Greener Pastures

This post is a response to Laura's post entitled "What should we mean by 'greener pastures'?" on her ecclesiology blog.

In essence, Laura states that there are five areas of needs that must be met to one degree or another, depending on the individual:

  • Adequate Resources
  • Adequate Social Space
  • Encourage and Equip My Calling
  • Fit My Worldview
  • Accurate Assessment of My Worth

If one or more of these needs is inadequately met, one may feel the emotional pull to seek out "greener pastures," or a body of believers that will better meet their needs.

As someone who has lately been experiencing these emotions, I know it is easy to become torn. I don't want to "jump ship" simply because something else might be better, but I also don't want to settle for less than satisfactory in any of the areas mentioned. There is also the fear of the unknown and the comfort of the familiar that hinders me from making a decision. As it stands, my current faith community, TFB, falls short in the "Adequate Social Space" category and, to a lesser degree, in the "Accurate Assessment of My Worth" category.

I enjoy and treasure the relationships that I have at TFB, but something is still missing. I am the only person in my mid-to-late-20s in the entire community, and something I miss from college is being around a large number of peers and interacting with people who shared not only age but interests and station in life. There is also the fact that I would like to get married to a well-rooted Christian woman and raise a family someday. This would become more likely if I regularly related with single Christian women approximately my age.

I also feel that modern Christianity (and not just TFB) has a bit of a stigma, whereas people are not "grown-up" until they get married. This causes people who choose to be single or who have long graduated college but not yet found the right person to be stuck in limbo. One one hand, this is where I feel like I am. On the other hand, I serve in three distinct capacities at TFB - I am on the CE committee, I am a leader and co-founder of the Sanctify! ministry, and I play bass for the worship band (although I have been on hiatus lately while tending to my health issues) and feel that I have been called to serve in these capacities. It would be difficult to give them up.

From my perspective, my options are:

  • Remain where I am and do nothing different, slightly dissatisfied but not disgruntled
  • Leave TFB completely and find a new body with which to worship
  • Remain in some capacities at TFB, but find something like a para-church organization to be part of
  • Remain at TFB and commit to either building a strong population of 20-somethings at TFB or expanding Sanctify! beyond TFB

Aside from the first, all will take some work, growth, and discomfort. The fourth is the most lofty but is also very appealing if it comes to fruition to the degree I envision and dream

I must prayerfully consider all my options. This is something I don't want to rush or make the wrong decision. Feedback is not only welcome but requested.


  1. I think you've laid out the response options quite nicely. I shall ponder and post a comment later.


  2. I see three viable options (one criteria being my own preference that you stay):
    1. add participation in a parachurch organization
    2. work to build Sanctify into a multi-church organization
    3. combine the above two options

    Allow me to bullet point a few thoughts on each (some overlap is likely)

    - experiential knowledge of TFB combined with a position of leadership adds weight to staying
    - hardship in finding a parachurch org that fits your needs and schedule is a consideration
    - moderate difficulty
    - may echo your Rolla experience (which, I take, is a good thing)

    - you have an idea of what Sanctify could be; you've seen the dream, even if in shadows
    - your position in TFB and Sanctify leadership, combined with participation in a secular workplace, add to likely effectiveness
    - there well probably be a high degree of effort required
    - the effort will likely payoff in great adventure and community

    - may be the best option, given your current needs
    - the divided effort may cause difficulty
    - this hedges your bets
    - it's a safety net, but adventure might suffer

    If I had a vote, I'd go for #2 (despite the increase in effort from me as a co-founder of Sanctify).

    Ponder wisely.

    - Laura