I am breaking up with you.
Spending the last few months with you has been like being in a bad relationship. You seem like you want me around, but are not interested in taking care of me, or getting to know me. You never call. You don’t invite me to anything important you are doing. You don’t give me what I need, but merely count me in the number of people filling the seats in your congregation. Your smile and warm demeanor toward me are empty, not involving the depth which it takes to really know someone, and truly be involved in their life.
You will call me selfish, but, in all due respect, I have found you to be completely self-centered. You got my attention during an initiative where you provided sandwiches and drinks to newcomers, in an effort to draw in more people. But from the very start, I found it hard to talk to and connect with your people, as most seemed disinterested. I kept reaching out as the pastor seemed so friendly, and well-informed regarding the Bible. Some of your leaders even learned my name and said “Hi” when they saw me, but they never really got to know me, and I went home alone and empty Sunday after Sunday.
As I sought to become involved in your programs, I was always kept at a distance. Since no one knew me yet, I was treated with mistrust. The fact that I wanted to use my gifts, was regarded as my trying to “get ahead” in the church. I was required to try and prove myself, but failed. I resigned myself to being a nonparticipant and outsider. This also left me feeling empty, and utterly disconnected in your church.
The ladies who were leaders in the church did not take time to get to know me, or become my friend. When I tried to talk to them, they gave me advice that wasn’t pertinent to me. They did not see that I was just trying to get to know them and find a connection by sharing myself. I suggested an online group so that myself and other ladies could become better acquainted. But it seemed inappropriate that an outsider like myself would make such a suggestion, and my request was not taken seriously, and ignored.
I have really tried to make it work with you. But you have merely expected me to conform, without trying at all to conform to who I am. You are not a part of my life. After I am gone, you won’t call, or reach out to me in any way. Someone else will fill my seat in the church, and remain for a few months until they figure out what I have, feel empty, give up trying, and move on.
The Bible says to not forsake the assembling of yourself together with other believers (Hebrews 10:25), so I will continue to meet with Christian friends. But the Bible does not say I have to take part in an empty, unfulfilling church experience to help fulfill someone else’s needs, as they seek to build a church which feels good to them.
Breaking off from my relationship with you, I am now free to pursue my God in my way. I am free to make the Bible my own, and “work out my own salvation” (Philippians 2:12). I am more than just a tool for your purposes. I have my identity in a God who loves me more than I have ever known so far. Breaking free from you, I am filled with hope and anticipation. I will soon see there is more to life than the hurt and emptiness I have endured in your church.
No doubt there are some who can join you. There are many who can fit into your mold. This could be why your church is thriving. But not all of us are cut from the same cloth. Until a more innovative church develops, people like me will remain on the outside. But I will be fine here, charting my own course with the help of the Holy Spirit. This church experience has been a distraction which I don’t need. I am now free to focus on the things of God, and I am free.
“I have really tried to make it work with you. But you have merely expected me to conform, without trying at all to conform to who I am.”
I know that you feel I should be in church and need your direction in order to follow God. But since you have not provided enough direction, I have no choice but to be the chief executor which God made me to be over my own life. What’s more, the Bible tells me that God’s anointing abides on me and I need not that any man teach me (I John 2:27). It also tells me I have “an unction from the Holy One and know all things” (I John 2:20). You may judge me, and my decision to go on without you, but the Apostle Paul has stated, “It is a very small thing that I should be judged of you” (I Corinthians 4:3).
To be a full and satisfied person, someone who has joy and meaning in life, I must find it in myself, not in you. For I have a higher purpose in God, which I must now leave you to pursue. I am so much more valuable to God, and to God’s kingdom than you realize. Henceforth I will be alone, until I find a church that can help me lead my life, not give up everything I am called to be to become a part of its life.
So this is “good-bye.” You won’t miss me, as you never knew me. I will be free to focus on myself, as I should. Whether you approve or not is of little consequence. I am imminently accepted by the God who made me, and infinitely more valuable to Him than you will ever know.
A former attender of your services