What to Do if You Don’t Like Your Church

Today, a lot of churches seem to be out of touch when it comes to young people. The question is, what can we do if we don't like our church? Click here to find out!

In the last little while, I’ve seen a lot of blog posts popping up about how the church needs to do more to accommodate for the millennial generation, or why millennials are leaving the church. (You can check out one of these posts at Recklessly Alive–he has some good points!) I can understand why so many young people are looking at their church and wondering how they can get more out of it. I’ve made a list of some things you can do if you’re struggling with liking your church.

1. Check your motives & attitude.

The first thing we should be doing when we don’t like the church we’re at is look at ourselves before we look anywhere else. Ask yourself, why don’t you like your church? Is it a matter of the church or do your motives need to be checked? It’s important to make sure your reasons aren’t selfish. When your heart’s in the right place, you can start to look around.

2. Pray.

Seeking God’s will and listening to His voice is always important to do in every situation. What would God have you do? Take the time to tell Him of your struggles, then listen to hear what He would have you do. Does He want you to wait or begin to seek out a new local church? Ultimately, nothing will truly help your situation if you are not walking in His will.

3. Find a place to serve.

Every church has an area you can serve in, no matter what size it is. I’ve been a part of a smaller church (approximately 30 congregants at the time) and more medium-large churches (services of 300 attendants). In every church, there is always an area to serve—whether that’s helping out in the nursery or serving coffee after church; leading a group of youth or simply being an encouragement to those around you. There is great joy in serving. Christ Himself came to serve, not be served. If you’re feeling a little disconnected, getting involved is a great way to connect with others!

4. Find someone to mentor & disciple you.

Your pastor is only one person! Unfortunately, he probably simply doesn’t have time to take the time to mentor you individually. Because of this, it’s a great idea to find someone in your church who can mentor or disciple you. Find someone you admire, such as an older woman, and ask if she would be willing to mentor you—meeting together every now and then. Ask her to keep you spiritually accountable and pray for each other.

Take this one step further and find someone you can mentor. There are so many younger girls who are going through middle school and high school, trying to figure out the world of boyfriends, womanhood, and everything else life has to offer. By taking someone under your wing, you’ll not only be a help to them, but you’ll also learn and grow in your own spiritual walk.

5. Check your devotions and prayer life.

Church is great when it comes to corporate worship, fellowship with other believers, and learning. But it’s not meant to keep you going all week. If you’re feeling a little spiritually dry and believe your church is the problem, check again…it could be your personal prayer life. If you aren’t regularly spending time in the Word, you won’t grow closer to Jesus. Church isn’t meant to replace your own personal time with Jesus.

6. Look at your church.

Yes, evaluating your church is the last thing on my list. When I moved to a different city for my last year of school, my roommate and I began the oh-so-fun church hunt. We chose against some because there were no young people, and others because there were way to many (literally a few hundred university students). You should definitely look at your church and seriously consider whether or not it’s a good fit for you, but only after you check yourself. There’s no doubt that there are many different churches out there—churches with mostly older people, churches geared towards younger families; some churches are super-charismatic, while others are really structured.

Finding a church you’re comfortable attending is so important. The problem happens when we believe the church is there to serve us. The truth is, we are the church, and we are to serve each other. Let’s start being the change in our churches!

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Why We Need to Stop Serving in the Church

You know it's important to give God the glory when you succeed. But how do you do that when you fail? How does failure reflect God's goodness? Click here to find out!

If you grew up in the church or even have spent a lot of time being connected to a church, you know that it’s important to serve in the church. Whether you helped out in nursery or participated on the Sunday morning worship team, you were encouraged to “get involved”. As a teen, you may have been a VBS leader. As a young adult, you may have helped out with youth ministries or taught Sunday school. You may have run sound for Sunday morning services or helped in the kitchen for the seniors’ luncheon.

We are all called to serve and be served. We are to be each others’ servants and sacrificially commit our time to help others. Every job is important. We’re all members of the Body, and there’s no job too small.

But does serving mean more than volunteering at church?

