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Reform Magazine | December 5, 2023

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Commitment-Phobe: Break from church

Commitment-Phobe: Break from church

A break from church raises tricky questions

Late last year, I had a work opportunity that took me away from home for two months. It was challenging for both my family and me, but also very rewarding. I relished the chance to rediscover my identity outside of mother and wife and also apart from church. Church life had become all-consuming to me – my every thought was about the wellbeing of my small group or the need for the right songs for the service on a Sunday, the PCC, the latest all-age service, the actions for the action song. My husband grumbled that I had a job but it was unpaid. I thought I didn’t mind this, but I knew I was stressed out. I was struggling to say no because every invite to help or volunteer seemed to me to be the answer to making kingdom come and truly finding God, and if I said no, then maybe I didn’t want that badly enough.

When my temporary job started, I had to put all this on hold and my only concern became doing one job to the best of my ability, feeding myself, getting enough sleep and looking after myself. It was an absolute luxury! For the first time in so long, I was remembering little things about myself – taking the time to look attractive, reading books for pleasure and not for spiritual improvement, listening to secular music of all kinds. And there was the absolute pleasure of hanging out with people who did not have any particular religious affiliation or faith but were open-minded about mine.

My world was enriched through conversation with these people. No longer was the main topic of conversation God, faith struggles and what to pray about. Now we were talking about Brexit, the plight of refugees, civil wars across the world, social and sexual politics – all the topics that rarely came up in my church life. I was once again part of the secular world and I loved every minute of it – from heartfelt stories of hope to dirty jokes…

Commitment-Phobe is a Christian

This is an extract from an article that was published in the February 2019 edition of  Reform

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