Hurt and betrayed

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Sopranette, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. Sopranette

    Sopranette
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    What do you do when you church "family" has let you down, big time? Both positive and negative comments are greatly appreciated!

    This all started when I had asked if there was more I could do for the church. A new family had joined the church asking for our approval, to which we responded, "AMEN!) But over the months I began to notice that this family was taking over; Singing? They were there! Charity work! They were there! Witnessing? Again... In fact, every aspect of church activities, they were the ones pulling the strings! All good things for the Glory of our Lord, definitely! Now, they are kind, good people, and I feel bad even feeling this resentment, but LEAVE SOME FOR THE REST OF US will you! The one girl and her mother were singing the same type of sugary psalms every Sunday. As some of you know, singing for the Lord is my passion, and I am committed to practice, plus I love our church and it's people, so this was very disheartening. I decided to ask our Pastor what I could do to help. I was asked to help with the children's church (Run by guess who), which is in a seperate building during regular adult service. (Oh! And sometimes she was a "no show", being busy with other projects not letting anyone know she wouldn't be there, and leaving the rest of us to put something together last minute.) That's fine, except I never got a break from it. Children's service is basically ten minutes of bible study, then snacks, and plenty of games, including dodgeball. Someone please tell me what dodgeball has to do with following Jesus's teachings! Anyway, so be it. I was granted the privilage of singing almost rarely, mostly when there was a visiting Pastor, or a national holiday, then left to go back to children's church in the back building. After a while, I became sad. I wanted to sing more, and I wanted to hear the adult service. I needed that, to hear the message as an adult with adults. Also, I have several small children of my own, and am a stay at home mom, so I would've liked a break for just a little while on Sundays. The only alternative was to leave my kids in a back room, no bible study, not even any toys (they began to complain about this to me). I told this to our Pastor. He said it was interesting. I suggested rotating the adults in children's church, which did not seem unreasonable.
    I waited a month for a response. There was none.
    I called again. Angry this time (Lord forgive me), and waited. Still, no response.
    I just feel so hurt and betrayed. Others have told me that's the way church is run, they use you when they need you, otherwise they forget all about you. I feel so bitter, it's been a month since we've attended church. I'm afraid, if we join another church, the same thing will happen again, because I don't want to just sit there like a warm body. I want to sing. A gift shouldn't just be squandered, right?
    What do I do next? Will every church we go to be the same, all politics and no, well...uh..."soul"? I realize I don't have the time to do as much work as I'd like as other members do. I've cooked, cleaned, etc., and it's never enough. It's like a Catholic thing now, doing good things for better graces. I realize I don't have many talents, just one, really, so am I less valuable in the churches eyes? I'm not rich, or well known, but this is the one thing I can do, so why not let me?

    Hurt and confused,

    Sopranette
     
  2. Sopranette

    Sopranette
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    Anyone need?

    Anyone need a 2-3 octave singer for their churck in the NC area? Yeah, that'lll happen, but maybe....?
     
  3. abcgrad94

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    They say the hardest instrument to play is "second fiddle."

    Sweetie, you can always use your singing gift to glorify God, but remember, that doesn't mean you have to do it in front of other people. God is praised whether you're singing in the shower or to your little ones when you tuck them in at night. He is praised when you hum a godly tune while shopping at the grocery, driving down the highway, or meditating on a Psalm.

    You mentioned being a mother to your little ones. I know you want to serve at church, but you will have many years to do more serving after they are grown and gone. You will only have them a short time. I have been where you are. I lugged a tiny baby to choir practice and play practice and Bible study, all the while leaving dirty dishes in the sink and coming home to complain and fuss at my kids and husband.

    Thankfully, God showed me he wanted me to focus more on my home and less on what made me feel appreciated and noticed. Trust me, changing dirty diapers and cleaning up spilled milk is not a bit glamorous compared to recieving compliments for being a servant at church! But the eternal rewards are well worth staying in the background for a while.

    Keep praying a be patient. Your time will come.:thumbs:
     
  4. tinytim

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    Good wisdom, ABC...

    Your husband has taught you well!!! lol
     
  5. Scarlett O.

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    Hi Sopranette-

    I daresay that there a alot of people on the BB who at some point in their Christian walk have felt underappreciated. When I read your post, I could almost "hear" the collective voices of a lot of wise people here who voices I respect very much whispering the same thing. :saint:

    May I just give a gut reaction to some things you have said?

    Perhaps you have asked the wrong question. The first church, in Acts chapter 2, did not seem to be about the individual, but the collective. The bible says they did things together. Praying, reading the bible, pooling their resources, attending church....etc.

