Thursday, December 10, 2009

Finding A New Church

Thirty-two years. That's how long I have been a member of my church. And prior to this, I was a member of my former church for sixteen years. The only reason we left that one was because we moved from another county. So for the last 48 years of my life I have only been a member of two churches.

The point is that my wife and I are not church hoppers. We join and then dig in and support the local church with our time and our resources. Membership has responsibilities.

But the time has come for us to move on and for the past three or four months we have been looking for another church. I never thought finding a good church could be so difficult. Of course fundamental, biblical orthodoxy is of primary concern so that automatically rules out many of the churches in our area. Also, I am running a little gun-shy when it comes to church polity so I am always interested to discover if a church's leadership model is scriptural and if it has some system of organizational accountability.

I was talking to one pastor recently who was sharing some plans he was about to make for his church. I asked him if he had taken some time to consult with his deacons, discuss it, and pray about it. His response was surprising, "I don't need to discuss it with them. This is something I just really want to do."

I decided to take my search in other directions.


Daisy said...

We'll be praying for you during this time, Ralph. It is a very very tough decision. We also are not church hoppers and had to leave our church of 12 years three years ago. It is very hard to find a solid Bible-believing church. We settled into a nondenominational church with a minister who faithfully preaches the Word of God. It is still not all we would desire in a church and I worry about what will happen when our children reach youth group age. Lots of prayer going on.

Daisy said...

This is really Daisy Husband but I do not want my name to get worn out too soon, so I am using hers.

Anyway I remember commenting to a friend while looking for a new church that it would be so nice for someone to put together a questionaire that would tell you what church to attend based on your beliefs and preferences.

Do you believe the Bible? Would be a good starting question.

Jon "Ellery" Shimeall

Ralph M. Petersen-Always Right; Sometimes Wrong! said...

Are you kidding? The Bible? What's the Bible got to do with picking a church. One youth leader I know of told someone that studying the Bible is no way to build a youth group; kids need to have fun.

And last year I asked a pastor if doctrine was important to anyone anymore. He hung his head in obvious disgust and disappointment and said people today want to know what the church has to meet their needs and entertain their kids.

So I guess the important things on your questionaire would be whether or not a church serves Starbucks coffee and has a contemporary band banging out long-haired-hippie-houk music.