Finding a new church

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by donnA, Sep 17, 2006.

  1. donnA

    donnA
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    A little history first, We began attending the church we are currently in in 1991, neither of us had ever been to church as adults. neither of us were christians. Within months were both saved and baptized, soon our children followed. We have never been members of another church and very few times ever even been in other churches.
    Recently we've had a few problems, not going into it. But we've toyed with tehidea of looking for a new church. Today after church Robert has said it is time to look for a new church. We are very limited on area churches. We will absoutly stay SBC, we are thinking of visiting 2 churches in Glasgow, which will be a 15 mile drive. The next church nearest us is certainly not suitable.
    We just have no idea how to choose a new church since we've never had to do it before.
    What do we do? need help
     
  2. gb93433

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    Take a look at a place where you can give and serve.

    Many people like their church but not well enough to invite their friends.
     
  3. Helen

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    Visit the church for a Sunday service. If you like what you hear and feel comfortable with the people there, set up an appointment with the pastor and then discuss the problems you have had with your current church and see what he says. This will tell you a lot about where he stands on the issues you are concerned about.
     
  4. PastorSBC1303

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    Spend a lot of time praying about the situation. Make sure it is the Lord's will that you move to a new place. I fear many people hop around without any true reason. I am not by any means saying you are doing this, just reenforcing the point that we need to make sure it is the Lord's hand at work, and not our own will popping up.

    I would visit a place a few weeks in a row. I would set up a time to talk to the pastor and hear his heart for ministry, etc.

    I would be interested in finding a place to serve. Too many people select a church on how their "needs" get met, instead of looking for a place in which they can serve and meet needs.
     
  5. menageriekeeper

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    You know someone is going to ask, so let it be me:

    Is there anything you can do to fix the problem in your current church without moving?

    If not, here's my experience as I've done this several times and for various reasons. Sometimes the problem was with ME and not with the church.

    Sit down and talk with each other about what you expect in a church. (Feel blessed you can have this conversation with your husband, btw, we don't all get to do that) Make a list, hang it where you can see it and pray over it during the week, making changes as they come to you.

    Don't fail to include things such as whether or not the children stay in the main service, what time services begin and on what days, as well as spiritual issues. If church is uncomfortable, then you won't get nearly as much out of it as you could somewhere else. Remember, church is about worship and if the atmosphere prevents you from worshipping, then it's best to find somewhere else.

    Then visit. Visit different services and make sure you attend SS if you normally do. You have your list, how does this church measure up?

    Realize that you are not going to find a church that is "perfect", but can you work and worship in this church? Can you make friends or are you always going to feel like an outsider? Is this church a place where you can grow spiritually?

    Above all, let the Lord lead.
     
  6. Deacon

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    All those threads on drinking and now you're looking for a church after toying with Tequila??? :tongue3: :smilewinkgrin:

    My family is in a similar boat as yours, Donna.

    After twenty-six years in the same church just today we began attending another local congregation.

    My suggestions:
    1. Check their doctrinal statement.
    2. Check out their philosophy of ministry (goals and objectives).
    3. Listen to the preaching.
    4. Check out the congregation, (Age, abilities, willingness to serve, etc).
    5. Observe their facilities (Are they in decline?)
    6. Many other ideas too...

    Rob
     
  7. TaterTot

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    Once you are sure that this is what you are supposed to do, be sure to attend as many aspects of the church as possible - choir practice, Sunday School, WMU, and especially a buisness meeting or two. You dont have to join right away.

    I know its a difficult thing to do. But keep in mind, anythime you get really involved in a church, you will see the ugly parts that exist, and there is something in every church.
     
  8. Joseph_Botwinick

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    All of the above advice is very good. I would only add that every now and then, God will change the situation you are in if you are patient enough. It doesn't always happen, but it has and still is happening where I attend. Be in prayer for your current Church for God's will to be done.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  9. donnA

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    Great advise from everyone, thank you.
    (this is not up for debate)
    One reason we are thinking of moving is that we want a place to serve, getting my needs met means I can serve God there, thats one of the most important things for us, and we feel it isn't happening at our church.
    MK, I wish we could just work it out. I and my husband ow also feels, that I am just not being allowed to serve there, the Pastor, as much as we love him and have always supported him,just keeps saying wait, wait for what, I've been saying something for a couple of years. We believe God gives us spiritual gifts to serve Him through our church, and I am not being allowed to do that. We believe the indwelling Holy Spirit gives us the desire to serve God, not doing it is disobedience.
    Our first thought was this church,
    http://ibcglasgow.org/connect/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1

    but, (not up for debate) we are calvinists, and will never be anything else, we've already been that route, and found it not in harmony with scripture.(not up for debate), so these comments bother us, we found these on a page of a bible study that apparently goes with the sermons each week.

    I believe humans were created in the image of God, but through the fall became guilty and corrupt.
    Salvation by Grace (Ephesians 2:8-9)
    I believe I have been reborn into a right relationship with God by His grace in response to my faith – faith demonstrated through my willing response to the gospel call, in which I sincerely repented of my sins and placed my complete trust in Christ for salvation.
    Identity in Christ (Galatians 3:26-29)
    I believe God has declared me righteous according to my faith and has placed me in a spiritual union with Jesus Christ so that now I have become once and forever a child of God.

    Could you live with a church who taught different then you believed on this issue (no matter what side of this issue you are on)?
     
  10. Bro. James Reed

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    Donna,

    Contact Frogman (Bro. Dallas). He lives around Glasgow. I'm sure he would be glad to help you find a suitable church.

    Bro. James
     
  11. donnA

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    He has moved, somewhere out west, pastoring a church there, otherwise I'd be glad to go talk with him. I wish he'd come around posting I'd ask him what he thinks of Immanuel Baptist.
     
