I feel invisible in church??

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I feel invisible in church??

Post by Delightful soul on Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:07 am

Hi all,


I just want to know what is going on with my life at this stage?

For ten years I have been ill and I have been a christian for 20. I have had nearly all my dreams come to a big halt due to being ill and whilst I am trying to get my life and dreams in order and pursue them, I feel that there is something in me that just wants to be in real fellowship.

I have been to sooo many churches and to tell the truth, it appears to me that people in these churches I have been to do not want to get to know me unless I get "involved" in ministry at some point.

I have been going to a church since October and I must say they are the friendliest church I have come across. Most of them are ex drug addicts, people from broken situations and also have experienced what it has been like in many churches to be rejected so they are all very welcoming. But lately when I have gone, I feel like I do not fit cause noone really wants to talk to me after church.

So I moved around and tried to see if there was anyone who would say Hi. All the older women have been very friendly, but they have women their own age to talk to and connect with. But I am a single woman in her 30s and not many people are there my age who aren't married and it's like I feel so invisible that it is really offputting. I mean, if you go to a nightclub, you meet people to talk to, they may not be christian, but they know how to fellowship and i guess I don't want to fellowship with the world but they really know how to 'fellowship'.


I ended up waiting till the music leader finished ministering to ask him if he needed any singers. I feel a great desire to help in some way and I sing, so I thought i would volunteer my efforts. I felt God say to me last night, that the reason I am wanting to be in the singing team is simply this;

I feel that I will obtain fellowship with the members of the church if I become involved in helping others...........sounds noble right, but really in black and white it is out of my hunger for connection and desire to meet people that I am doing this, and it just feels ..........wrong!



Does anyone know what I am talking about?????????


Am I just going a little loopy or somethin?


I had a prophecy earlier on in the year that many leaders had pushed me aside and said "can't use her" and this is right. I have been labelled incompetent by pastors, some close and some not so close and really I am so discusted with how it appears to me that the four walls of the church are just that and not the full body of Christ and yet I do not want to judge.


I mean I feel like saying to myself "marsha marsha". On one hand I feel rejected and feel invisible and the other I feel like maybe there is a blindspot I have?

You know I meet alot of people, (my ex was one of them) that hate church so much cause they feel like noone accepts them where they are at or just simply that noone comes up to talk to them or wants to get to know them.


What should I do?


I have lots of friends who know the Lord and feel the same way. We half heartedly go to church and meet up and hang together and "fellowship", not in a churchy way, but in a real honest and one on one way. I mean today I went and put flyers that I have designed like modern tracts encouraging people to give their hearts to the Lord with a friend of mine who hasn't been to church in months, I think she went last night, but she left with her hubby half way through cause she felt uncomfortable....


To me it seems like I am a Christian living life on the wayside, and I am struggling with trying to fit in. I don't feel like Jesus is mad with me, in fact I feel peace.

Most people in church where I live are full of christians and it is like they are entertaining and feeding fat sheep and on the outside where the world is, not many christians want to go. Maybe I am wrong.


I don't mind being challenged. I just want to know I'm not totally crazy about all I am feeling at the moment and to get some answers.


Should I give the worship thing a go? Do I need and attitude change, do I have any blindspots........???



Please someone help.



I feel I would be better off sometimes, if I went busking singing about the Lord at the markets out there where the world can make a decision about Him instead of preaching to the converted. I just don't feel I am connecting and this saddens me and also I'm a tad confused about what the heck the Lord is doing with my life?


Any help would be welcome in His name. bandaid

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Re: I feel invisible in church??

Post by hind'sfeet on Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:29 am



I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. I used to leave my last church crying almost every Sunday. I would wait around, look for the people that I did know, a lot of Sunday's I found no one I knew and no one would come talk to me, so I would leave and be in tears by the time I was out of the parking lot. I know that I could go up and talk to people I don't know but somehow I couldn't. I loved that church and I know it's where God wanted me at the time. I believe He had it like that so I wouldn't start relying on people instead of Him for my fulfillment whatever it was.
I go to another church now that I love just as much and it's getting a little better. I can go and talk to people a little easier now.
At both the churches, the pastors encouraged people to talk to people they didn't know because they did see it as a big problem too.


