True Confessions

“I don’t want to go back to church on Sunday mornings.”
I am hearing this from people and pastors alike and it has nothing to do with a fear of exposure to Covid-19. 
Can you relate?
These “true confessions” have got me thinking.
Why are we feeling a resistance to returning? It is not universal by any means, but it is not uncommon.
Let’s not let guilt sabotage what we can glean, mine, and learn. Lean in. Ask the question. Ask it out-loud. Let God have His way with your heart. The gifts may surprise you.

Why are we feeling a resistance to returning?

#1 We are tired. We are very tired and have been for a very long time. Many people have had their first taste of Sabbath Rest. It is addictive and life-giving. Designed by God, it is what we were meant to know and enjoy.

#2  We are made for connection with those in our inner circle. Trip-free Sunday’s have allowed carefree family time to sprout and flourish. This is good for the soul on many levels. Relationships blossom when there is time to be together—unhurried, unhindered, and free.

#3  We are made for connections that cultivate transformation. Proverbs 27:17 reminds us that Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Micah 4:1-2 speaks of a mountain top climb that positions us to “walk the talk” (see below). We live in a broken, bleeding world that needs Jesus. We need courageous believers whose hearts are on fire to love, serve, mend, and build bridges in radical, not-of-this-world fashion. We cannot do this in and of ourselves. The journey of learning how to “walk the talk” is best cultivated through discipleship, not education. Our Sunday morning experience is often high on education (this is a good thing), but low on discipleship (this is a missing ingredient). Discipleship takes place when we are face-to-face with others sharing what God was up to in our lives this past week, listening to the stories of others, praying for each other, and giving encouragement to join Jesus on His mission in the week ahead.

#4 Or are we just lazy? For some, the answer is yes. For those who have been sharing their heart with me, the answer is a resounding no. The people asking these questions are people who hunger for the Word and live for God in a way that makes a difference in the lives of others every day.

My friends, this internal wrestling demands some questions, and maybe some answers.

What does this mean? What are we learning?
What are we going to do? What opportunity stands on the threshold?
Will the status quo continue or will change emerge, take shape, and flourish?

We are called to gather, to worship, to work, to rest, to GO, to make disciples. What does face-to-face discipleship look like in, during, or around our worship experiences? 
Can we build it in? 

I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, questions, joys, laments. If you find yourself or those you love resistant about going back to church, which of the 4 points resonate? Are there other points? I would love to hear from you. Doors are opening for critical conversations. If the time is right, let’s connect.

In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. 2 Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.

Micah 1:1-2

Brenda Jank is a thought leader in the arena of Restorative Wellness. Find additional resources and support for yourself and those you love, lead and serve at www.RunHardRestWell.org.

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11 thoughts on “True Confessions”

  1. Good Morning, We have been back to church 3 times and of those, 2 of them focused on how homosexuality and abortion are wrong. I agree, but I am struggling with anxiety to the point of daily trouble breathing and need to be reminded, inundated, with how the Lord loves me and of His joy. I feel like our church has let us flounder because there was no reaching out during quarantine, no note of encouragement and now that we’re back, we’re being told what not to do. I have a husband and 3 boys and I don’t know what to do.

    Reply
  2. Thank you Brenda!
    I always went to church with my mom and dad. Even after I got married, we went to church with them.
    They sang in the choir, were Sunday school teachers and greeters…anything that was needed, they did.
    Now they are both in heaven and church is sooo lonely. I try to go but it hurts. I wish I could find a church I was comfortable in.
    I miss my communion with Jesus and I miss having a church family. Thank you so much for this post. I don’t feel so alone when I read it.

    Reply
    • Sharon, We were made for connection and we are hungry for connection.
      I am so sorry for your ache.
      There is an epidemic of loneliness.
      You are not alone.
      We need the family of God But we need some course corrections within the Church if we are going to open the floodgates to address the needs tucked into every heart.
      Thank you for sharing. Let’s connect.
      We are in this together – !
      Brenda

      *Brenda Jank* Executive Director 260-239-1297 http://www.runhardrestwell.org

      Champion Rest. Equip Leaders. Change Culture.

      Sign up for *A Rest that Works* seminar or retreat

      Reply
      • Thank you Brenda.
        I got the courage up to start in a women’s bible study. First night is Thursday.
        I’m looking forward to it but a little scared too.

        Reply
  3. Brenda, I love your questions here. In general, It’s been good getting back to the church building to worship together. Your question #3 got me thinking that small group time is expected to happen outside of Sunday morning, With 2 jobs, I’ve been stretched to incorporate a small group because it requires me to host or make another trip out on a weeknight. It might be nice to have a Sunday per month dedicated to small group meetings.

    On a different note, not related to rest, worshiping together feels sterile. For safety, at church we need to sit 3 seats apart from someone outside our family and many are wearing masks. We don’t have prayer/ministry at the close of service and communion is a wrapped cup on the chair. I understand the practicality of these measures, but I feel like a walking germ. I’m not a huge “toucher”, but I now realize how much I miss being physically close with other people. Sometimes watching the livestream at home is better than being together; far apart. However, I feel compelled to be at church if they are meeting, because I believe it’s the Lord’s design.

    Thank you for asking!

    Blessings, Tami Shaklee Distributor – https://pws.shaklee.com/tamicrabtree/

    “Cast all your cares on God, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

    Reply
    • Hi Tami,

      The joy of “Family Life” as we gather with our sisters and brothers is being painfully shortchanged in this season – and there may not be an end in sight for a long time.
      How can this time allow what is most important to rise to the top?
      We need to start the conversations and see what God has planned.
      Thanks for sharing, Tami.

      Onward.
      Eyes on Jesus!
      Brenda

      *Brenda Jank* Executive Director 260-239-1297 http://www.runhardrestwell.org

      Champion Rest. Equip Leaders. Change Culture.

      Sign up for *A Rest that Works* seminar or retreat

      Reply
      • You’re absolutely right. In continuing to gather together, I expect the Lord to help me see what’s most important as I keep my eyes up 🙂

        Reply

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