So I have been brought up in church. I was at a small Baptist church from the age of 2 – I saw it being built, I was there when it was nothing more than a tin hut, even when we were meeting in the function room of a pub!
My brother stopped coming when he was around 11. He had a disagreement with the minister (he was told off for not standing and singing!).
My mum and I carried on going, until we moved and it got a bit more difficult.
I started to enter the ways of the world, drinking in my friend’s house on a weekend at around 14, skipping church and although I still believed in Jesus, I was edging further and further away.
My mum was ill and needed prayer. She was confronted by the prayer group at the church and told that she wasn’t to hold her own prayer meetings – if she needed prayer, it should be brought to the group. My mum was fragile and felt her shelter had turned against her. We didn’t go back.
We started going to another church, once labeled “Pentecostal”, now non-denominational, but still very Pentecostal! I love it there, I have friends and feel happy there… most of the time…
I guess one thing I really struggle with is the structure. If a friend or family member answers the altar call and goes up for prayer, I can’t go pray with them – I don’t have a badge… Sometimes I feel particularly drawn to a person and feel an intense desire to pray for them, but I’m not allowed as I haven’t been given the prayer team badge by the Elders.
I do Brownies at the Baptist church where I grew up. Tonight the (new) minister asked my opinion on the new prayer board, if I had any ideas… I shared a few ideas and she was pleased with them. I confided in her about my feelings toward my church and explained that the Baptist church is my home – I’d intended to come back once a month for the Sunday morning service but it never happened. She told me that if I can commit to once a month, or even more, she could really use me “up at the front”. I don’t actually know what that means but as she said, she’s not exactly young – they could really use some fire and passion.
I don’t know what to do – I can’t really commit to anything at the minute. I love my church but I’d love to be part of my childhood church again too! I just don’t know!