April 08, 2011

Finding My Place

Had an interesting discussion with my mom today at lunch.  While our place in life couldn't more different we're both experiencing similar issues in regards to our roles in church.

I started attending my current church shortly after Jay and I got married.  He didn't like the mega church I attended with my parents.  We then moved to my grandparents church, but I didn't like it there.  It was an old people church and it felt stale to me. 

We started going to our current church because a friend of Jay's went there.  I love it.  I feel like I'm growing and being challenged in Sunday school.  The preacher is fresh (a few years) out of seminary and is on fire for God.  I love it.

However, I just don't belong.  I'm the only non-mommy in the Sunday school class (and I'm in the 20s class instead of the 30s class I should probably graduate to).   Most of the women are teachers.  When we have social events I struggle to find a conversation topic that wouldn't bore one (or all) of us to tears.

Service?  That's another way I'm struggling.  They constantly need nursery help.  I'm 30 and have no children.  Its safe to say that kids just aren't my thing.  So when I asked the Pastor what was left in our church for a woman that didn't like kids, it seemed as if we hit a dead end.

He mentioned an idea for ministry and said I should get with another girl in my class about it - they had previously discussed it and I might be able to help in it?

When I received her email I was even more discouraged.  She was looking for people to bake cookies.

Its a great idea - fresh baked cookies on the door step of all first time visitors.  Very thoughtful.  Very "we care".   Totally not me.

Jay and I discussed my gifts and talents.  So I emailed the pastor and told him I had web maintenance skills as well as having just read a great book about online ministry.  Unfortunately the church doesn't have a twitter, facebook, or web page.   Another dead end.

I'm at a loss.  I know that my personality and skill sets are useful, but I'm getting so frustrated trying to figure out how to use them. 

Which of course led to a conversation between my mom and I about the state of the church today.  I get frustrated because I feel I'm too...I don't know..."modern" seems like a flaky word, but I'm at a loss for another one.  I'm not the have babies and bake cookies type.

But then when I look at churches that are purposefully modern, I get frustrated with that too.  How is serving coffee before church service going to further the kingdom?  It just feels like they do things for the sake of being trendy. 

What's left for me?  I want to further God's kingdom.  I want to do things with purpose and meaning.  I want to reach the world for him. 

So why does that always come back to cookies and coffee?

Please - anyone with ideas on how I could serve, I'd love to hear them in the comments section.  A friend suggested I find a ministry that was based on Christian principles that might not be associated with a specific church.  I'm open to ideas.

Living for God is hard, yo. 

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  1. Think a non-denominational organization is a great idea. Then down the line maybe you could organize something through your church that could benefit that organization.

  2. Oh I am so ticked. I just wrote this really lengthy comment (which is probably why it didn't post) and now it's gone.

    Anyway, found you via JesusNeedsNewPR and can relate to your feelings of not belonging. Instead of going through my whole shpeel that I just wrote over again, which would be lousy because I'd be trying to say the same thing over again, I'll summarize - maybe the stuff you want to do is the sort of thing the body of Christ at your church has been missing. Your church has been going around all this time missing their left big toe, and lo and behold, here you are. The left big toe.

    When I expressed similar frustration to the pastor at my church, he told me to serve by doing the things I love. I don't know why this was so revolutionary to me. You mean, I can ENJOY ministry?! So, I started a book of the month discussion, because I love to read. And I started a women's ministry blog for the ladies at my church, because I love to write, and some people say I'm good at it. Serve God by the spiritual gifts you've been given.

    Just from an initial peruse of your blog, you might try starting a weekly or bi-weekly runners group or exercise night. Or jump off the cliff and introduce Twitter and Blogging to your church - it might start small (like all things) - but maybe there's a real hunger for that kind of communication in your church. Go, left big toe, go! ;)

    This time, I'm copying my message before I hit publish, so I don't lose it all again.

    Good luck! I'll be following you! (That's so creepy.)

  3. If your church doesn't have an online presence...I think you should create one. =) I agree with S. Wells -- they need a left toe, and you're that left toe!!

    When I found myself the only non-mommy (or non-mommy-to-be) in our SS class...we started teaching the Singles. ;)

  4. it is...

    what about working with one of the organizations that publishes the homeless newspapers? it's all about helping people. maybe not the traditional "church" but it's what the church SHOULD be.

    i do see the merit in having a "gathering spot" on sundays so that congregations can gather and live in community. in a church as large as ours it's important. and twitter, facebook, websites seem almost crucial at this point.

    honestly? what i would do if i were you is sit down for a few minutes and just listen to what God is saying to you. ask Him what His favorite thing about you is. and ask Him how you can use that to serve. i KNOW it sounds simple and trite, but the result COULD be life-changing. when i started to ask Him what He wanted to say to/about me...my life started to completely change.

  5. I think you're church needs to have a facebook page and or a webpage. Our church has made great use of both of these and it's amazing how it's used. We actually had Christians in Pakistan find our webpage and listen to some of the messages online. Facebook is used to convey a lot of information to members. Another thing we have that I'm in charge of is an e-mail prayer and info line. I pass on prayer requests and info on church events... It's been very helpful.
    I think any of these would be good for the church and you would be good at it!

  6. I think you should see if you can do something that you love to do. Maybe you could help them establish a web presence, since you NEED one in this day & age! If they're opposed, then follow your friend's advice & look into a Christian based ministry outside of the church.

  7. I'm not into babies either and I like baking cookies on my terms!

    I'm in our usher/greeter ministry and connections (sending out cards) ministry.

    Do they have a library or educational committee/ministry? My church has a bookstore and my former church a library and a committee that picked out materials for Sunday School, Studies, etc.

  8. I was can see your frustration even tho I have 4 kids, everyone else was seeming to be ;just starting too' and there was a gap in child rearing that i found annoying...politically incorrect to admit I am sure! lol When our church built a new 'church building' with a library, I took the role of librarian and i loved it (but then i love books!) I also was involved with Womens Ministry and took the wheel over for a few activities to switch it up once in a while. (then i got to do things that i liked and others came to me and told me how they were wanting to do those very things too) Hubby and I also joined the Family fun and fellowship team when we joined our church. as a group we would organize different activities for ALL ages, genders and walks of life to attend -- Guess who's coming to dinner/lunch/breakfast, baseball/football/soccer and a BBQ, rent the local pool for a few hours than a BBQ, car rallies...
    I like the idea of a FB pg and when ppl join it you can have a tab for things ppl would like to see new at church -- ex groups, ideas for activities,etc

  9. I think offering to start a Facebook page or simple web page. Mike did some webpage stuff but then they ended up hiring it out because it got too big. Maybe a way to put podcasts of the sermons or something would be an idea.

  10. As another 30 something woman with out a kid (and not married), I don't fit in either.

    I agree with helping to create an online presence. Maybe help outreach with Twitter or FB.


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