maybe all this sturm and drang towards gay and lesbians is... oh I don't know... ANTIQUATED? Nobody wants to talk about that. It’s as if they’re all too scared to really examine their faith.
Sigh. This is why I didn't bother signing up for another small group this season.
I do like my church, and I like the friendships I've made in it. But if I'm not learning anything new, if the idea of engaging conversation and different viewpoints isn't peeping up, then what do I do? Do I move on? Does that make me a fair weather churchgoer, only wanting to stick around for the entertainment factor?
I don't wanna be entertained, I want to LEARN.
If I find my church lacking, is it my fault for not trying harder to engage myself with it? To search search and search among the congregation and find people who DO want to talk, who DO want to engage. Do I write a mildly-written letter to Pastor Diet Slice saying this recent sermon series is a snoothathon? Should I come up with my own series of something, not sermons, because I haven’t been to pastor school, but topics of conversation, like how we examined sarcasm in the Bible earlier this year?
Do I become my own teacher? I mean, I’ll do it if I have to, but there’s a sadness about it. Or exhaustion. One of the two.
Something to ponder…