Friday, April 20, 2012

Tough in the Tunnels

When we get lonely and are craving community all sorts of things that would normally not be even remotely interesting suddenly seem like our light at the end of the tunnel.  I know this because I’m in a pretty lonely place right now in terms of church life.  The lack of shared life is evident in the lack of what I share on the blog.  I’m sorry about that.  Often, I sit down to write and I just can’t.  I’m like “open a vein already and just let it spill” but nothing comes.  I guess in a minor way I share in my daughters suffering, full of things to say but cannot find my voice to say them.


I didn’t begin writing this to throw a pity party.

I’ve just been thinking about how attractive “going back to church” might be.  I want so badly to be a part of a community of believers.  I want to have brothers and sisters to pour myself into and to be ministered to by them.  I thought about attending some worship services, church shopping, and even going to an accountability community group.  The problem is that my knowledge from experiencing these things gets in the way.  From what I know about these forms of gathering, I will not find what I’m looking for.  What I will find is a bunch of people busy doing things to build community with one another but to busy to actually have relationships.

I’m not interested…well…I am kinda interested…I mean, something is better than nothing, right?

[sigh]  I don’t know what to do.  The two groups of believers I am most interested in sharing life with both have a leader among them that doesn’t want me around.  That makes things pretty tough.  The shared life experiences I’ve had in the last couple months or so have been so sporadic that they aren’t even week to week let alone day by day.  The truth of how much we need each other and how important community is for the Body of Christ has been made very real to me through experience.  I thank God that Christ Jesus never leaves us or forsakes us.


No doubt, during this time God has been near and revealing Himself to us in ways that are nothing short of miraculous.  His mercies are never failing and His faithfulness continues.  This I also know from experience.  I guess we all go through seasons and all seasons have their goal and purpose.  I’m just anxious for this season to be over.  This hallway between one door closing and another opening seems to go on for miles.

So much for not throwing a pity party.  Maybe the veins are finally opening.


  1. Keep praying. God is leading you even if the picture of wear to go isn't clear yet. He will reveal what He wants for you and the family. Remember, there is no perfect church or place to goon earth. You will not find that intill Christ comes to take us home. Have to take the good with the bad and build from it.

    1. Thanks Jon.

      The toughest part is finding people who want to build up one another and not just join together to build something else. Perfection is not what I'm seeking. What I'm looking for is a common vision of seeing Christ magnified in a family of faith that is learning to live by His indwelling life together.

      I've been thinking about visiting with you all sometime soon as I've heard good things. You'll have to remind me where it is you are gathering.

  2. Ill be praying for you and the family. Call me if u need anything

  3. Bobby. There is a tunnel just like yours I am sitting in here in Louisville, KY.

    I too am experience the same feelings. For the past couple years, I have yearned for community, but definitley not of the ones my past experiences already knows as a bunch of BS and a waste of time.

    In all of the groups I have been a part of, either in church, small groups, Sunday school, house church, or whatever.. it all ends up the same. By "same" I mean surface living.. and you never get to know each other's hearts, and you know what is in all our hearts..yep, Christ. He seems absent in any group I have been in. We talk about him, but without us exposing our insides and showing everyone how messed up we all really are and growing together as One.. He remains absent, because it is the Body working together where He is revealed. (I know He is always there, but you know what I mean)

    Sometimes I even wonder if it is me? I push to dig deeper and seem to get shoved away a lot... and I am a easy going dude... seems odd to me.

    Later, Swanny

    1. I think that the more time we spend together the more we naturally begin to get deep with one another. I mean, isn't that what discipleship is all about? If only the body of Christ could see that all the time we spend together is vital for growing in Christ then we would be together more often and consequently grow up into Him. I know it is community that I'm longing for but it is only a means to an end and that end it to see and to bee more like Jesus.

    2. Yep.. I like to think of Him as the magnet that holds the entire universe together, and if Christ can do that, He can hold us together.

      Later Bro...

  4. I'm right at ur backdoor in relation to what your hearts crying bro. May the Lord give us wisdom and confidence to take this next leap of faith!
    Tommy D. ur friend on FB.

  5. You may find others who want to experience the Lord in a deeper way at a bible study at a nearby church. You may find some who are dissatisfied with the religious system. It is a good opportunity to build relationships with nearby brothers and sisters in Christ. This is my experience at least :) Some will reject you, others will celebrate because they are hungry for more of Christ. May Christ in you reveal His House to the precious living stones around you.

    1. Peter,
      It's provident that you offer this exhortation because that is precisely how I am feeling led. Jon Jon (see above) is a local guy that I have known for a long time. We have watched one another grow in the Lord for years. Plans are being made for my family and I to join them soon.

  6. Bobby, I understanding that you are living not far from Eric Carpenter?
    If it be Father's will, you can go back into the system churches and shine Christ there. If effective there, you will most surely be rejected; possibly via persecution (as have many in silence).
    If I may, here is another story... In a certain urban area, I visited small gatherings. 3 of these were building relationships among and beyond the group; more than 12 house churches had leader problems (somebody who thinks the flock belongs in their own care). I knew by the Spirit to take a brother with me and be among those with problems. Seeing our faith, Father also sent His unseen forces in to take apart their structures & leadership folly; to begin setting them free. All that the 2 of us need do was together be led by God, so then the walls start falling down and many blessed. Not a picnic in the park, but rather an awesome victory of His --- if you got you're armor on. Christ cannot lose to organized religious disability.

    1. this comment has challenged me greatly. I have read it at least a dozen times over the last couple days. The influence of spiritual forces haven't been a part of my decision making process as I've thought about the steps to take. After reading this, I was reminded of the importance to stop and listen for guidance from the Spirit.

      Thank you.

  7. Ok, I just read this today, and maybe your new posts shed light on some changes since this was written...anyway, I just wanted to say that I know think I know what you guys must be going through.

    I have also been down a path that gave me a great yearning for fellowship in the organic expression of Jesus. All the time I knew in the back of my head that the reality of community on that level would not be anything like the "pie in the sky" that I was hoping for, yet I couldn't settle for anything less. I know He will lead you into it.

    And whether in or out of it, He is the hope, not the fellowship itself, so we can't lose.

    Of course, the fellowship of the saints is that of bearing your cross, and that of finding out very harshly that we are indeed not saints! :) Now I'm in the painful middle of learning about how much love I don't have for my brothers and sisters, how much I need to learn to live by His life within me, how much He loves us in definition of love that we can hardly humanly comprehend because it is soooo unlike our way of "love." I've often found myself thinking, "Wow! I don't want to be a Christian anymore!!! I love Jesus, but His people just drive me crazy." But that's clearly not His love, because His people are part of Him.

    It's a slow process of learning to grow in grace, and wow, growing together is even slower, because you're never all on the same page at the same time.

    I said all that to say something I'm sure you know, but that I learned more clearly lately, it isn't ever just like we think it will be.

    Well, I pray you can enjoy the interim resting in His peace. And keep your eye out, He may lead you into seasons of sweet fellowship with just one or two friends too: "He makes me lie down in green pastures. He restoreth my soul."


As in a biblical church gathering, my word is not complete or final. Participation is allowed, encouraged and expected. Please, don't leave without adding something.