Saturday, January 30, 2010

Changing Churches - to do or not to do?

David and I are at a crossroads related to our church. The church that we once loved has changed over the last few months and I don't really know if it's the place for us. I don't really feel anything when I go anymore. I deeply respect our pastor but he seems to be changing and I am not sure it's the change we want to make. We both feel that he has used the pulpit for his own personal agenda multiple times and that deeply bothers both of us.

I want a Bible based church but the approach seems to be to have someone read a scripture and then the actual sermon is a story from present day about someone or some thing that has happened without reference to the Bible again. I really am a beginner Christian and I did not grow up in the church so I have so much to learn. I honestly don't feel like I learn much at church. The numbers have dwindled and there are few people our age. Even the choir has shrunk - sometimes their literally may only be 4 people up there.

You could be absent for weeks and nobody so much as calls to see if you are alive. Now, I don't need to somebody to dote on me and call me everytime I'm not there but the fact that nobody notices for weeks is alarming. Our grapevine leader has not contacted us for a whole year. Our pastor will say he is going to start up this or that and we get excited and it never happens.

We haven't been to church in a while because we frankly have been really disatisfied. We have looked around and tryed to figure out if we should try somewhere else but we hate the thought of church shopping. When do you know whether or not you need to find a new church? That is the question.


H said...

Very interesting question...

If I were trying to decide on a new church, there are a few things I would ask myself...

1) Does the pastor preach the Word?
2) Are the people genuinely friendly and caring?
3) Will I be able to personally be involved, or will I just be a number?
4) Does the worship style point to performance or to being in communication with God?

I wholeheartedly believe that church is a place to fellowship with other believers, grown in your relationship with God, and use your gifts to serve Him. If people (leaders) in the church start obviously following their own agenda, that would be my cue to leave. God is not in that...

I know you're about twenty minutes away, but I would love for you and David to come to church with us ANYTIME, even if it's just to see what's out there. We lead a small group class with some couples who actually still don't have kids (a HUGE blessing to me!!!), and they would welcome you both! Seriously, let me know when you could come with early as tomorrow!

P.S...How is the snow up there?
P.S. 2..I pray for you and your coming baby every day!

Rebekah said...

You gotta go with your gut (AKA the Holy Spirit). I'm not an advocate for church hopping because most people do it for the wrong reasons - the pastor's wife offends them, their tastes have changes, they're looking for something newer and better, etc. I think most people leave for selfish reasons instead of really rooting into a place that God called them.

Now. That being said. It sounds to me that your church has changed directions and is trending toward the ever popular "seeker" style. If that is the case and you are no longer being fed and challened and experiencing community than ask God if it's time for you to move on. Pray on it for a few weeks. If you feel at peace with the decision, trust that God is leading you on.

As a new Christian, it is very important for you to be plugged into a community of Believers that will stand with you and encourage you weekly.

The SecretMaster said...

My mum is going through the same deliberation. Her church has changed so much recently, but if she changes and then they get a new pastor again it might go back to how she likes it. Difficult decision though.

gavin richardson said...

everyone is on a path with the whole spiritual life. i like to think of church not so much a place i get stuff from, but what i put into. i say every once in awhile that 'church at its best is a family, church at its worst is a family' and you just don't walk away from family. so i'd ask how much a part of things do you feel.. or will you resolve to be a stable member of the family for others to look to.

i could go on, as you are probably not surprised. &:~D