    Maybe instead of asking "How can I fit my singing into this church", you could ask, "Where do I see God at work in this church and let me join the work already done there."

    Give it a little perspective.

    Leave some what?

    Sopranette, if the people of the BB are honest with you, then many should come forward and tell you that they have felt this exact same feeling before. I hope some do come and tell you this.

    Dear sister, I say this from experience....what you describe here sounds like petty jealousy. I been guilty myself of feeling it in my Christian walk. It isn't something that is attractive to look it or read about in other Christians. And we are all guilty of it from time to time.

    It's good to have a passion for the Lord and a commitment to Him.

    However, your sentence reads that singing is your passion and that you are committed to practice.

    Perhaps you should train your mind to say it this way. "The Lord is my passion and I am committed to Him. I love our church and it's people and I have a desire to sing God's praises."

    Again, it's the perspective from which a Christian views his or her gifts.

    I'm not telling you anything that I haven't experienced myself.

    You sound unhappy with children's church. You don't have to take on a responsibility at church if God is not calling you to it. Some of the most unhappiest people at church are the ones who are working in areas where God has not called them. They took the jobs because someone told them or asked them too and they never prayed about or sought God's will.

    Been there....done that.....didn't even get a tee-shirt for it. :BangHead:

    Sopranette, I've been where you. That's the only reason I dare say this to you.

    You have the privilege of singing praises to God anytime....anywhere. Just open your mouth.

    If you are unhappy with your church and have stopped attending there because they don't let you sing enough, then your priorities need some adjusting.

    I've had to yank myself up by the spiritual bootstraps many times and remind myself that neither life nor the church is about me.

    Yes....as I said, I've been there, too.

    Flee these people! They are telling you what you want to hear and they remind of Job's "friends" trying to "encourage" him.

    If your personal mindset does not change, then you are right. It will be the same exact thing anywhere you go. You will be frustated that they are not asking you to sing and you will feel envy towards those who are asked to lead in various ways.

    What's next?
    • Don't seek approval from anyone in your church.
    • Don't place your spiritual worth to the Lord in your singing.
    • Don't confuse spiritual gifts and talents with singing.
    • Do sing whenever you feel prompted by the Lord. He will tell you when He is ready for that special communion between you and He with your singing voice. It could be anywhere.
    • Do go back to church.
    • Do ask God to help you love those with whom you are having bad feelings toward. Have you ever thought that your feelings of jealousy and resentment are preventing the Spirit of God from using your singing ability? Sure, someone may ask you to sing a solo in church, but woudn't you be standing there with the same baggage trapped on you shoulders that you do now?
    Sopranette - I pray that you will seek God on this one and follow His lead. Not follow His lead by singing per se........just follow His lead, period.

    Your hurting is genuine.....so is your resentment. Ask God to heal you of the resentment and maybe you will be surprised that the hurt will go away, too.
     
    #5 Scarlett O., Jun 8, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2007
  6. Not_hard_to_find

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    Two such families joined our church within the last year. In one the husband has a rich tenor voice that encouraged a soprano to volunteer to sing with him and enriched our services with new styles of the Gospel message. His thirteen year old home schooled daughter brought Greek into our Sunday School class, offering her teacher the opportunity to learn from her student to enrich the lessons. We even gained two pianists for backup.

    The second family wasn't as musically inclined -- instead the father was a lay preacher who offered the pastor some respite and the congregation some Biblical insights.

    Both families witness, visit, teach, lead, sing -- share all aspects of their Christian lives and have helped our congregation grow in size as well as closeness in worship.

    Our prayers include gratefulness for their sharing their gifts and sharing the love of our Lord.

    May God bless your work and remove the resentment you feel. May His will be evident in our lives.
     
  7. Tom Butler

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    Dr. Peter Masters, long-time pastor at Metropolitan Tabernacle (Spurgeon's) in London, wrote a book on worship. Here's a paragraph that jumped out at me in considering Sopranette's situation:
    Christians who have begun to savour new worship sometimes ask — ‘But what shall we do with our gifts if we cannot express them in worship?’ Here is the heart of the matter. Worship is not the exercise of our gifts, but the exercise of our hearts and minds. For many people this is the lost genius of worship, the principle which has disappeared from sight — that worship is not the presentation to God of skill or beauty, or of personal gifts, but the communication of the soul with God, through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ alone, and by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. Worship is not an aesthetic activity. Incidentally, the desire to ‘express our gifts’ in worship opens the door to elitism, because not many people have musical gifts to display.


    Sopranette, as a singer I understand your feelings. I've had them. I have a pretty good-size ego, and it's been bruised more than a few times. But I have to say that there's something about your pity party that nags at me. I guess I'm just an insensitive clod, but I think you need to get over it.
     
