DoubtingTom wrote: ↑
05 Apr 2017, 09:20
I am starting this post as a plea for help in finding personal meaning in the church. For those who, like me, have lost faith in many of the literal aspects of the church, what gives meaning or significance to church attendance? How is the church helpful in your life? Right now I attend for marital harmony and out of a sense of obligation to fulfill my calling.
However, as my literal faith in the church collapses, the personal meaning for myself is also dissintegrating, and I would love to hear how those in the community continue to make it meaningful. I know there are many who maintain a firm belief in God and Jesus as Savior, but my faith in those concepts is also wavering and even though I have committed to my wife to continue to attend, I would love to find ways to make that attendance meaningful, and honestly, it's a struggle right now. Thanks.
(And if this has been discussed elsewhere, please let me know)
Obligation to family is a big one for me. Plus it seems to make my daughter and my wife happy, so I go for their sake.
I also find meaning in the fact that I teach the teacher's council. I have long believed the church experience to be among the most boring I have ever experienced in recent years, and as a professional educator it's even more difficult for me to tolerate the lame lessons, repetition, one-way communication we get at church all the time. So, to go in there and help fix the problem, and actually see some results from it, is rewarding.
So, is there some way you can contribute for its own sake? For me, helping church be less boring, in any context, is of value, so I find that motivating. Do you enjoy putting on social activities and helping people feel part of a community for its own sake? Find ways you can contribute that you find intrinsically motivating and then do that. And don't be afraid to say "no" to all the poorly thought out callings they may extend you. When they ask you to do something, think about the extent to which it makes you happy -- with happiness defined as coming from many different sources, not all selfish either. That has really helped me.
My last bit of advice is to minimize the church in your life if it's just not working. Don't cut it out entirely, but minimize your role in favor of other good things you do for your community or humankind. That has helped. The church footprint is weeny in my life now. I think about it maybe a couple hours a week when I'm preparing for teacher's council or dealing with issues that come up, and that's it. My life is now full of service I enjoy.
It's kind of like this. You have something you do that fills up all your free time. And you don't like it. So, you contain it to a much lesser part of your life, and fill up the balance with joy-inducing activities. All of a sudden that little bit of church in your life doesn't seem all that intolerable any longer....that's what has worked for me...
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD
"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD
The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."
My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576