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The Seemingly Lonely Transition from Wordly to Godly

In America it is difficult to find a church that is not so superficial and seemingly fake in their 'welcoming new believers'.  They all have greeters at the doors to say hi.  They may help you find a place to sit.  They may have their uncomfortable 'turn to your neighbor and say hi' at the early part of the service.  but all of that is just routine.  At the end of the day, everyone does home, separate.  You may fill out a 'new visitor card' and get a phone call or email a few days later but that's it.  At the end of it all, the average church, expects the new believer to come charging in and make friends with everyone and not vice-versa. 

This was my experience at a lot of different churches from different back grounds.  No one went out of their loving way to reach out to me and get me involved in the body of Christ.  Later I attempted to help friends of mine.  I would call, email, and attend churches with them; I would introduce them to people in the church.  The sad part is; those people in those churches did not lovingly pursue them.  Their 'small groups' were in off season or full.  They would say "come join us Wednesday nights" but that was the extent of their invitation.  We were looking for true Christian brotherly family fellowship and all we got were business like invites to weekly scheduled meetings they called 'bible studies'.  I felt like were were given a number and asked to sit in line.  That was the extent of their help.

Eventually I found ONE fellowship group in the 4th largest city in America that took me in like family.  They reached out to me, invited me as a friend on non-event days.  I was a brother to them.  But I still see and hear about friends and family still struggling to find 'family' in the body of Christ.  That is shameful.  But my reason here is not the lack of true love in the church now but the period of time between turning your life over to Christ, being made new, and leaving the world behind; and finally being part of a church body.  There is a period of time that is frustrating and lonely.  I like to call it "The Lonely Transitional Period".

During this period new believers are excited for their new faith!  Then, they realize, their are alone in their excitement.  They left the world and lost the closeness with their worldly unbelieving friends or family and find themselves with no one close.  They attend churches and bible studies but even the church doesn't come in and swoop them up in their arms.  They feel alone.

The first obvious feeling is loneliness.  They have all these new feelings and emotions but no one tell express them to that would understand or care.  So they seek out the church.  But soon find that the majority of American Churches are popularity contests and cliques.  So they transition into the next period; frusteration.

The second feeling is frustration at the church.  They don't understand how believers are so superficial and cold.  They email, call, attend, and meet all kinds of people, yet none of them make any kind of effort to treat them like loving family.  As the frustration builds, they transition into the third period; Bitterness.

The third feeling is being bitter at the church.  Their frustration turns into an almost mutiny of the church itself.  But I think this is where The Holy Spirit brings us to so that we learn one of the most essential lessons about being a follower of Christ; Trust in the Lord.  From here people go one of three ways:  Give up on the faith, keep the faith but slip back into the worldly living, or become embolden in faith and trust the Lord; The Holy Spirit works in them and grants them a body of Christ to be adopted into.

Are these three periods expressed in scripture?  No.  The Holy Spirit will do as he wills, calling who is Called and added them to the church when ever he sees fit.  Does that make them incorrect? No.  'The Trinity' is not explicitly named, and the is "The Bible" is not either, yet, they are just as true.  I have witnessed and experienced these periods in my life and in the lives of people I have known.  Its a sad fact in the modern American church but at the same time God uses these sins to cause greater good; absolute trust in Him and His timing.

Those of you who currently feel Lonely, Frustrated, or bitter because of the lack of Church genuine loving outreach know and believe these 2 things:
  1. The Church is made up of sinful people who at times fail to love BUT God's love for you is infinate, eternal, and will never fail - Trust in HIM, not people.
  2. The Churches timing may seem off and too careless BUT God's timing for your is perfect.  He wants you to COMPLETELY trust Him and have faith in His timing for you. 
Don't let our corrupted feelings and emotions blind you from coming to the feet of Jesus first and foremost.  When you SEEK FIRST The kingdom of God, wait for His Will to be done, and Trust Him alone; you see God at work in you and around you.  The loneliness leaves.  Frustrations subside.  Bitterness is let go and you find exactly what you are looking for;  Christ Jesus.  Then, you are perfectly adopted into His family, and become part of His Body forever more. 

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