Can You Grow in Church?

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"Can You Grow in Church?" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

"CAN YOU GROW IN CHURCH?"

Many people view leaving the church as a failure: either on the individual‚Äôs part or on the church‚Äôs part. 

Often it is not a failure on the part of the person who leaves. Let that be an encouragement to you if you have left.

It is possible to grow in church.

Some churches provide a safe space for people to grow into themselves at their own pace in their own way. These are rare.

Some churches promise a safe space for people to grow but place controls and limits on what that growth ought, must, and should look like. There are many of these.

Some churches say they will let you grow but only by following the strict guidelines they specify. These are the majority.

My experience and observation is that, in order to experience complete freedom to grow into ourselves, most of us had to leave the church.

Most people would prefer to stay because as they grow they may continue to enjoy the fellowship and support of the community, receive some spiritual direction on how to grow in a healthy manner, and learn how and experiment with how to use their personal growth to benefit the church as well as the broader human community and the world.

What has been your experience? 

Could you grow into yourself and stay?

Or, in order to grow into yourself, did you have to leave?

Maybe you are right at the brink of that decision.