What to do when you can’t find a church that works for you.

Someone told me this today.

If you can’t find something that is catered towards who you are, your styles, your shape, your genes, your way of thinking, you feel out of place, miserable, unhappy.  God opens a place for us to be free in Him and happy with how He has made us, so that’s where we need to go.

This person was referring to several areas in their life, but specifically mentioned their struggle with church.  My church doesn’t fit me.  I want to be with those “other” kind of people.  You know.  People who support my dreams, goals, and desire to be creative.

There is nothing wrong with wanting others in your life who will support your goals and dreams.  We may not fellowship with believers who understand our goals and desires.  We may be in a church where we just don’t fit and that is okay.  It doesn’t mean there isn’t a church out there for us or that we should give up on it altogether.  

I mean I wish I could walk into church and say, “Listen, my life sucks, but I have this great idea for a side hustle.  Huh?  Yeah the way you all live drives me crazy.  I can’t stand the 9-5.  I long to be like Van Gogh and spend my days on my art.  You want to be like who?  Like Vincent Van Gogh.  

I know there is a church out there where I can have that conversation.  Where I can talk about the nice glass of wine I had last night, the R rated movie I saw with my husband, the way I admire artists like Frida Kahlo and the way she completely embraced life.  Yet I don’t have that church today, but I do have God and He wants me in one.  

Looking at this through God’s eyes.

If we look at the above paragraph we see a pattern.  What do you see?

You can’t find

Who you are

Your styles

Your shape

Your genes

Your way of thinking

You feel out of place

There is an evident pattern.  There is a pattern of thinking about self.

We are a free in Christ to live a life that glorifies Him.  We are free to follow His commands, and pursue our dreams and goals, as long as they aren’t contrary to Scripture.  If they aren’t then go!  Start that business, create your art, travel, pursue your creative ideas, and dream of what you can achieve.

But church, church isn’t about us, or isn’t supposed to be.  We are there to serve and be fed.  We are there to gather with other believers and do this thing called the Christian walk.  A group of people who are others focused, and concerned with displaying Christ.  

I have struggled with church for many years.  I attend, but have been hurt, dismayed, and disappointed in the church.  I kind of just show up right now and am proud of myself for doing that.  I want to be in a church where I can be myself, find support for my goals and dreams, serve, and be fed, but until all that comes together I just show up where some loving people give me the room to figure things out and grow. 

If you have struggled to find a church that works for you I encourage you to keep looking.  I pray that you don’t give up on God and the church altogether because of your current struggle.  God may be using your confusion, pain, and trouble to change your thinking or way of looking at things.  He may be preparing something for you that isn’t ready.  In the mean time find a place where you can just show up for a while and where you can hash things out.  

God knows our hearts.  He knows the way He made us.  He knows what we need and when we need it.  Let’s trust Him to lead us to a place where we can be who He made us to be.  Let’s never stop trying to find a church home that checks all the boxes for us, but in the mean time let’s think more of God than our desires.  Let’s show up, listen to God’s Word, be loved, and love.  If God is there He will guide you and He will get you to a place where you can best love others and serve Him.

Marcy Pedersen

2 Comments

  1. I’ve tried attending mismatched, ill-fitting, churches before. Sunday after Sunday, I’d see that joyful, peaceful glowing look on the faces of those who were uplifted by singing songs they loved, praying prayers they enjoyed, listening to their favorite Bible stories as they whistled the chorus to their favorite hymn on the way to their cars in the parking lot. Sunday after Sunday, I’d walk away feeling a little less happier and a little more miserable than the week before as I’d just sang songs I’d hated, prayed prayers I didn’t understand, and listen to Bible stories that didn’t sit well with me. Now there’s nothing left. I know I’m not missing anything and that no one misses me. So I switched my hours so that I get to work on Sunday mornings – I know that’s breaking a rule and that I’m a bad Christian, but it’s far better than the alternative of going to church. At this point it’s more of a punishment than a privledge, one I don’t feel like subjecting myself to just yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I too have struggled and continue to at church. I see it as a journey. I often don’t understand why I can’t be happy at church, and participate like other people. I have struggled for over 5 years and don’t understand it. I spent the past year visiting numerous churches to find something that fits and haven’t been able to. I am not where I want to be in my life, in my church life, and in my career. So I am trying to make the best of where I am until I find what does fit. You sound like a great person. I hope that someone misses you. Sounds like you are on a journey as well, and I wish you the best in finding your way. I wish you the best. Thanks for your post. You have taught me a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

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