  8. Sopranette

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    Thank you, all, for your "outsider" perspective on the matter. Maybe I am resentful. But I also do feel that my concerns were entirely ignored by our Pastor. That was shocking to me. Maybe he disliked me the whole time and this was the way he could minimize seeing me! Ouch! Well, I won't get over it (or myself as Tom put it), but I will continue to attend services. I need that, as does my family. I won't let this church and its treatment of me stop that. When his children's church, his singers, his volunteers have all left, what will he do then? I'll be long gone.
     
  9. Salty

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    My main concern is about playing dodge ball and other games during childrens church.
    IMHO the purpose of childrens church should be to prepare the children for "adult church" I understand that youngsters do have a "wiggle' problem, but only 10 minutes of Bible study?

    Otherwise, I trust you will go in the path the Lord leads you to serve

    Salty
     
  10. abcgrad94

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    Sopranette, I'm concerned about your attitude. It's not your pastor's children's church or singers or volunteers. They belong to the Lord. It's not about you or them, it's about God. If you refuse to serve in any capacity as a way to "get back" at your pastor, you are cutting off your nose to spite your face, so to speak.

    I'm sorry you feel your pastor ignored your concerns. Maybe he sees something in you that you haven't yet discovered about yourself. Maybe it is pride. I don't wish to be unkind in any way, but most pastors would rather have someone serve with a humble attitude than one who tries to push their way or control things.
     
  11. pocadots1990

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    Sopranette,

    My question to you would be "Why do you want to sing?" Is it because you are better than the other people? I am not trying to be unkind when I say that.

    I have been through similar situations myself. I was at a church one time and was considered the back up choir director. Well, someone else came to the church (who was raised at the church) experienced with music. Whenever the choir director had to leave, he would often have the other person lead the choir practice and not me. I was resentful, even though no one else new it (besides my wife). Then during a tent revival, the regular pianist was not there so he asked someone else to play and not me. In both instances, my PRIDE got the best of me.

    Then one day, I was asked to cut the grass at the church. I told him yes and that was the best job to have. I really enjoyed that. While on the tractor, I had a lot of time talking with God. It was there that God really got a hold of my heart to see that every job we do in the church should be done for the Glory of God. My attitude with mowing was (the Pastor encouraged me in this as well) if the lawn looks nice, then that could be a piece of the puzzle to having someone get saved. This might sound petty, but people to look at how you care for the church whether they attend or not.

    Be faithful in small things. Every position is just as important in the sight of God.

    :godisgood:
     
  12. John R

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    God what do you want me to do?

    The problem you describe is one that is becoming a problem in alot of Churchs. Let Joe do it and I'll warm this pew almost every Sunday. It seems like the Good Lord has given us doers. Those who seem to be able to do what ever needs done. And if these doingers are doing it for the right reasons, to Glorify God, not for self, should we feel ill will toward them? I'd love to be the person who can get up and preach a life changing sermon that could be heard all over the world but right now I'm the Church janitor. And I think God feels I make a better janitor than a Preacher.

    If you haven't been to church for a month and no one has been in touch to see whats wrong, shame on them. Maybe you have been in the wrong Church. When Christ told us to love one another, he was talking to believers. I fail to see the love.

    Don't giveup, please. I'm sure God has a place for you and your gifts.
    I'd like to encourage you and have the right words to make every thing Ok, but I'll just have to let God take over, He always has the right Words.

    What ever do do don't quit going to a church someplace. I did and was I a sad excuse for a Christain for many years until God lead me back. "Do not forsake gathering yourselfs together."
     
  13. palagislandgirl

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    Sopranette:
    As many have said-we all have been hurt. You can change things; go back to church and pray about where you can work in areas where God needs you. I too am concerned about children's church playing dodgeball. Don't get me started on that soapbox.
    Anyway, please go back to church. Look for some little something that you can do. If you go back to working in children's church look for the opportunity to change the games that are played; work in some worship songs with the kids; something along that line.
    :godisgood:
     
  14. HankD

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    Who knows Sopranette, this event and your reaction to it may be the very thing God is most interested in for you and your sanctification.

    Remember Jesus and how He yielded to the will of the Father and the humiliation and shame of the cross.

    Could be He is more interested (humanly speaking) at the moment in the devopment of your soul and character than the receiving of your service.

    ...and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

    HankD​
     
  15. Scarlett O.

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    Hi again, Sopranette -

    I don't think that I have ever told anyone to "meditate" over anything except God's Words, but....

