I am a child of God, not perfect, humbled and knowing his grace and mercy carries me at all times. I don’t normally talk about church issues, but sometimes you must share to give people an understanding of certain situations and to help in making a decision.
I was very involved with my church before I moved to St Louis in 2010. I was President of the choir, which gave me the responsibility of the day to day activities of the choir. We had a large congregation, nice new church and I was very happy to serve. We had one mass choir and there was a choir for the children. I was apprehensive but eager to start my new position, wanting to do a good job and impress my Pastor, who also happened to be a good friend of mine from high school. To this day, I prefer not to be personal friends with my Pastor, I want to get to know him like everyone else in the church.
Working with “church folk” can be one of the greatest challenges you could ever face. My Pastor wanted a very professional running church, which was a great expectation to have. He would say all the time that the church should be run like a corporation, requiring us to take leadership classes that would take up your whole weekend. Sometimes, I would be at the church almost everyday except Monday, the one day the church was closed. Mind you, I was recently divorced and my children were much younger. My brother lived with me at the time, so they were home with him while I was at the church. The choir had to attend weekly rehearsals, sing at bible study, workshops, and other activities throughout the year, which I had to help organize and prepare for. Now as a leader, it was my responsibility to delegate. I tried, I really did but people would remind me that they had jobs, kids and a life. I couldn’t disagree with that and so the responsibility was on me, the other officers and the choir director most of the time.
This is my current church, Shalom Church City of Peace, St Louis, MO.
I served in this capacity for a total of four years, the first two as Vice-President and then as President. Just like the Presidents before me, I endured gossip, almost being cursed out, being reprimanded for something a choir member wore or didn’t wear to cover up and countless other things. I would have to pray every Sunday morning asking God to give me the strength to endure what I’ve been assigned to do.
I’ve belonged to my new church for two years. I haven’t been active any any church activities, I admit I wasn’t ready for the work nor the drama associated with it. The last two weeks brought back memories for me at my new church. My daughter portrayed Michelle Obama in the Black History program at church and I volunteered to help and buy snacks. The associate minister asked if I would buy the 50 count box of Lays potato chips that they sell at Sam’s Club. I agreed, he asked me to get four boxes and he would reimburse me for two. Do you know those chips are $11.98 a box? Guess what? The young minister gave me a $20 dollar bill and said, I’ll get you tomorrow. Unfortunately, he never got a chance to pay me and I didn’t bring it up. Two women actually had an exchange of words over a scene in the program at rehearsal the day before the program and don’t you know the next day when we were preparing for the program, I heard one of the ladies still talking about it?
I miss participating in ministries at church and I know I need to be participating in something. I am currently looking at the different ministries that the church offers and trying to find one that is a good fit for me. Yes, I’m praying about it too. The girls want to sing in the choir, I’ll leave the singing to them this time. I know people are bringing who they are, faults and all and I’m forgiving and non judgmental (most of the time), I just don’t want to spread myself so thin that I’m burned out and don’t want to participate at all. I want to be prepared for “church folk” because if you aren’t strong enough, you will allow them to stop you from not serving and being in fellowship with people at church. We are in control of that, not other people. You also never know when people look at you that they see God in you, so you always want to take yourself out of the situation and attitudes when serving God. It’s hard I know, but it’s necessary. Tell me, do you all participate in church activities and how do you handle “church folk”?