For the past month I have been attending a Pentacostal Church. It was almost a year to the day that I disassociated from the Jehovah’s Witnesses and since then I had not entered a church. I knew that I wanted to join another but I just wasn’t sure which one. None exactly jumped out at me so deciding to just go and see what it was like was pretty huge for me.
My first impressions were encouraging. Friendly people and sincere. No cliques that I could see (very common in Kingdom Halls) also the place was really well equipped and obviously well looked after, they made things comfortable for you. The chairs were good quality and comfy, there was a live band and singers. There is a Sunday school, and lovely well equipped crèche. You can sign your kiddie in and fetch them after the service. The crèche is positioned at the back and above the chairs so you can still see and hear what is going on if you stay in thcrèche.
I’ve been comparing my experience with the Jw’s all the time while I’m there, and over and over again I’m shown how wrong the Jw’s are. Their Kingdom Halls are spare and functional, no extra stuff – its almost as if you should just be grateful you have a chair, and a place to meet. The one I was last in, didn’t have a mothers room or even a changing station. This church has a whole room just for mothers to change nappies. Their ladies toilet is huge with lots of pegs to hang your coats. They also facilitate a playgroup during the week. That is just the bit I know that they do for the community. The church is there to help and support the community, and it really does that!
Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t have playgroups, or anything AT ALL to help the community expect to offer their magazines. they don’t do soup kitchens they don’t even give money to a beggar, they will give him a tract.
Overall Jw’s look so much more like a business, with sales people dressed properly in suits and ties and the woman always have to wear skirts. I have been wearing jeans to church! As long as you’re neat and clean it doesn’t matter!
The singing/songs in the kingdom hall sound like they are from the 1940’s. They are all in minor keys. Everyone is so somber. Now its loud and joyful and hands being raised. It’s so much happier and more free.
At Kingdom Halls you are lugging a books around with you, books and magazines that get studied far more than the Bible. You have to read and prepare for every meeting, its time and labour intensive. Now I just take my bible and an open heart.
When I was still ‘in’ as a witness I had huge amounts of guilt. I wasn’t doing field service enough, I wasn’t doing enough preparation, reading, attending enough meetings, and on and on. Now there is no more guilt. I actually know for once that I am good enough and if Jesus made a plan to pull me out of that cult that I’ll trust Him to show me the rest. I’ve been thinking a lot about what my calling is.. I was a bookkeeper, I’m good at organizing people’s papers and sorting out admin. I can write (I am currently busy with a fantasy novel about leaving a cult). I do know I love helping people, so for now I’ll pitch in wherever. I have faith I will find my calling.