Yeah, the fat sheep thing... It upsets me.

My aunt often brought to light my motives for wanting my family to all get together in the living room rather than being scattered around the house. She called it controlling... There was more to it than just that but I won't get into it (I rarely get to see my family and it's very large... I was very sad that they didn't do things the way we grew up and it hurt). I'm just saying that you are right, God did speak that to you about your motive for singing in the church.

I wouldn't do anything unless it's God leading you to do it. If you are doing it out of hurt, then I would not do it.


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Re: I feel invisible in church??

Post by hind'sfeet on Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:35 am

Another thing my aunt tells me all the time is that when we accuse, point a finger, blame etc. we will always need to look to ourselves first (the Bible tells me that too...). It's so true, it's sad. I know there were others in the church that prob. felt the same way I did and I never went to talk to them either and make them feel better.

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Re: I feel invisible in church??

Post by lola21st on Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:59 am

I feel that I will obtain fellowship with the members of the church if I become involved in helping others...........sounds noble right, but really in black and white it is out of my hunger for connection and desire to meet people that I am doing this, and it just feels ..........wrong!

My advice to you is to do it anyway. While you may not feel that your heart is coming from a "right" place, that may change. And actually I don't think it's wrong to want to meet a personal need in this instance because we are created for fellowship, to me you are seeking a healthy, non-destructive, Godly way to fill a personal void and others may be blessed because of it.

I understand the superficial fellowship dynamic, I've seen it and experienced it firsthand in churches as well but what has worked for me is to get involved anyway. Get involved in ministries or a bible study, volunteer for one-time or short-term needs to help out, etc. The smaller the group, you join, the more likely you'll experience a more genuine connectedness. If you join the praise and worship team, you may still feel isolated if it's a large choir. But if the team is a small group (e.g., less than 10), then you have more opportunity to dialogue and engage in conversation. It may also take several interactions before you find someoone that you connect with. Eventually you will make a 'real' connection.

Another opportunity is a group bible study. This setting was very good for me because the group started out between 6-8 and the way it was structured, it offered the opportunity for everyone to talk and share their ideas, bible understanding, personal situations, prayer needs, etc. For me, it was in this particular setting that the genuine bonding occurred. If you don't have this at your church or you've tried it without any succcess, see if there's a local bible study ministry. In this area, we have a Bible Study Fellowship that isn't tied to a specific church and is located in several cities in the US and internationally, there are even locations in Australia...here is the website, this might be another option?

http://www.bsfinternational.org/Home/tabid/53/Default.aspx

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Re: I feel invisible in church??

Post by Delightful soul on Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:16 am

Thankyou so much everyone!

I feel actually to stick with the worship as I really believe that I need to stop doing nothing if that makes sense.

I really valued both your opinions. I thankyou Hindsfeet for empathising and for Lola for encrouaging me to stick at it, despite my hesitancy about my motives.

You are both right I believe and yet I really want to get out there and not waste my talents either.

I really felt like God said today that if He is showing me these problems, then I should be a leader and go show the rest of His body that we should be getting out there and living the Word not just being 'fed' all the time. And maybe He wants me to go to church and welcome those whom noone else will welcome too.

I guess I need patience too and to do things out of a desire to serve God and noone else. Maybe this is why God is dealing with my motives.


Thanks so much , if I had not received your input, I would still be crying and sore inside, but you guys have made me feel not so alone in all of this.


Blessings huggins

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Re: I feel invisible in church??

Post by hind'sfeet on Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:42 am

flower

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Re: I feel invisible in church??

Post by Cholette on Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:09 pm

Sometimes feeling invisable isn't a BAD thing. I've been through seasons where I felt invisable no matter where I was, but it took a man of God to speak into my life and told me that I was being set apart. It felt like a LONG TIME, but actually it was a few months or so. Discern your season. God may have you hidden away where people "don't see you", but it's for a reason.

