Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Choosing a Church and Getting Involved

Every now and then, if I find that someone I know doesn't have a church home, I will invite them to ours. It's always interesting to me what their first question usually is:

"Is the pastor really good there? Do you like him?"

The reason I find those questions interesting is because I have never chosen a church based solely on the pastor. And while I have strong opinions and a specific taste in music during church services, I wouldn't chose a church solely on that either.

Do you find that to be odd?

The reason I say that is this: we can't chose where to serve the Lord that way (in my opinion). When we moved to St. James, I prayed that God would lead us to a church where we could serve, whether it was us working in ministries or it was others ministering to us.

God has proven faithful in putting us right where we needed to be.

I will admit that it took me many years before I finally became more that a Sunday-morning-only church goer. I finally learned that for God to truly work in me, I needed to get involved and work for His kingdom along side a local body of believers. Because in Proverbs it says...

"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17

It is amazing how close I feel to the people I've met; I truly feel I have found the best friends of my life while serving here, and we've only been members for two years! A friend in Christ is the strongest friendship one could ever have. They pray for me. They encourage me. They hold me accountable.

My children have also found friendships, and I know that the lessons, songs, and scriptures they are learning now - through Sundays, Wednesday, and reinforcement at home - will eventually lead them to salvation.

I just wanted to encourage others to get involved in their churches! :o) Find a study. Find a Sunday school class. Those type of things will help you grow. Also, find places to serve. Teach kids at VBS or during a children's ministry during the week. Find a committee in which to serve that best utilizes the skills that God gave you. Because we know that...

"...in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28


Mrs. Haid said...

I stayed with our current church because the pastor is so good. It challenged me to be a thinking Christian and a student of the Word. I think that the service opportunities, church family, and music are all nice, and that there might be a better fit in one of those other categories at a different church - but staying with one church instead of browsing is what we should do if we want to serve in the family.

For a long time, I wanted to change churches here in Columbia. My parents had changed churches for various reasons in the past, and sometimes switched back, so I didn't see a problem with it. My husband's family has gone to the same church since... well for generations. They don't switch. Since he became a Christian in our current church during college, he has really respected the message presented every time. It has helped him to grow, and even when I wanted to find a different church home, I thought his opinion of staying in this place was a good one. Good for him to grow.

So, maybe I disagree with you. I think that the pastor's message every week should be one of, or the top, reason why parishioners are inspired to attend and challenged to lead better lives and help in the church. I've been to churches that had very nice ministries, but that I didn't grow in because I wasn't challenged to think and learn from the Bible.

But I see your point. One person doesn't make up the church and shouldn't be the "selling point".

I think blogs are a free verse, and can be exempt from standard punctuation ... As in... Oh.My.Goodness. - punctuations and capiltalizations entered for emphasis and personal voice inflection...

Chrissy said...

I do agree with you. I believe the leadership God gives a pastor is very important, and he needs to be scripturally sound. However, there is so much more to a church than Sunday morning. I guess that was the main reason for my post. To encourage those who only go on Sunday mornings to serve outside of Sunday mornings! :o)

Kelley said...

What a great point Chrissy. In the Catholic church, we are encouraged to join our local parish, and the priests receive new assignments every so often instead. That's part of what I love about it. Sometimes there's something that I might be resistant to hearing, but I believe that each priest I've had has been placed in my parish for a reason. Every time a new priest comes, the dynamic of the church changes. Some of them focus on youth, some of reverence during mass, some on accountability. They all see from their perspective what the parish needs.

I also agree that we need to be actively involved in our churches. My priest encourages us to be involved in at least one thing during Sunday mass (music, lector, usher, etc.) and at least one church activity outside of mass (youth, service, fellowship events). I need to get better at being involved during Sunday mass.

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