Dealing with immature Christians.

Last Saturday in a youth group activity I had an encounter with a female member that has less than 2 years in the church. She is a part of a subculture of the church that has a rather unhealthy manifestation of Christianity (in my opinion): very spiritual, very touchy feely, very inconsiderate, and with a reputation of exclusivity.

In this activity three things happened. First off, she tried to put her hands on me. Not cool! I showed aggressively that I wasn’t ok with it. As any typical female, she mocks it and keeps trying to put her hands on me.

After that, I was outside and she was with another member discussing with me what songs she was going to sing in the devotional. I as the musician was warning her about what she was about to do wrong. She not only dismissed my “professional” opinion by saying that the circumstance did not warrant the seriousness God’s things deserve, but she also mocked me for having that opinion. She wanted to give freedom to the move of the spirit (move of the spirit my ass, cause it’s not the move of the Holy Spirit). I reacted by looking at her with disbelief of her immaturity and stupidity. She responded by making a joke about my reaction. She and a another member left me alone.

About 20 min. later a group prayer moment was happening. This same female member was on my left side. She saw that I wasn’t being vocal and thought that something was wrong. She proceeded to put her fingers on her forehead and pray for me trying to get me to speak. When I didn’t speak, she thanked me sarcastically and thanked God (sarcastically) for what I was teaching them. less than a minute later she gave me a side hug and tried again. I wanted to be aggressive towards her and shut her up, but I knew that the moment wasn’t right. Thank God that she didn’t try again because I knew that I was going to react aggressively towards her.

In the devotional I saw her leave her role as the devotional leader to join the other’s in praise. That is a big no no because that leaves a musician alone in the guidance of praise without having the authority to provide direction. I felt scared of screwing up, because the stage was set for me to do so. She would go back into the role only to screw up. (lets be honest, she can’t sing and she can’t guide the process. Yet the leadership of the youth group keeps putting her to do just that)

I see a biological adult (she’s 29) who is a spiritual infant trying to react as an adult. She has way too much self-efficacy for what she is and she can/should do. What is she thinking, telling a close to 12 year old Christian what to do and how to behave when she isn’t even 2 years old in Christian years? What is she thinking telling a 6 year veteran in the music ministry and a close to 11 year veteran as a member in the church and in the youth group how a devotional in any circumstance should be? She’s really really reacting like a stupid person! (I really like the phrase “guillarse de bruto”, but I don’t know how to translate this phrase)

I have been thinking about how to react towards her when she tries to do that in the future. I have decided that I won’t use aggression if I don’t have to. Instead, I will just leave her presence.

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3 thoughts on “Dealing with immature Christians.

  1. There might not be a good translation for it, but there might be an equivalent.

    If I were in your shoes, I’d talk to her about personal space and keeping her hands to herself. I would be annoyed when touchy-feely people get all hands on.
    Perhaps the thing to be saddened most about is that women’s Bible Studies are designed to replace theology with emotional manipulation. She could very well be the result of that. It is unlikely that she will become more mature if left up to her own devices. As for you, it is commendable to hold back anger and frustration, but I doubt avoidance will change the root of the problem. What would be helpful is a discipleship program that lets elders teaches her the basics, helps you to grow, and the others have a good example of mature believers to elect for leadership positions.

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    1. I understand your points and they are valid.
      This type of problem seems to be more of a demographic issue in my church than anything else, having both male and female, young and mature Christians in the really spiritual demography have this fault. It also doesn’t help that the church promotes this as a good thing. When I have spoken about the personal space issue that leaders have caused with some ministers, this idea has been invalidated and nothing has been done to solve the problem. Sucks for me. I’m left to just avoid having them pray for me.
      This wasn’t a women’s Bible study activity and I can’t say anything about them.
      I have a discipleship program that I worked on for close to a year to deal with this problem in my church, but I don’t have the status in my church for it to be successful in solving the big problem.
      #peoplesuck #churchproblems

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      1. I know the feeling. I’m often powerless to affect change. When my grandfather’s church switched to hugging everybody, I left. People have to earn my trust, if they haven’t then they have no business being in my personal space.

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