My church is going through a rough time and the end may be a church-split. No one, of course wants to see this happen.
However, it has brought to my attention that in my 7+ years of being on the worship team, I have learned little to increase my musical ability.
Now, since the theology and doctrine of the church has started going down hill, do I have a reason to stay?
I feel like I have a responsibility to my church; they are my family, but is my responsibility to God in developing my gift greater?
Well, I've been doing quite a bit of thinking, and I'm not totally convinced that I'm supposed to leave yet. There is going to be a member's meeting with the leadership discuss the music, sermons, etc. so I think I will wait until the results of that meeting to make my decision.
I really, really appreciate all the thoughts, advice, and experience you guys have shared with me. Thank you!!! Please keep me in your prayers.
I really do want to be an instrument of change, but I also feel caught between wanting to learn and using what I already know (which is precious little!)
Hang in there! Sometimes the best learning is done when you least expect it. I know it's overused, but think about Moses. I'm sure confronting Pharaoh probably helped when he had to lead Israel through the dessert. Much of his leading was done "on-the-spot", breaking new ground all the time.
I know for me, doing this new team has me a better musician, but it has also made me a better "worship musician". I've had to reflect what has made me angry or what I would do differently, and simply put that analysis has brought me a long way into developing me to be a better worship leader.
I've learned to be a lot more discerning and more analytical. I had to find a way to put into words 'feelings' and intuitions I had. I tried to find new ways to do things that weren't working.
Things like putting together worship sets that are theologically sound, have good pace and flow. Having a clear and concise message, leading well into the sermon. How to help grow and mentor spirited young people into the future leaders of the church, etc.
I had to be "better" because I wanted to show people there is something more. That in itself was growth. A tutor once said, some of the best learning is when you have to learn something well enough to teach it someone else. =) You also learn as you teach.
You've made a wise choice by waiting. I know I'm in the minority, especially in America, but I'm convinced that the decision to leave a church requires heavy duty prayer with the purpose of seeking God's permission' to go elsewhere. We've been placed in a particular body of Christ for a purpose and leaving is similar to our hand saying "I want an amputation, you're not using me enough" to our own body. I will pray for you and wisdom, at least briefly, whenever I see this thread.
It does appear to be drastic in the congregation if there's a meeting scheduled to discuss these things. Discussion like this can go either way. If it's 'I want my way' look forward to a loooooooong night. If an attitude of humility and servanthood is present there can be a lot of healing. When's it scheduled. We here can be praying for the Holy Spirit to work mightily while it's happening.
The meeting is scheduled for sometime next week, Tuesday, I believe.
I do not like or think it is wise to make hasty decisions, and while the poor music and failing theology is not a recent thing, I still think that waiting till this meeting is through is the wisest and most *gracious* thing to do.
thanks for your analogy! Haha, wow; talk about descriptive! but I think you are right. I have been part of this church for the majority of my childhood and all of my time thus far as an adult, and leaving is certainly not something that i want to do. 3 of the 4 elders and the pastor have all pulled me aside at one point or another and expressed how much they really want me to stay, and how much I am needed. Talk about heartbreaking, right? So, yeah. I think I am going to wait at least until this meeting happens, pray for God's guidance all the way through, and make a decision after that.
No doubt the meeting will be interesting, Rachel. What I would be looking for is, do you really sense an attitude of wanting to work on the issues, or will it just be more of the same. After all this time, I'd be looking for a real desire for change, and from the key people especially.
Please don't misunderstand; I'm not a big proponent of quiting. But as some point a person needs to be discerning.
It's nice that some of the leadership have expressed their desire for you to stay - but is it because they want to incorporate your ideas and need you for that, or is it just that they don't want to be blamed for yet another person leaving the church? I'm serious here; some folks worry more about their image that what is right for the ministry.
If they say they need you, then I'd say let them prove it. How far are they willing to go? Will they allow you to move into leadership and incorporate your ideas, or is it going to be just more of the same?
Wow...this sounds vindictive, and I don't mean it to be. I've just seen this stuff go on too much in the Lord's church. May God give you wisdom!
Since everyone has been so great in their advice, I thought i'd give you all an update.
The church situation i mentioned is no longer an issue; I left the church. Many of the members who confronted the leadership with their drastic shift in theology and beliefs were threatened with excommunication, including my dad and employer.
The severity of the situation was quite a bit worse than I thought at the time of my original post. More to come later.
People try to save churches all the time, but I've only seen that be effective on a rare occasion - wait, never. I hate that its happening, but let your heart lead you. If you're struggling for a reason to stay, then you're certainly missing the spiritual nourishment that you need. So for me, it's not about building your musical ability, it's about going where you'll grow spiritually.
Yea, and "regaining" my strength is exactly what it feels like.
I left the church officially in Sept. and visited around town till about mid January. I've since found my new church home, completed most of the membership process, and I've already had an audition with the worship leader whom I've worked with before. Great people, great music, they really love God and His people. I am so thrilled to be a part of their church.
It still breaks my heart that the church has lost even more people since I and my family left.
A major blessing, though, is almost all of the kids (teens and early 20's, really) in the youth group have all stayed in contact with each other, despite all their families leaving the church. I am so very blessed to have retained all of my friends through this process!!!
I have gone through two church splits while I grew up. It was very tough, but I stayed. I was involved with the worship team and even had to fill in for some bible teaching.
I know the desire to expand your gifts. I do have my own ministry beyond my current church, where I can do that. But I choose not to leave at this time because they are our family. And when things closest to home aren't going well, how can we be joyful in other areas?
I'm praying for your church right now, Rachel? Praying for peace.
I hear what you're saying Peter, but it sounds like this has gone beyond wanting to expand gifts to trying to survive poor doctrine, etc. As Rachel said, it's turned into a bigger thing than she realized.
I'm a huge proponent of families staying together. But I do draw the line when abuse is taking place. Could that be what was happening here? Personally, I don't give church leadership a free rein; they have a responsiblity to lead properly. "To whom much is given, much is required."