It happened—a seismic shift in your church…and you’ve been let down. The emotions that are running through you are all mixed up. This is your church home. It’s a place where you feel free to share your feelings. It’s a place where you’ve given your time, money and energy. It’s a place you felt God call you to.
So what can you do if something has happened in your church that has let you down? Try these tips.
1. Examine your heart. Are you feeling bitter? Vengeful? Angry? That’s not okay. In fact, when we jump to anger or bitterness, we’re no longer in the right frame of mind to handle something such as this. It’s also not biblical.
For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:20)
2. Talk to someone. When we feel let down, we’re often afraid to talk it out. Did your pastor let you down? Talk to an elder or your parents. Talk to someone—it helps ease the feelings and helps put you on the right track. Know that you are not alone and others may be filling this way too or will empathize with you.
So that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. (1 Corinthians 12:25-26)
3. Keep the faith. This one is very difficult. When we feel let down by something such as the church, our first response is to distance ourselves from God. We begin to question God. We can’t do this. God has given us choices in our lives, and thank God for that! It’s the human element that caused this disappointment, not God.
4. Take a leave. Sometimes we just have to walk away from a situation. In my life, I had a particular situation arise where the pastor was doing ungodly things. He was let go as pastor. However, the damage was done. I felt lost, so I left the church and spent Sundays for a few months examining my heart through the scope of quiet time and prayer. I eventually came back to the church with a new lease on life and a heart filled with God’s delight, ready to engage again.
Dealing with a situation like this is hard. All too many times we place our pastors and the church on a much higher pedestal than they should be. We serve God first, and often times we turn our church into God—that is technically idolatry. Our world will fail, but God will never fail. Stay strong, keep the faith.