« Don't Laugh-- I'm Just Being Pragmatic | Main | "How do you do it?" »

March 24, 2007

Comments

grafted branch

Church youth groups are a deal breaker for us.

And music...we're kind of sensitive to the way the pride of life (recognition) makes its way -- slowly and surely -- into the body by way of *some* musicians with lofty dreams of cds, touring gigs, posters and praise.

Granny

Ah...we must be twins separated at birth :-)

In the past few years, ten or so I'd say, there's been another deal breaker for us: we desire family-integrated worship and Bible study and service projects. After a lifetime in SBC churches where there was something for the whole family but we rarely saw each other, we are now breathing the fresh air of worshipping, singing, serving together and watching other families with lots of little ones do the same. I only wish we could have had this privilege when our older children were still at home.

Thank you for such a thoughtful post!

Sheryl

Wonderful, very thought-provoking post. I agree with everything you have written.

One additional deal-breaker for us would be the accessibility of the leadership. In two previous churches we attended, the pastors were so far removed from the average member that the mere possibility of having a conversation with either was quite remote. In one case, the senior pastor was "protected" by a body guard who sat on the front row and who "escorted" him and his wife quickly from the church before the final hymn was completed. It wasn't long before we really started missing the days when the pastor stood at the back door shaking hands and speaking with members as they exited.

And music, too ... either the lifeless, passionless variety or the "generic" modern tunes that could just as easily be songs off secular radio (yes, I actually visited a church in Texas that prided itself on taking popular music and "Christianizing" it) are enough to send us running.

Lisa writes

I echo Sheryl above: a wonderful, very thought-provoking post. We are in a situation similar to your friend's, and we hunger for the type church you described. The question for us becomes do we hang on, waiting on God, effecting change where and when He allows us...or do we leave? The interesting thing about our situation is many of the reasons that drew us to our present church are no longer. Taking the Biblical view of church membership as a responsibility as you described in your post means we are family, committed to our local church, good and bad, hard and easy. I love them dearly, which makes the situation all the more heartrending.

Rambling here. Thanks for your perspective on a very critical subject...

CeCe Lane

For me the warmth and friendliness of the people. If I am visiting and no one says "Boo" chances are I'm not going to return. But a warm inviting body, maybe having someone invite you for lunch, that's a good thing.

Lordship salvation is a big issue isn't it?

Linda A.

I don't think I have ever had quite the full deal that I have now at our church body. We've been there for 11 years now and I believe we get several of those great deal breakers here - some more than others, to be sure, but with you know who as our pastor, and God as our Father, we're sure to grow in those weaker areas, and we have. Always room for improvement in any church, of course. The expositional preaching that is real and a transparent pastor/wife are very important to me - praise God for one of His greatest blessings to us.

Kim

This is an excellent post! I agree! I'm linking this with some of my favorite posts! Thanks!!!

When were you or your husband at the U of A? I was there,too!!!

Kim

Jennifer, Snapshot

Each one of those things on your list are things that I would love to see in my ideal church. Unfortunately, I don't think that they generally all exist all at one time. We have changed churches several times. We've moved 4 times (state to state) in 14 years, and we've also changed churches a time or two when we felt that God was leading us.

I would say that preaching God's word (a Sound Pulpit) would probably be the only thing that would be a definitive deal-breaker, but now with experiences we've had, I don't even know if that would do it. The deal-breaker is when we feel God calling us to be somewhere else. We may be asked to stay for reasons that we don't know, just as we may be asked to leave a church and branch out for reasons we don't know.

EEEEMommy

I agree with all of these, but the one thing that is missing is that you need to be where God leads you. Knowing that He won't lead you to compromise on the essentials, sometimes He does lead you to compromise on the non-essentials (like style of worship). Sometimes He leads you to a place that is lacking in a certain area, because He needs you (as a member) to help the church grow in that area. Sometimes He wants to stretch you in an area through a particular body. All that to say, there is no perfect church, and all of us are to have the same attitude that you and your husband (as pastor) have. To join a church in its present imperfect state, and be a part of growing it into the vision God has for it.
If I had gone "church-shopping" when I moved here, I might not have chosen the church we're at, but God made it so clear through the circumstances of our move that this was where He wanted us that we didn't visit any other church! If we had been in "shopping" mode, my pre-conceived notions and prejudices might have prevented us from enjoying this wonderful fellowship, if God hadn't made it so clear. I'm so thankful for His guidance!

Julie

This is one of the best brief discussions of this topic. THANK YOU!

The Elementary Writing Chef

Hey-- I'm trying to comment but having trouble...

Victoria

Thank you for this very thought-provoking post. After a recent search for a new church home, I have to say that for us a combination of sound preaching, friendliness and family-friendly services combined with a definite sense of God's leading has led to us a church that both my husband and I feel we can both contribute to and grow with. Our deal-breaker was definitely God's leading as we were considering churches.

Mummymac

I'm totally with you on 1-7 but I have to cringe a little at 8. The need for a "worship Pastor" is worrying. If we believe in plurality why is there a need to give the Pastors name tags? We just have Pastors, many church's seem to have Pastors, Worship Pastors, Youth Pastors, Pastors in charge of this, Pastors in charge of that, Pastors in charge of the car-park!! - surely we should be sticking to what the Bible teaches and not adding to it.
We are instructed to Worship God with reverence and Awe. We need always to be examining if our worship is reverent or if "Worship Pastors" are there to create an emotional atmosphere.

Thanks for a great post - I haven't found so many blogs where I agree with so much!!

Christain Regards

Mummymac

I'm totally with you on 1-7 but I have to cringe a little at 8. The need for a "worship Pastor" is worrying. If we believe in plurality why is there a need to give the Pastors name tags? We just have Pastors, many church's seem to have Pastors, Worship Pastors, Youth Pastors, Pastors in charge of this, Pastors in charge of that, Pastors in charge of the car-park!! - surely we should be sticking to what the Bible teaches and not adding to it.
We are instructed to Worship God with reverence and Awe. We need always to be examining if our worship is reverent or if "Worship Pastors" are there to create an emotional atmosphere.

Thanks for a great post - I haven't found so many blogs where I agree with so much!!

Christain Regards

Mrs. H

Very well said - I agree w/ you on all - great advice.

The comments to this entry are closed.