This may be an off the wall question but do any members attend different churches than their spouse?
My wife and I have attended the same non-denominational church for 30 years. Over the past few years I have become disenchanted with our church and would like to look for another church. My reason for leaving is simply I am not growing spiritually. God’s Word is being taught but it is more milk than meat. I am certain that my wife would not want to leave. We discussed leaving (my idea) years ago and I realized that she would not leave this church ; if I pushed the issue friction within our marriage would result.
I love the membership and the pastors and would miss them if I leave, but I am drying up Spiritually. My immediate thought would be to look for another church and attended it by myself. I hate this concept, a man and wife should worship side by side. I will pray about leaving and discuss this with my wife.
With the recommendation of talking to your pastor, I highly recommend that you do NOT go and say, “Your messages aren’t feeding me.” or “I am not growing from your messages.” You could go and say, “I am looking for more to help me grow than just a Sunday morning sermon, what else does the church provide? Or, what would you recommend?”
In 25 years, the vast majority of times, if not all, that reveals more about the heart of the individual than bad preaching. Growth falls on us as individuals. For anyone who feels this way, I recommend a heart check and to ask yourself a few questions, before burdening or complaining to your pastor….. Many churches depend on small groups to take people deeper, are you a part of one? If one group wasn’t a fit, have you tried another? Are you studying your Bible daily, whether in an organized way, with a group, or on your own? How’s your prayer life?
Ultimately the Holy Spirit is our Teacher, and He can use anything, and anyone, to teach us. And when it is actually the Word of God being used, and one isn’t growing…. well, we know it’s not because the Holy Spirit decided to go AWOL as God’s word is taught or studied, so where does the fault of the “deafness” fall?
Stepping off my soap box, as a pastor’s wife, who has heard this excuse more that I can count. 😉
Do they provide any kind of study group you could join? What about listening to other teachings/preaching online? Or, if God is truly prompting you away, He could be working on your wife’s heart as well, you should not assume things of her and talk to her about it.
For 6 weeks, I attended a different church, but there were a couple of times my husband joined me, since it was on a Saturday night, and he is friends with that pastor. As a burned out pastor’s wife… 🎶 Sometimes you wanna go, where nobody knows your name 🎶 😉
Just my thoughts off the cuff with the intent to encourage you to press on with your church. Remember the context of family ministry in the New Testament is that of husbands and wives that worship together.
Have you looked deeply into what kind of learner that you are? Is your best learning style by doing, by simply listening, does it require illustrations? Do you learn by reading and studying in the depth of language and exposition from God’s word? What are your favorite subjects and growth areas? What does this pastor of yours do that is effective for you? Have you prayed for him in these areas to be more effective for your type of learning in the church? Do you pray for his weaknesses on teaching? Do you pray for his success? Would you consider investing in his studies? Does he own LOGOS software? An investment like that might cost $3,000. It could really change his preaching for the greater.
Graypoet, please accept this advice as encouragement. Take some time to explore why you believe the way you do about the impact of the sermons in your church and on your life. Here’s one of many articles regarding the issue of “Not being fed.”
Then, perhaps your pastor’s sermons will begin to feed you more as the Holy Spirit grows you spiritually.
This question represents a growing issue in churches. So many churches have dropped Sunday School and Evening Services. The typical Sunday AM service is more about the music than it is about the preaching. As one church advertises, “Come for the music and stay for the preaching.” The Bible always puts the emphasis on the preaching and teaching of God’s word. (1Cor. 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.)
I believe this brother when he says that the preaching is “milk” and not meat. It’s becoming he norm. So many preachers are following the “Seeker Sensitive” model which is contrary to God’s word (Rom 3:11 – “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.) While churches must be evangelistic, you can’t neglect the saints. They need to be edified.” (Act 9:31 – “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.”)
I would definitely meet with that Pastor and lovingly tell him your concerns. It’s never right to just walk away without giving the Pastor a chance to respond. He’s feeding milk to starving Christians. His job is to “feed the church” (Acts 20:28 – “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” If he is wise, he will accept the loving criticism and change his preaching. If not, that’s God’s answer on whether or not you should find a church where the Pastor does feed them God’s word.
Thank all of you for the advice offered to my question. After posting this question I took off on a solo 18 mile bike ride. During this time I prayerfully reflected on this issue and came to several conclusions which align with some of the advice offered to me by several of you.
1- I will continue attending our church with my wife, going into each service expecting to hear from God via the pastoral staff and praise leaders.
2- I will spend more time reading God’s Word and reading books on Christian growth.
Thank You All! – Graypoet
I realize this question is pretty much answered and over, but I have a slightly different story to share. DH and I both grew up in church, but not the same one, so when we became engaged we knew we needed to choose one. Both of us loved our own church so much that neither of us could imagine leaving it. We even went so far as to consider choosing a whole new church to be “fair”, but that felt silly. For the year we were engaged we alternated which church we went to, but always went together. We both agreed either one would be a good choice and there was no real deciding factor. It was agonizing and eventually DH just chose to selflessly sacrifice his own wishes for me and we have attended “my” church ever since. (His one hold-out is to retain his official membership at his home church. He gives himself in every other way to “our” church, but not on paper.)
Interestingly, there are two other couples who got married within a couple years of us who had the exact same problem. One couple chose to attend church separately, the other chose to alternate. BOTH couples eventually (just in the last five years) decided it was necessary for the spiritual health of their family that they choose one. One couple chose “us” the other chose the other church.
I share this just to show that situations often push couples in different directions when it comes to church, but I think worshiping together brings us closer to spiritual health and worshiping apart takes us farther away.
Best wishes, Graypoet!
P.S. I actually see this situation as a good “problem”; it means at least three kids in one youth group chose Christian spouses with strong ties to their childhood church, so it seems like my church was doing something right back then. 😉
I think your decision is Spirit led, Graypoet.
I think I’m quite a bit younger than you, and I also was feeling like I was at a spiritual standstill. I talked to a couple people about it. The conclusion was that I needed to really start reading and studying the Bible and be consistant. I have made myself accountable to a couple people, one of which is a friend who felt like I did. We check up on each other, and yes, we made check lists to be sure and get it done. Its also nice if there are older, more experienced Christians, to be mentors for some of us who might need/like it. (Maybe you could be that person for someone else?)
As for sermons, our pastor’s sermons are great. We also know though, that he is preaching to a crowd of all ages. They need to be understandable to children, to the youth, and food for the older ones. There was a time, with a different pastor, that it seemed he talked a lot on looking for the problems, figuring out the problem, etc. We ended up listening to other sermons elsewhere, inbetween, as looking back now, we felt spiritually hungry, and we didn’t hear much on actually living a Christian life. Its not that way anymore and we never listen elsewhere, anymore either.
Anyways, I wish you well in your decisions.
Have you considered discussing this with your pastors? Not necessarily the idea of you and your wife attending separate churches, but about the fact that you are concerned about your lack of growth. Being in a healthy church, in my opinion, is essential to the Christian life. I think having a conversation with the pastors would be my first step. Are they approachable?
In my mind, attending separate churches would not be an option. How can I protect my family from bad teachings if I have no idea what is being taught?
Talk to the pastor and your wife about your concerns and what you’re feeling. My biggest concern would be spiritual leadership in the home and what is the best way to serve your wife, attending together or someplace else for a season? In the long run, I believe it’s healthier to be able to attend, be involved in a small group and the potential to serve together.
Are you regularly serving in your current church? Are you in a small group together? Are you involved in ministry and helping disciple younger Christians in need of mentors and mature spiritual influence? All churches could use that.