    ....I have been reading through everyone's posts here and I must say that you have received excellent and Godly counsel from everyone. Each person has counseled you from a different angle and I would suggest that you possibly print this thread and read over it from time to time.

    With all of the "debate" that there is on the BB, this is one of the most spiritually intelligent threads that I've seen in a long time.

    Take everyone's counsel to heart.
     
  16. JDale

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    Hi Sopranette:

    I live in SC now, but am originally from NC. What part of the state are you from?

    Allow me to tell you that, as a preacher for 20 years, I have faced and been through many of the same things you have -- and worse. Not every church is like that -- or, at least not that bad -- but humans are still humans everywhere you go.

    I couldn't dispense advice not knowing you or your church better, but I can say that I understand your frustration, and I will be praying for you and your family. I'd be glad to hear from you regarding your concerns and burdens.

    Blessings,

    JDale
     
  17. JDale

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    A small addition Sopranette:

    Others have observed -- or at least expressed concern about -- your attitude in this whole situation. Frankly, I can understand bruised feelings on your part. I've been through things that broke my heart, which took me years to get over. That's part of being human, even when one is also a Christian.

    I am concerned at your description of yourself as "bitter." That is NOT healthy, physically or spiritually. It's also not good for your family. If they observe your bitterness toward people and/or the church, they will grow up inheriting and multiplying that bitterness.

    My suggestion is this: If you cannot be comfortable in that local fellowship, if you believe that you could serve God better and more effectively in another church, then by all means, go to another church. I understand that unity is important and that forgiveness and restorations are essential. I also know from hard experience that, when you are thrust into the presence of the very people who have hurt you day after day -- and they either have no clue or don't care what they've done -- you CANNOT heal. If that's the case, go to another church, spend some time HEALING (NOT involving yourself immediately in ministry) and after a time you'll get your spiritual direction and emotional stability back about you. THEN, God can lead you to sing and minister in a healthy way to the Body, and begin to restore the broken or strained relationships from your past church experiences.

    ANd to HIM belongs all the glory.

    JDale
     
  18. IronWill

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    To give another perspective on this matter, I'll chime in. While Sopranette may indeed have some bruised feelings, I think that her pastor is being irresponsible here. For one thing, Sopranette wants to be able to have some Sundays where she can hear the "adult service" rather than spend all her time in children's church. And her pastor has brushed off her concerns. Her pastor has put somebody(the other woman) in charge of "children's church" who isn't doing her duty and has plopped it into everybody else's lap. The pastor here doesn't seem to care about this situation at all.

    I've personally been in this type of situation before, where I've had many responsibilities and little time to actually hear the service. And one needs to be able to have chances to hear the service rather than spend all their time in children's church or wherever.

    I'd suggest sitting down with the pastor, and letting him know that you need to have Sunday's where you can go to the adult service, and that there needs to be a rotation among the people who lead children's church. It's really not that difficult to accomplish that much. And let him know that if he won't do that, then for your own spiritual health you're going to have to step down from working with children's church.
     
  19. drfuss

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    Years ago, I went through a very difficult time where I felt Christian friends had betrayed me. After about a month, I came across a poem that helped me. I posted it where I had to look at it daily. Here it is.

    IT MATTERS NOT

    It matters not if cherished friends
    On whom I leaned in vain
    Have wounded me by word and deed
    And left me with great pain.
    What matters is, can I forgive
    Again and yet again?
    It’s not have they been true, but Lord,
    Have I been true to them?

    Twill matter not when evening comes
    How rough the road I’ve trod
    If only I have walked with Him
    And led some soul to God.
    For when I wake to be like Him
    Who saved me by His grace
    Earth’s pain will vanish when I catch
    One glimpse of His dear face.

    -Author Unknown
     
  20. Sopranette

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    Thank you all so much for the insight. I have read and reread every post, and tried to read them with an open mind. We're going to attend another church, and give this other church a chance to change my mind, because, like I said, I feel hurt and distrustful. Maybe another church can heal that. Next time I'll do things differently.
    The reasons we only have soloists is because this Pastor never seemed to get around to forming a choir. He depends on people willing to sing.
    This family I talked about has a former Pastor (who never preaches anymore), a mother, and two just barely adult children. What happens when those kids marry and leave? I don't think he's thought about that.
    As for my attitude...it comes across as vain, or arrogance. But these traits, although wrong certainly, have helped me gain courage to push myself to do things I'd otherwise shy from. It takes ...um..."nerves"... to sing in front of strangers. If I did not have this attitude, I would have no drive at all.
    Also, this was not the first time he has been so rude to me, not by a long shot. There's really just so much I can take.
     

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