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Reform Magazine | November 21, 2017

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Commitment-Phobe: Church stress

Commitment-Phobe: Church stress

Does church have to be so stressful?

I guess I named myself Commitment-Phobe for a reason. I have a restless soul. Having confirmed myself in the Anglican faith, I now want to try out faith at another church or denomination, or maybe even try faith without church.

We have just taken our family holiday, where I took time away from church but at the same time found my simple faith restored. Which makes me wonder if the way I do church is the problem.

Waiting to get on the plane to depart, I found myself sorting out a scheduling issue for the service directly after my return. I had explained that I could help, but only in a role that involved no prep, as my hands would be full looking after my daughter in the summer holidays. This message was ignored or missed, and I was put down to lead worship. I explained that I could not do it, but found myself feeling very guilty. All the people who would usually organise this were on holiday – and so was I, but I was dealing with it. I felt annoyed, like people just expected me to say yes and so didn’t bother to check with me anymore. My husband was annoyed too and felt that my goodwill was being taken advantage of.

With time, I have come to see that my inappropriate sense of responsibility, general inability to say no, and the disorganisation of my church leaders have culminated in my feeling the same level of anxiety around my volunteering work at church as I felt around difficult or stressful paid jobs in the past. All of this feels very unconnected to God or to doing what I would think of as God’s work …

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This is an extract from an article that was published in the October 2017 edition of  Reform

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