Monday, January 22, 2007

Finding the right church

My husband and I just went through the soul searching time and decision about leaving the church we had been attending. To say it was a gut wrenching experience is putting it mildly. We had been totally committed to our church, our Pastor and our body and as we felt the Lord leading us to leave (for reasons I won't go into) we were being torn apart. Part of us wanted to stay and yet we knew God was moving us. This process went on for about 2 months until we said "okay". Then it was........now what, where in the world do we go. We were reminded of Abraham whom God told to leave and go to a place I will show you, but didn't tell him where that place was before he had to move out.

Since my husband is the "head" I waited for him to say where he wanted to visit. (We were not out of church but in services the following Sunday). When he told me where he wanted to go it really was not where I was thinking but away we went. Actually we first attended on Wednesday night. Needless to say, we knew immediately this was where we were to be and had the total peace of God about our decision. Isn't that always what you have when you are in God's will?

Yesterday I "just happened" (I don't believe in just happened I believe in God's plans and directions in our lives) to pick up a little booklet "THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY" I was so impressed with the reading for Sunday- January 21, 2007 that I am going to copy it here.

"Understanding Our Lives Together As A Church" 1 Corinthians 12:25

Finding the right church!

What should you look for when trying to find a church? The first is Christ-centered worship, the celebration of God for who He is and what He has done for us. A biblically sound church places a high priority on praising God. Second is quality Bible instruction. Does the church you are considering believe, honor, and teach God's Word in such a way that you understand the Bible and see how it applies to your life? Remember, you can't grow beyond what you know. A third characteristic of a good church is fellowship - the sharing of the life of Christ among the members. This goes far beyond Sunday morning attendance or coffee and donuts in the fellowship hall. True fellowship occurs when we are involved in each other's lives -caring, encouraging, correcting, loving and sharing with one another. The church should provide us with a meaningful sense of belonging. Fourth is the church's ministry of outreach. A church that wants to grow, cannot be ingrown. There's nothing wrong with being a small church - as long as you are not a small-minded church. The church you identify with should provide you with opportunities to use your gifts and talents to touch other lives, emphasizing the importance of sharing your faith in word and good deeds. In other words, the church's impact should extend well beyond its walls.

When you find a church where these priorities and experiences are regularly offered in an environment that's saturated in grace and charged with faith, you have found the right church. Join it! And don't ask what your church can do for you - ask what you can do for your church!"

What confirmation, again, from our dear Lord that we were in the right place for this time of our lives. Praise God!

1 comment:

annie said...

This is a great instruction on finding the right church Susan, thanks for sharing it with me. I read it aloud to Matt as he was getting ready to leave for church this morning.