This may not be your case, but I just wanted to throw down my two cents.


Do not fight FOR victory, but fight FROM THE PLACE of victory. Jesus has ALREADY won the battle!

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Re: I feel invisible in church??

Post by hind'sfeet on Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:32 pm

That's encouraging Chollette!!

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Re: I feel invisible in church??

Post by lola21st on Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:24 pm

I really felt like God said today that if He is showing me these problems, then I should be a leader and go show the rest of His body that we should be getting out there and living the Word not just being 'fed' all the time. And maybe He wants me to go to church and welcome those whom noone else will welcome too.


thumbs Amen

Anytime we feel a burden on our heart regarding something that's often a sign that He wants us to move/act in relation to it...

Keep us updated and let us know how God handles this situation... Bless You flower

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Re: I feel invisible in church??

Post by Daisy on Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:11 am

Delightful soul, I will be praying for you to find your fit inside the church. I know God has a special place just for you in his house! I do have to say from my past experiences that the best way for me to meet new people is to volunteer in someway, and to get involved serving in an area. I personally think its ok to serve wherever you would love to serve~whether it is in the children's minisitry, greeting, or singing. I personally dont think its wrong to share your gifts with the church while serving also hoping to get connected to the body of Christ. This is such an important and crucial part to our Christian walk, not just to go to church but to feel connected~to feel a part of the family. My mom always tells me, "If you want friends you have to be friendly first." I have a tendency to draw back around big crowds and I tend to be shy at first, until I get to know someone...then I'm fine. This trait I used to hate about myself, but now I am putting it to use. I volunteer to find and greet new people and to help them become connected in the church, because I know how it feels to be shy and not as outgoing as others, I can spot those who come to visit our church right away that feel the same way...and I can be sure to welcome them. Maybe you could try keeping your eyes peeled for someone at your church that may be feeling the same way as you, that is in need for a friend and true fellowship. Maybe you could talk to the Pastor eventually of heading up a greeting ministry to help people feel welcome...every church could use something like that. I have also found that the people who really WANT to connect with others the most, sometimes are so timid that they try and BOLT out the door as soon as the sermon lets out to avoid the uncomfortable feelings of sitting there and not knowing anyone or people not coming and talking to them. That shows how brave you are to stick around, instead of just heading for the door! Nobody likes to feel rejected, especially at church, its unfortunate that once people get comfortable at church and once they make their own friends and find their place and they aren't new anymore that they forget to keep a look out for those who need a friend. I'm so sorry you have been feeling invisible at church....I hope this helps! I am new to this site and I am not a moderator or anything, I just wanted to be of encouragement to you... I hope things get better for you! God bless you! Flower Power

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Re: I feel invisible in church??

Post by Dove-Solutions on Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:23 am

I was just going to say what Alexis said about heading up your own group. I also agree with Lola and Cholette too. There is a purpose for this season in your life right now. Seek God for the answer but be involved. Getting involved is a great way to get to know people. Do it because you love the Lord, and in so doing you will meet others.

Love in Jesus,

Connie


~Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Himand He will direct your path.~ Proverbs 3:5-6

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Re: I feel invisible in church??

Post by Delightful soul on Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:16 am

Hey things have been going great actually. I ended up in singing in the worship team twice in a row and now am on their roster.....

Only thing is is I have just started a course and have been sick for the past decade and I get tired and stressed so easily. Please pray for me guys as today I fell asleep from lunch time to evening as the past two days (and couple of weeks really) I ran myself ragged.

I don't seem to be able to handle pressures of life as much, I think I need to ease myself into things.....

but overall am really excited about all that has been happening. I have even given some encouraging words in church and feel that God is connecting me to others who really need encouragement. I am thinking of just inviting the people I have just met to the beach or coffee, doing simple things together to just hang out and do stuff friends do......

there are so many 'functions' and organised events with churches these days, I think people forget to just hang out and be friends......I'd like to have my own place again soon and have BBQs at my house one day, small dream I know and nothing majorly eventful, but building relationships is what its about I believe.


Thanks guys for all your support!

happy dance

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