  12. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Donna,

    I also am a Calvinist. I have lived in a Church for several years where what was taught was different from what I believed. I spent many years in prayer and was about to do what you are thinking about doing and God answered my prayers and brought change to the Church. I am not saying that God will always do this, but every now and then, if we are patient enough, God will answer our prayers and change the circumstances and make a way for us to stay as he did for us.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  13. LeBuick

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    I know you say your Calvinist and I'm not trying to sway you one way or another, do you mind typing out the difference you feel in these statements...

    FYI... I have a problem with one but I just want to see where you are at first.
     
  14. menageriekeeper

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    Well Donna, if it's an every Sunday, in your face kind of teaching, I'd be looking elsewhere too.

    About not being able to serve, I wonder if they are hesitant to let you serve precisely because there is so much difference in your beliefs.
     
  15. donnA

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    this is not up for debate, I just won't do it,
    I believe humans were created in the image of God, but through the fall became guilty and corrupt.
    Salvation by Grace (Ephesians 2:8-9)
    I believe I have been reborn into a right relationship with God by His grace in response to my faith – faith demonstrated through my willing response to the gospel call, in which I sincerely repented of my sins and placed my complete trust in Christ for salvation.
    Identity in Christ (Galatians 3:26-29)
    I believe God has declared me righteous according to my faith and has placed me in a spiritual union with Jesus Christ so that now I have become once and forever a child of God.
     
  16. donnA

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    Nope, my pastor is calvinist too, as is my sunday school teacher(best teacher I've ever seen).
     
  17. TheWinDork

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    Donna,

    Just a few words from someone who did the "Church Hop" thing for a while. Please know this, okay? No Church is perfect. Even the most doctrinally correct Churches have issues. After I left pentecostalism in April of 2004. and did my 9 month sabbatical from Church altogether, I sought out a Church that I felt I was doctrinally aligned with... and travel-wise, it was close. I stayed a few months, long enough to see the bad stuff too. and I basically walked out, with a very judgemental and pious attitude towards those people . Well, for the 14 or so, months, I made the rounds in this area. Now, Mind you, I didn't go to *every* Church in this area. But went to enough to see that *EVERY* Church, no matter how big, small, amount of money or programs. Is going to have some sort of something that you are not going to like or approve of. Trust me, I've been there and done that. and you wanna know where I ended up? right back where I started. and I've basically taken the attitude, what I cannot change, I put in the Lord's hands and let him deal with it. and I pray, if something is not right, I just pray "Lord, convict them, and deal with this issue."

    .......and you wanna know something? He has.

    and dare I say this? Taking a David Cloud attitude with you, when observing Churches, will leave you very frustrated. David Cloud, may have his Doctrinal stuff down, very well. But taking his Pious mentality into a Church, will only cause you to become isolated. and the Lord doesn't want his people being isolated, at all.

    another thought, as I sit here... Something I've learned in the last few months, Never expect more out of anyone else, than you would out of yourself... Too many times, people expect Pastors to be "Super-Christians", and as someone who wants to persue that calling, I'm learning alot about what Pastors really are, just sinners saved by grace, who are called to a special office. we're not super human. Show grace to others, as God has shown it to you. Swap places, mentally with your Pastor and put yourself in HIS shoes for a while. and see how you'd feel, if someone just left your Church, how would you feel? Insulted, Sad, angry? It's something to ponder.

    Now, I realize my comments probably won't change your mind. But at least pray long and hard before walking out.

    In Christ,

    -WTD :wavey: :godisgood: :jesus:
     
    #17 TheWinDork, Sep 18, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2006
  18. Jack Matthews

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    I've only changed churches twice in my life, and never because of something I didn't like in a church, so I'm not sure my advice will fit your situation. The first change I made was a move from my hometown to Nashville to attend college. I wound up changing not only churches, but denominations as well. I was still a very young Christian at that point and I felt I needed to be in a church where I knew people, and where I could get as much discipling as possible. I will love that church forever because it did help me grow and as I grew, provided places for me to minister and serve, and incredible encouragement. I left because it started a new church, and I felt that helping with the new church start was something God wanted me to do. It wasn't an easy decision, but it was what I knew I needed to do. I'm raising four boys and during the time we've been in this new church, three of them have become teenagers. I was concerned about their discipleship at first, since there are not very many youth in this church, with most of the membership being too young to have teenage children, but they average about 15-16 in the high school group and seem to be thriving in helping to develop a new youth ministry.

    I realize that things happen in a church that cause people to leave. If it isn't a moral problem, I would follow the principle in Matthew 18, and attempt to resolve the difficulty, exhausting every available opportunity before removing myself from a body of Christ that I felt called and gifted to serve. I think one of the weaknesses of Christianity in America today is that it is too easy for people to just leave when they think there is a problem, rather than sitting down with their brothers and sisters in Christ and resolving the difficulty in unity of spirit. Do others in the church know of your plans to leave? If they do, they should be concerned about why you are leaving, and willing to resolve the issue.
     
  19. drfuss

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    DonnA writes:
    "little history first, We began attending the church we are currently in in 1991, neither of us had ever been to church as adults. neither of us were christians. Within months were both saved and baptized, soon our children followed. We have never been members of another church and very few times ever even been in other churches."

    I don't think anyone has asked about your children, their ages or the effect it will have on them. If they are teenagers and you are taking them from their friends, you may be turning them off to church. If they are already on their own, it is a different story.
     
  20. Joseph M. Smith

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    Sort of off topic .. because I know you are not about to go to a United Methodist church ... but do you know Dean Meadows, the pastor of First United Methodist there in Glasgow? He used to be Baptist and was a student of mine way, way back when I was Baptist Campus Minister at Berea College. I performed his and Sue's marriage ceremony.
     

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