Here is a question I get often. I love his hunger and the openness of his question. I thought others might appreciate looking in on our exchange:
I recently graduated from college and started a teaching job at middle school near there. I am having a hard time right now, trying to figure out who I should be walking through life with right now. My closest friends have either graduated and moved away or are about to after this semester. I used to lead a college small group but I would feel awkward continuing going there. So I have been trying out a young adult group.
On top of the transition, I am just feeling resistant to being committed to my local church or really any local church. I’ve read “So You don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore,” “The Shack,” and listened to transitions and the Jesus Lens. I am wanting to be discipled, live life with a family of believers, grow in understanding of the Bible, be apart of furthering His kingdom, yet I am dissatisfied with the structured means by which the church is trying to accomplish those things. Anyway, just looking for any wisdom you have on next steps to finding people to grow in God with, while wrestling with this resistance toward church structure.
Follow him…. It’s the best counsel ever.
I don’t know what he has for you, where he can connect you with others on this journey, but he does. It may be through a structured congregation or it may not. But if you go to one, go for the relationships ,not the programs. The structure is only helpful to the degree that it helps sustain community. When it subverts it, ignore it. The connections you seek could also come outside of it in some unanticipated way. How are you going to know? Just go an an adventure with him. Wake up each day and ask him to lead you. Follow his nudges wherever that may take you.
Don’t overly spiritualize it. If it feels good in your heart to go to a fellowship, or get involved with a small group, do it. See if what you’re hungering for happens there. If not, see what else he might have before you. As you follow those nudges, love freely the people that cross your path, and follow up on any leads toward others who might be hungering for more of a family connection, it will eventually become clear how Father is tying you into his family. Don’t try to figure out a grand strategy, just follow his leading and eventually it will become apparent how you fit in his family.
But it takes time. So relax (as best you can) in the process as he works his glory in you.