I took Benny to a VBS today - I'm so happy for him and the fun he will have. I happened to see a couple of people from my old church. One of them didn't stop to talk much with me. The other talked with me for awhile. I like those people. People who can still be my friend even though we don't go to the same church anymore.
On the fourth of July, we saw another couple. The man of this couple, greeted us warmly. The woman of the couple didn't. She wouldn't come over to say hello to me. This person was someone I considered a good friend of mine. I felt like I did a lot for her - encouraged her as a leader, promoted her as a speaker and babysat her children. When we left our old church, I emailed her a few times to check in, in order to say "Hey - I still want to be your friend." She dropped off the face of the earth. So, in a way, I wasn't surprised she didn't acknowlege me. It still kind of hurt, though. I didn't go to her on the fourth of July, because I'm tired of being hurt. If she hadn't spoken to me in over a year, why would she want to now? It really sucks.
The thing is, I still love the people I loved there. That isn't any different. The difference is, we're not in the mix of that church anymore. I continued to contact the people I knew most closely, but wasn't getting much in return. Once I stopped, there was nothing. It left me feeling that I didn't have any real friends in the first place. Owie, that hurts. Especially when I felt like I poured myself out in that place.
But, maybe that was the problem. I poured too much of myself out. This friend from the old church that I was talking with today, was telling me that people were asking her to do more volunteering for a new ministry starting up. She already has three kids, works part-time, serves in a MOPS ministry and works in the church nursery. I said, "Say No. Don't burnout like I did. Your first ministry is to your children."
Why does the leadership think it's OK to ask people to overextend themselves in the name of "service?" Why would they want people to sacrifice their health and their families? If they don't have enough warm bodies to run the programs they want to run, then maybe they shouldn't have those programs! Then again, maybe the leadership is doing the same thing, and it's a trickle-down effect. If so, I really worry about the future of this church. There's going to be some major leadership burnouts, that will probably include some big sins and a lot of hurt people.....It's scary and sad, because it is preventable. It will take some major paradigm shifts to change it..... or a major crisis. I'm praying it's not the crisis.....