Many years ago our state Baptist paper published a question on how to find the right church to attend and join. The advice from “PJ” was to make a list of what you are looking for and attend the churches that had what you wanted until you find the one that has most of the things you are looking.
I do not agree with that advice. We ought to consider how our gifts could help a church in the call to answer the Great Commission so it is not just what we could get from the church but also what we have to offer.
Searching for a church is like sitting at a table and being served a “pot luck” meal. There is no question what you will be served!
In the church you might be served unorganized chaos or a rigid bulletin, Christian Rock, baptist hymnal, contemporary or blended music. You might have a preacher in a three piece suit or a guy in trousers with his shirt hanging outside his pants. One may carry his bible to the pulpit while the other may not carry his bible at all!
Then before you even got to the church you have to find out what time they meet. I’ve learned some churches do not even post that info on their web sites. I guess you have to know somebody who goes there to get that info.
The search for a church brings the weekly find for a place to sit without taking someone’s place. There’s the probation period once you start attending for the members to get to know you and vice versa. Course you have the meet and greet where everyone does as told and shakes a hand or two. You’d think this would be a natural act of courtesy and not orchestrated.
Attending church is getting less and less appealing. This is a serious matter. Churches have not handled this issue very well. How do you get people to come? How do you make the church appealing again? Just today my wife and I visited a church and felt singled out because the church took up the special Annie aRmstrong offering by having the people file out of the pews and go to the corners of the room to drop the offering. Imagine how we felt not being prepared and us just standing there while the others take there march.
I know what I look for in a church. I also know I can be a bit more critical than most. What follows is my list but be aware I start from the fact that I want to attend church and worship God. Now my list.
- I want to sense I belong there and that sensation is genuine.
- I want a pastor who respects the office of a pastor in his appearance behind the sacred desk, his visitation practices and his integrity.
- I want the church to be clean and cared for.
- I want a church whose demographic points to the truth where everyone is welcome.
- I look for a church where it is congregational run, and pastor lead under the divine direction of the Holy Spirit.
- Blended music works good for me.
- Invitations are a must. Invitations where the people in attendance feel free to come to the pastor and not be sent to some other person.
- I want a church where the staff make it worth while to attend . They make it worth the effort to go to church. Just as each one who attends does their part.
So there are some of my thoughts.
Next Sunday is a special day for Pot Luck Church Search. It’s Easter Sunday!
Until next time,