So today, I went to Bible Study at the church that I have been frequenting on and off for the better part of a year or so. The study focused on why people, millenials for the most part, are leaving the church. There isn’t one specific reason as to why I left, or why others may have left, but discussing this in a group setting, really had me thinking, why did I leave?
I grew up in the Brethren Church, It’s what the Czechs brought over, Jan Hus was our founder, that’s all I got…Anyway, my great grandma was the one that took my sister and I to church. For the most part, that was the only church we attended. Then, I got to be older and started working on Sundays, and kind of stopped going, I really stopped going once she passed away, and I really never went back.
So why did I stop? Work, boyfriend, busy, life, excuse after excuse to tell you the truth. I wasn’t getting anything out of it anymore, sad to admit it but I wasn’t. It seems to me that I grew distant from my faith, distant from the church and it has taken me a decade or so to even begin to revisit when I lost that want to attend and be a part of an organized religion. My dad was really sick during my high school years/college years, perhaps that played a large part too? I’ll never forget the church of my childhood, the congregation that was made up of the older generation where a lot of those members felt like grandparents and extended family, but at some point that all changed, and it’s hard to pinpoint why exactly I left…or why anyone leaves.
I have a tendency to be very shy, like on the verge of socially awkward in public situations, and that keeps me from going out and exploring on my own, more than I would like to admit. When I don’t find myself comfortable in a situation, or a place, I either never attend, or I remove myself completely from the equation. Perhaps that is the real reason I left, I didn’t feel comfortable anymore. But, I am trying to teach myself to step out of that comfort zone of isolation, and not be so scared or shy to where I can’t experience new things, new churches and instead of asking myself why I left the church, or feeling ashamed or embarrassed about leaving, actively seek out a new place of worship. Time and time again, I have been telling myself that this is what I am missing, the missing link if you will. Tonight I felt really comfortable, and even spoke up, which again kind of a big deal for me. I am challenging myself to go this Sunday, Mamaw or no Mamaw. She is an excellent crutch, but I have to find my own way, and the vibes of this place are good. I am excited to see where this particular path takes me.