How many church homes have you had in your lifetime? When was the last time you changed churches? What was the reason you changed churches? Did you relocate? Did you leave because you were unhappy?
I have been a member of five churches in my lifetime. While growing up, my sisters and I spent a lot of time in the church because my Mom made sure we were involved in all the activities our church had to offer. When we graduated we were sent off and encouraged to find another church to attend. During my undergraduate years, I took a slight break from church except for during the summer months. When I joined a church near campus I joined under watch care. Watch care meant you didn’t want to change your membership permanently, but needed a temporary church home.
Upon relocating back to Oklahoma for graduate school, I joined a church near my campus in the same denomination I had grown up in. My mother knew the pastor and his wife, so I was welcomed with open arms. When I married two years later, I got married in that church but joined the church my husband had grown up in. We remained at his church until we relocated to a different state and he became a pastor. Of course, once he became the pastor, I joined his church until we divorced a couple of years later.
There are many reasons why one would decide to change churches. Here are five of the most common reasons.
One of the most difficult challenges I experienced after divorce was finding a new church home. For me, there was no choice. I had to find a new church home. Because my husband was the pastor I had to leave. We had not lived in the area a long time, so I had no idea where I could go where everybody didn’t already know who I was and that we were getting a divorce?
I was grateful and blessed to find a new church home where I was accepted and where I could use my gifts and talents. In my book Divorced and Still Highly Favored, I wrote a chapter entitled, “Intercession, Intervention or Interference.” In this chapter I discussed the difficulties church wise that I experienced while going through the divorce process. Of course many offered intercessory prayer for us, and we sought Godly intervention, however I was not prepared for interference. Visit my website http://janicerlove.com to get a copy or download a copy from Amazon.
If you feel like you are being led to find a new church home, I recommend that you spend some time in prayer and seek God’s direction. At the same time, do your homework and check out a few churches. Ask friends, family and co-workers about their church and perhaps meet with the pastor before making a decision. Most importantly find somewhere to join, participate and stay put. The last thing you want is to become is church homeless, a bench only member, or a church hopper. If you find yourself in any one of those categories, it may not be the church, it may be that you are in need of a serious spiritual adjustment. Just saying…
Janice R Love, Author
First Lady, Mom, Stepmom and Divorce Ministry Coach