Moving to a new area with new people can be exciting and it can be frustrating. There are so many things that you have to learn how to do all over again. Finding all the right places to shop and visit can take time. Every weekend, we enjoy exploring and finding new areas to play at. But just finding the grocery store to shop at can be a chore. Thank goodness for chains like Aldis’ and Walmart. The hardest task, which should be the easiest is finding a church.
We moved to the bible belt area of the south. There are churches EVERYWHERE. Literally driving a 1 mile stretch will produce 10-15 churches all of different denomination, its crazy. There are so many different kinds of churches trying to seek God. I say crazy in a good way:)
We attended many different styles of churches throughout my life. We have been to the traditional non denominational all the way to the more reverent Mennonite church back to a pentecostal church. Extreme opposites!! But the good thing is that God has us ALL doing different things to reach different types of people and that is good. We are not all cookie cutter type people, we each are made in the image of God and just as our children are made of us, they take different personality types from us and act differently among the family but they are still one. The churches are the same way, each are many members of different types but still ALL are seeking to worship God.
How do you choose? Do you listen to the pastor that “explains” that they keep a more reverent service in honor of the Lord and keep to traditional hymns as to not be like the world??? Or do you listen to the pastor who is up there shouting for joy “stating” that if he can’t get excited about God and what He is doing that isn’t right and that they try and show the “world” that you can worship God with their types of music but focus it on God?
It can be confusing. So you may start looking at the congregation and what it has to offer to help persuade you or some may look at the growth and the size of the church. I think some might like an “established” church while others prefer one that needs growth. Lots of different facets to consider.
But what I believe is that if Satan can keep you looking down and searching around “trying” to look for the “right” church—like those bottom feeders, I talked about last week, then he can keep you from reading the word and listening to God’s voice.
Church isn’t about a feeling god. It is a place to worship God. Every service is a spiritual thing. Some people like church because they like the choir, or the preaching. But it has to be where you are going to be GROWING spiritually.
Take a baby, they are the greatest thing in the world, so cute and cuddly, but some of the greatest joys about their life is when they start growing. You don’t want them to be babies forever you have to let them grow. The same is true of church. You have to find a church where you will GROW spiritually.
If the music is long and “emotional” and you are “feeling” the spirit that is okay BUT if the message is 15 minutes, you aren’t going to get much “meat” to take with you for the week to help your spiritual growth.
You should be looking at your life. Every year you should be better physically, spiritually, and financially. God is not a god who wants you to go backwards you should be moving forward!!
Large churches are great don’t get me wrong, they are established and sometimes have it figured out. But what you want to look at is the “core.” What is the core like? Churches are going to be full of those bottom feeders—the ones searching for their places—but look at the core—is it growing strong and getting larger? We need to be growing in the body of Christ and becoming more like Him.
Some preachers want to be politically correct—-what is that?? When has God EVER become politically correct??? Is it wrong to say things that are the word of God? Your church should be preaching the word of God. When you preach God’s word and it isn’t a threat, the devil cant do anything about it.
Some preachers stay away from commitment to people. If you start talking about commitment some people will leave—no one likes commitment. But commitment is what makes an army. I am not much into United States and the army but something I have learned about through watching some documentaries is that the army here is very committed. They try and bring back every soldier that is in war. They will even go out into the battlefield after they have fought and get the remnants and remains of dead people. Can you image if the “church” and its army went out and was committed to getting the remnants of it’s dead people?
You have to find a church that stands for something. If you don’t stand for something than you will fall for anything. Jesus stood for things.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
He reminds us to take and put on things in these verses. God wants us to wrap around our minds and our bodies His words so that you remember who you are all the time, everyday!!
When you leave church, you should take something with you. The pastor is ordained by God to “pass on” a message to you. You should be taking it with you to help you grow in your walk with Him. We shouldn’t be looking at “getting stuff” from God. When we go to church—it isn’t about our emotions and how we feel, it is about worshiping God and getting closer to Him. As we get closer to the Lord, we don’t have to worry about things because He will give them to us.
Just as a parent takes care of his child—physically, emotionally,and financially—God does the SAME thing. It is about a relationship with Him.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Being a Christian is what God wants us to be, but He also calls us to be a DISCIPLE of Him. He wants us to be His word and do His works. That is what we should be seeking after when looking for a church.
I have to apologize, on one of our family videos that we recorded and posted on here, my husband and I were talking about a church we attended and they had given our children money and candy when we first visited. We used the term “reach the children so you can reach the parents” and we laughed about it—not realizing how hurtful to some it may have been. We have attended a church in the past that used this phrase and this church DOES have a wonderful outreach to children. We weren’t “mocking” that church by any means, we were referring to something else that we had discussed with someone earlier. This church member was all about reeling people in for more tithe money and bigger numbers to build bigger buildings. It was not about shepherding and disciplining people. It was more of a heart issue when we were stating that. But I do realize now how it was taken harshly. I have already apologized personally but want to make it publicly as some readers might also take offense, especially if their church does outreach to children in the community.
Sometimes we NEED to reach the children first because as parents and adults we DON”T listen as well. But if the children enjoy going to church sometimes the parents may follow. I will be more careful in using terms loosely as we did in the video.
So where do we go? I don’t know, we pray and seek God and listen for His word and direction as far as where to be planted. It is all part of this journey we call life.