This was previously at the bottom of my last post. I might add to this post as I find more stories like these.
There are testimonies from never married people, divorced people, people with mental illnesses, married but childless couples, etc:
From a page called “Why Did You Quit Going To Church”:
Can’t Get Back to Church
I am a born again Christian, but the modern church is family oriented to the exclusion of those who have no immediate or extended family. 50% of the population is single, but only 15% of church population is single. The church is not ministering to half the population.
I don’t want a husband, I am not rich, my clothes are not the best and I’m tired of feeling judged and snubbed. Every Sunday, I have anxiety attacks because I want to worship God, but just can’t get myself to go to a church. It’s that bad.
The only Christian I feel comfortable around is a former drug dealer who has been in jail. Not all of God’s children were raised in good Christian homes. If there is a place for me in God’s kingdom, there should be a place for me in church.
Just Don’t Fit In
- Because of some unfortunate situations in our marriage, my husband and I have no children. Church is a constant painful reminder to me that we have no family.
- When we try to meet people and make friends at church, their first question is “do you have any children?.”
- When we say no, they seem to have no idea what to say next and everything gets awkward and they walk away. It happens over and over again. Since we have no children, apparently we have nothing in common with anyone. We are a rarity. And unfortunately church is the one place that even as a Christian, I’m made to feel as if I don’t belong.
- —Guest Mrs. Nokids
- Okay, I just moved to Santa Fe and I am a born-again Christian. I used to attend a church closer to downtown and it was great for a while.
- I loved the pastor and his wife too. I did some church skits there too which was wonderful. But still something did not sit with me at all.
- Most of the congregation is married and has children. I’m single and am in no relationship and have no children. I live totally alone. Ive been trying to meet someone too. At church also, and the women blow me off over there too.
- The pastor talks too much about political issues and pointing fingers at the government and presents such an idealistic view on things and not a realistic one or even a biblical view.
- I even talked to the pastor before about some of the struggles in my life and he just oversimplified and doesn’t listen and tries to quote Scripture like it’s a quick fix.
- Sometimes, he preaches and singles me out in front of the congregation. I’m happier not to be going anymore.
- —Guest Mark
- Family Centered Churches
- I hardly ever go because I’m single and have no wife or girlfriend to go with. When I do go, the pastor’s teaching is always focused on the family, and husband-wife relationships, and that makes me feel bad.
- —Guest Philly
Out of Place
- I attended a Lutheran church for close to a year. As a widowed woman, I felt very out of place with all the married couples.
- I suggested to the pastor’s wife (who was an ordained minister as well) that perhaps they should establish an outreach program for widowed/single members of the congregation.
- She told me flat out that she was not here to serve my needs, but that of her ethnic community (of which I am not a member of). That was enough to turn me off from attending. I also previously attended other churches when my husband was alive and because he came as my guest, he was not really accepted. …
- —Guest Madeline
Tired of Being Picked On
- I find that it is becoming more and more depressing to attend church: As a single man attending services I find that I’m usually picked on by the other males in the congregation who endlessly delight in making sure I know they have a wife, or girlfriend. They play all sorts of silly games to get my attention, from playing “kissy-face” in front of me, slugging me in the arm to get by me (very annoying when there was 5 or more open aisles ahead of me) and one guy even yelled 2 inches from my face when I was hanging up my coat.
- Is this showing the love of God, or acceptance of a fellow Christian?
- Pretty much doesn’t matter what church I attend–I get similar reactions most of the time. So sad, I just want to worship God, and hear the word, and not be harassed every time I attend a church. My final question is: what will these people do when they get to heaven and there is “no” marriage? And secondly, if Jesus as a single man attended church today–how would they treat him?
- I am a single mother of four children, so I already feel a little out of place. It is difficult to meet people and any time I have made “friends” I have ended up being hurt very badly. I have been left feeling as though the people in the church are spending more time trying to prove that others are not “good” Christians than actually loving them.
- My experiences with church have consistently left me feeling very bad about myself, trying to defend myself and children from people’s evil words and ultimately that I was getting so depressed I could hardly take care of my family.
- Even when my family was sick and a relative had passed away, and I was going through some very trying times, I would get calls scolding me for not getting my children to church and questioning my “faith” … but nobody ever offered to help or encourage us. I realized my family is better off to read God’s Word at home and practice our values in everyday life … I end up more depressed when we go to church.
- I suffer from social anxiety, depression and schizophrenia, and find it difficult to fit in. I haven’t been to church regularly for three or so years. I’ve only fitted in, in one church but that is in another town too far from where I now live. The majority of people were loving and non-judgmental and always willing to help you out. I really miss that church and hope that one day I can be part of a similar church where I live now.
- —Guest Andrew
Afraid of New Situations
- I don’t go to church because it terrifies me to go into new situations by myself. You should feel that church would be a safe and welcoming place, but that is not what I have found. Also, I am an older single (never married) adult and I have found that I don’t fit into the church’s demographic.
- —Guest fecieanne
I Question the Church, Not Christ
- Actually, I still go to church, but my disdain for church grows as each Sunday rolls around. The worship used to be so pure and simple. Now it’s all about young couples and babies and a social club atmosphere, where if you don’t fit in, you can forget it. If you are not at least seriously dating someone, people think you are defective.
