Tuesday, April 8, 2008

when is church not a safe place?

We read in scripture that God is our refuge....our strength....a safe place. When we need a place for shelter from life's turmoil.....church should be an option.

But what happens when church is not a safe place?

In my Doctor of Ministry class today we explored possible ministries for young adults. In the discussion we talked about homosexuals, and biracial persons. Often church is not willing to allow some people in. If a person can't come in....how can a person learn and experience God's presence and power.

Sadly for some....church is the last place they can turn too for safety and support.


S'onnie said...

Hi, I have been lurking for awhile after coming across your blog but this particular blog was something that struck home.

I grew up in a baptist church here in New Zealand. Baptists here are not like baptists in the states. here they are more presbyterian then baptist.

I stopped attending church several years ago. The church I attended was pretty much focussed on four groups. children, young people (teens) young couples/young families and older people. there was a whole group that basically was ignored which was the young adult group. Added to the fact that for me no one noticed when I didn't attend for several months are being very unwell and in hospital etc

I beleive churches must wake up and realise that more and more young adults are staying single later into their lives and have different needs from young couples/families and single teens

shawn said...

Having walked in a place where the Church was not only UNWELCOMING, it was and remains down right hostile and perhaps worse - oblivious to its actions ... my heart resonates with both the post and the comment ...

WE must learn to do better ... unfortunately the people who need to heed that lesson are the very ones who can't see the reality before them ... it's the speck and log thing in action ... they focus on the WRONG things and we become a wishy washy, namby pamby social club for only certain members ...


(Think we need to go BACK to that BOOK idea L.P.!!!!)

Jared said...

Have you read "They Love Jesus but not the Church: Insights from Emerging Generations" by Dan Kimball?

I haven't gotten all the way through it, but I feel comfortable in saying that most of my generation (I'm 29) won't feel comfortable with the mainstream church unless and until it addresses many if not most of the ideological issues he presents.

In other words, it's not just a problem of not providing ministries that meet the needs of 20-something, unmarried young adults. It's a matter of realizing that there are lots of thoughtful, careful, prayerful 20-something young adults who believe strongly that the church is doing things that are counter to the example of Christ.

laughing pastor said...

s'onnie so good to have you respond. Thank you for your post. I appreciate your words. I for one am diligently working to wake up the church I am serving. I am sorry for your experience in the church.

I've always wondered about life in New Zealand. Perhaps that Baptist church needs a good Presbyterian minister who would shake them up. I'm good at that!

KiwiCuz said...

Hi LP,

I also have been lurking for a while, and also felt compelled to comment.
I struggle with my identity of being a single person in a church environment. I wrestle with how sexual expression fits into my identity as a single church person - and I am straight. I cannot imagine how hard it must be for someone with a different orientation to manage these issues.
I have been to pentecostal churches, where i have left with the impression that if i went back they would marry me of within the month. Being Single is something that society in general, and many churches have contradictory attitudes towards.

My local presbyterian minister observed that he had met several kiwi's who seemed to have some lax ideas. He concluded that the presbyterian church in NZ must not be sound. Unfortunately, for many reasons that is a church i no longer attend.
Best wishes with your studies!