Hey IVCF… I’m sorry.
I know it’s a bit late coming but hey- better late than never right? I wanted to apologize for something I’ve only just realized I was doing.
I was reading this article recently about the “5 things you shouldn’t say to pastors”, and I was thinking about my future in ministry and nodding at how some of these phrases can come across the wrong way… but also thinking back at how I’ve said some of those things to you.
At small group, on multiple occasions, feeling like I didn’t belong and wasn’t getting anything from the experience… I would confide in private to my small group leaders, and only feel like I wasn’t being listened to when they didn’t take it well. The thing is, I’m a cradle-born Christian, now a 4th year theology student, and actually older than (I think) everybody who was in my group- so shouldn’t I be able to stand on my own a little bit? It’s kind of like saying to a pastor: “I’m not being fed [spiritually]”. By the time you’ve gotten to a stage where you would say this, you shouldn’t have to be spoon-fed spirituality anymore. Just like how every church isn’t a perfect fit, not every bible study is either- and I’m acknowledging now that I could have put more effort into the relationship. So I apologize, I was under a lot of stress last year and I didn’t put what was important first. I’m not a newborn Christian, I am hungry- and a small group may “cook the food” but I don’t need to be spoon-fed, I can feed myself.
Another phrase on that list was “I don’t feel connected”… and while I was afraid of connection, I knew it was there. So I’m sorry for not trusting the connection that God placed between us.
“You know what you should do…”… Well Fiona, you’re right. Maybe it should be more like “you know what I should try”. I wanted to introduce new things but was told that I would just meet a bolted shut door, so I didn’t try– and then when I finally did say something, I was told other people had had the same idea in the past, but nobody had ever put any effort into trying. So I’m sorry for falling into the same pattern as all those before me… and not trying.
“I’m church shopping”. While this doesn’t directly apply to IVCF… it applies to a church I came to be connected with through IVCF. I wasn’t church shopping, I was just dipping my toe in the water to see if it was warm- I wasn’t interested in going to any other church- and I certainly wasn’t trying it on like a pair of jeans– I saw that it was a great community and one that I could get on board with- but for some reason (probably the whole trust issue thing again- but I can’t say for sure) I was reluctant to jump in the water. Or if the shopping metaphor really must be used… I was reluctant to actually make the purchase- even though those jeans fit me- not perfect, but as well as you could hope for.
So for all of that, harboring negative feelings, and more. I’m sorry- I’ll try to be better in the future, although we only have a few months left together. Please forgive me