As many of you have heard, recently Allison and I have decided to step away from Dialogue Church. I can only imagine the surprise and shock that many of you are or have experienced in hearing this news. Allison and I have said nothing but good things about Dialogue and encouraged others to ‘Join The Conversation’. While the spirit has lead us on a new journey leading us away from Dialogue, our thoughts and mindset on Dialogue remain the same. Dialogue was, and is, a place where you are family from the outset. It’s a home for the broken hearted, for the weary, for the peacemakers, for the dreamers. It’s a place the lost can be found; a place Christ is evident in every crack and crevice of Dialogue. All of these things made this decision that much harder. We were loved and accepted in that family, as we were. It did not matter how broken and battered, or how ugly our lives were. When we stepped through the doors on Sunday’s, we were loved, unconditionally and agenda free.
With that spoken, I’m certain you are wondering why have we decided to leave Dialogue. In a previous post I talked about the question, “How Do You Know What God Wants You To Do?”. That whole thought process has came into play while making this decision. (take a moment now and read that post if need be)
There were a couple reasons that lead us to this path. Firstly, one of the most important things in an individuals walk with Christ, is peer accountability. I fully believe in the power of fellowship and community. While we were experiencing community, we were both lacking that community and accountability from peers our own age. For Allison, she has a lot of friends that she works with, yet has became extremely disconnected from Christians her own age. While her friends that she works with love her, they also have different values and beliefs, which in return creates a unique type of accountability, which in some cases, is no accountability at all. What Allison needs, is an accountability from a female Christian her age, who is experiencing some of what she is experiencing, and is tempted by the things in which she is also tempted by. For me, I also need that accountability from an adult male my age, who is willing to dig deep in my life, and not be afraid to piss me off in order to get his point across.
In Allison and I’s current place in our lives, we have found that the only true accountability we have on a regular basis is from each other. While it is great to have a pure and true accountability within the relationship that we are journeying together, at this time, the accountability has been seeming to get lost by both parties, and has been perceived as more of a personal attack or an non supportive attitude. For the sake of the relationship, something had to change.
One of the largest reasons for both us, was the spiritual burn out that we were experiencing. Allison and I both are constantly busy. She has school, work, and three crazy roommates. I have lots of work, and more work, and many more hours of work. On top of that, our schedules have made it to where we only see each other two times a week. Totaling that with the amount of time that we had chosen to put into Dialogue, we had started to experience a burn out like we have never felt before. Everything was becoming routine, and “work”. The things that were enjoyable, were no longer enjoyable. The things that used to fill our hearts with joy or brokenness, were no longer joyful, or no longer breaking. We realized that this burn out was not necessarily from Dialogue, but from the constant pouring of ourselves into Dialogue “the church plant”. While the heart of who Allison and I are, is to give and to pour and to love; we realized that the heart of what we needed was to be given to, to be poured into, and to be loved. We had to make a decision in the question of, was it going to be possible to step away from Dialogue Church and just be an attender on Sunday mornings, while we had taken such an ownership in multiple ministries within Dialogue, and called them our own. That was the toughest decision of them all.
In the end, after much discussion and prayer, Allison and I decided that to fully focus on healing our spirit, to fully focus on rekindling and retorching our relationship with Christ, that it was only going to be possible if we stepped away from Dialogue. So here we are, our spiritual lives are on the big stage for all to see. They are battered and broken. They need mending and glued and healed in areas that we do not know how to do on our own. We have realized that too often we have tried consistently to fix them in that very way, on our own, and have done nothing but rise to the surface in more pain that what we were in before.
So from you, each reader.
Each brother and sister.
I ask that you join us in this new journey through prayer for our spirits. As we experience change and uncomfortable encounters, and a new way to worship once again, that you lift us up in peace, love, hope, faith, and courage. That we will submit to God’s desire for us, over our own. That we will experience a revival in our relationship with God and each other. Lastly, that through all of this, the drama, the pain, the confusion, the weary; He will be honored and glorified.