- …Home groups are a joke. Just because you go to one does not mean you’re “experiencing community.” I’ve never seen so many insecure women in my life; they are so possessive over their friendships and cliques.
- —Guest Pirouette
- I have tried to go to church for the past 17 years, but I am always shunned away. Is it something I say, the car that I drive, the way that I am dressed, the fact that I am single? Who knows? No one ever bothers to get to know me and then they just treat me unkind until I go away. I have given up. I love Jesus with all my heart. I have a personal relationship with him and spend time with him everyday. I just wish I had Christian fellowship.
- —Guest Melinda
Mental Illness My Fault?
- I stopped going to church when I got clinically depressed and instead of helping me, the people at church gossiped about me and blamed the depression on me not being right with God (when I totally was).
- —Guest Anon
I Have Yet to Find a Church Like in Acts
- I have been searching for years and years for a church that is like the 1st century church in Acts. But too many churches are caught up in the doctrines of man and how much money they can make from people to pay for unnecessary luxuries. I also feel that as a 32 year old single, I am not welcome in smaller congregations.
- I am sick of the hypocrisy in mega churches and feeling like a mere number. It also seems that no one really cares about you, they just want you to give all of your resources, emotionally and financially without caring one iota about you as a person. Until, I find a place that looks, feels and acts like Jesus, I will continue to worship at home…alone….
- —Guest searching and lonely…
- There is No Unity
- I am at the point where I want to leave the church I am currently attending. I have been there for two years. Within that two years I have served in children’s church, single mums groups, helped at the church book shop and tried to have other church members over to my house. I have never been able to make a friend with anybody and at the end of service nobody says hello or goodbye to me. The bible talks of the church family and supporting each other … I don’t see it. I feel very isolated in my church and hurt that nobody could be bothered giving me the time of day
- —Guest ren
Marriage and Divorce
- So many churches say you can only divorce and remarry if your spouse commits adultery. Well, what about a woman who’s husband beats her, emotionally abuses her, terrifies the kids and makes her life a living hell but does not cheat on her?
- Is she supposed to just put up with it for the rest of her life and just “roll with the punches?” Whenever I ask this question I’m not liked very much. I ask because as a kid I knew a very sweet lady who had a beautiful heart, was a believer in Jesus, but whose husband was a jerk who did all those thing I mentioned earlier and the church she went to told her she could divorce him only if he cheated on her. Then one day she took her own life. I’ve never forgiven the church for that. It comes down to refusing to question the Bible (fanaticism) and it is literally killing people.
- —Guest Dan
Church Men are Wimps
- I’m a 36 year old women who loves God and is also looking for a good christian man. I cant find one in church. They all come off as wimpy mama’s boys. I don’t like overly macho men but I do like my man to act manly. I’m dating a man who has a love for God that is so deep and real I cant explain it and we met out of church (he cant stand church either).
- Now I know we don’t go to church to “hook up” but I just ant stand being around wimpy, bible spouting phoney guys. Guys that go quiet and act awkward if you say the slightest “inappropriate” thing and act as if their relationship with Jesus is 24/7 “love fest”. That reaks of cultism. I cant stand them, it just seems so phoney. Sorry for being blunt but there it is.
- —Guest DanGuest Janine
Too Much “Doing”
- The church I used to attend was not a place of grace. It was another rat race with people being judgmental. When I had clinical depression I was harassed by people. When I was grieving I was continuously insulted, when I had cancer I was ignored except by a few family members.
- —Guest firstname.lastname@example.org
Agree With ‘Can’t Get Back to Church’
- I have to agree with Guest Jeanne who said, “Can’t Get Back To Church.” I do attend church, but there seems to be a prejudice against people without family/extended family or a spouse.
- —Guest Chris
Should I or Shouldn’t I?
- I’m a brand-new Born Again Christian of a little over a year. I joined a church around the same time. After attending this church for a year, this congregation of 200 or so still has no idea I exist for the most part. I’m scared of people, and introverted, and brand new to God, which apparently is a bad combination to take to church with you.
- The Pastor says if you’re scared of people, you’re not right with God. I don’t think that’s true. They also say if you don’t go to Sunday School and services on Wednesday and Sunday nights in addition to Sunday morning you’re not a “good” Christian. I’ve taken several people with me to church on Sunday morning that haven’t been in years or ever, and they would not go if they “had” to go to Sunday School. We attended a family picnic at the church – not 1 person spoke to me. Not 1. I am old and single – They think I’m weird for not being married – could be a Southern Baptist thing, I don’t know. What now?
- —Guest Tired of Being Ignored
Why I Stopped Going to Church
- Three of the meanest women I know are very “involved” in the church, but deliberately hurt people at work daily. They are so hateful and mean. I suffered serious depression and did not go to church for about a month. This was after my husband left me and my newborn granddaughter had a life-threatening illness. I was barely able to get out of bed to go to work.
- I had been going to this church for 7 years. I was involved in ladies’ ministry and what I got was a registered letter telling me the other ladies were asking about me and if I was not going to be in church I needed to return the books and cd’s I had. It also suggested that maybe when I was feeling better I could come back to church.
- So basically what I was told was that I was the subject of gossip and not one of my so-called family deemed me worthy of a call or visit. All they wanted was their things back. I tried looking into a few churches, but I really don’t think there is any reason to be part of a group.
- —Guest Debbie