Don’t get me wrong—serving our churches is important. We need to support the local church. Without a strong local church, there cannot be effective ministry outside of the church.

But I think that sometimes we get so focused on serving within the church that we forget we are also called to serve outside of the church.

Jesus said he came not to be served, but to serve. Have you ever thought about where he served?

Jesus had the knowledge of a great teacher. He had incredible wisdom, even to the point of teaching the older rabbis in the temple when he was twelve years old. If anyone should have been teaching the Jewish people, it was him. They even expected him to be their savior from Roman rule.

However, nowhere in Scripture do we actually see Jesus spending a lot of his time in the temple. Jesus sought out the broken, the lost, and the outcasts and served them. He served outside of the temple. His entire ministry was focused on reaching the people who were considered to be less-than-righteous.

But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. (Matthew 9:12)

Are we spending so much time and energy tending to the healthy that we forget about the sick? Click To Tweet

Please don’t hear what I’m not saying. I’m not saying that it isn’t important to serve within the local church or that we should ignore the needs of those within the church. Again, the local church needs to be strong in order to minister elsewhere.

However, I think we sometimes forget that we are in the church to prepare for outside-church ministry. I grew up in the church. I started volunteering in the nursery when I was eleven, was a leader a kids’ camps for seven years, led the youth worship team, was a coach for my church’s Bible quizzing program, and participated on the Sunday morning worship team. I’ve also helped out at various other church-related events. However, I could probably count on one hand the number of hours I have spent serving outside the four walls of my church. How much time have I spent ministering to people who haven’t met Jesus? If we are to reach the lost, we must be among them.

I’d like to challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and find a way to serve outside the church. To show Jesus to those who haven’t met him. To reach the broken, the sick, the lost.

Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners. (Matthew 9:13)

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When Serving Your Church isn’t a Privilege

As Christians, we know that serving in the church is expected of us. But what happens when serving isn't a privilege anymore, but an obligation? Click here to read about how to find joy in serving.

I was raised in the church. I went to nursery, Busy Bees, Sunday School, Tuesday night youth and Friday night young adults. I also go to a fair-sized church, which allows me to enjoy being a part of lots of different programs. I could get involved in lots of different ways, and I loved (and still do) being a part of a larger church family.

But somehow, I lost my identity as a Christian in there. I’m not sure how it happened, but eventually I forgot why I was there. I was serving, worshiping and fellowshiping, but occasionally I would wonder why.

Then doubts started happening. If I’m not sure why I’m here, does that make me a bad Christian? Aren’t Christians supposed to have purpose? Meaning?

I felt a little empty. Christians are supposed to be fulfilled because we’re the ones who have been saved and filled with the joy of the Lord! What’s going on here?

I realized that it’s actually quite simple. In serving my church, I was doing, but not experiencing. There’s a difference.

Sometimes we just get busy and lose our focus. We can get distracted by everything that has to be done that we forget the One who’s behind it all and that we’re actually doing it all for Him. I think we get really used to sitting back and watching the show instead of actually being in the cast.

Psalm 34:8 says,

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

The Bible tells us to experience God, not observe Him. We are to “taste” the Lord’s goodness and “see” His work. The dictionary defines the verb to see as this:

  1. Perceive with the eyes; discern visually
  2. Discern or deduce mentally after reflection or from information; understand

We are not called merely to observe the Lord’s goodness, but to reflect on it; understand it. I have served in my church, but how many times have I gone home after volunteering and thought about how God is working through me and everyone else at that particular event? How many times have I thanked God for what He’s doing in the lives of the youth as I serve them?

It’s so easy to just try to get through and get things done as we fulfill our roles as part of the Body of Christ. But eventually, we get burned out. We become weary. We get tired and wonder if we’re really doing any good or if we’re really making a difference.

In Galatians 6:9 – 10, Paul reminds us:

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Paul repeats this admonishment in 2 Thessalonians 3:13 as well.

Next time you’re feeling tired from serving, remember that there is more to it than just doing. Ask God to help you experience His goodness and joy as you serve Him. The latter part of Psalm 34:8 says, “Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” What you do will not be done in vain if done for the Lord and not for man.

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