Would you drive 30-60 miles to attend church?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    Why do people drive excessive miles to attend church?

    Do You? If so, why?

    Wouldnt it be better for a church to start a church plant?

    Thoughts?
     
  2. jaigner

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    If I needed to in order to attend a Gospel-believing, egalitarian congregation, yes.
     
  3. Luke2427

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    I have about 15 people who drive 20-30 miles to come to our church every Sunday.

    They drive past numerous dead churches that are social clubs for man-centered people and could care less about the Great Commission.

    I'm sorry. That's the way it is.

    We would love to start a church 15 miles in that direction but we are not big enough numerically and financially to do that yet.
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    I don't, but that's because I'm pastoring and need to live in reasonable proximity to the place I serve. We do, as a church, have a a number of people who travel this distance every Sunday. Where we live it isn't really that far (major metro area) and were right off a major freeway.

    When I served with Dr Falwell we had several families (mostly retired or empty nesters) that would drive in from W.VA and Pennsylvania as well as outside Charlottesville and Richmond. This had more to do with Dr Falwell than anything. We would encourage them to serve where they looked but they enjoyed the drive (one couple had to leave by 4:30 am to make SS and the 11:00 service.) Seemed a bit far for me.

    Not everyone is called to ministry. Also, a church plant is very hard and prone to failure.

    I would always encourage someone to attend where they live, work, and play. It is hard to make sense of driving this distance in a small town or rural setting. However in a metro area this might just be closer than your drive to the office. It's relative.

    Sometimes people are legitimately led to attend a church this distance away. Who are we to say they shouldn't?
     
  5. Bob Alkire

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    I drive about 30 miles to church.

    It is the closes church to me that I agree with.

    The way churches split down here, I don't know. At any one time we have between one and five churches trying to start up.
     
  6. convicted1

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    I used to attend a church that was between 60-70 miles away. We only had it on the third and fourth sundays, and every wednesday night. When I had the weekend off(I work every other), I was there, and went every once-in-a-while to the wed. night service. I really enjoyed it there, but we armed off my home church May 2, 2009, and I live about 25 mins or so away.

    My old home church's website is www.littlejewel.org
     
  7. th1bill

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    I drove fifty miles for about eight months because God wanted me there. Now I live 3/4 mile away from that church. We sold out and purchased new.
     
  8. 12strings

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    That sad fact is, that not every church is a good church...many are dying, many are all fluff, many may just have big doctinal differences...So we also have several couples driving anywhere from 25 to almost 45 minutes to be apart of our church. One family that does live close to our church had looked around and thought there were no good churches in our area, and so were attending church in Louisville (an hour from us)...but after speaking to our pastor and attending our church, decided to join here. That is definitely ideal to attend close to home, but sometimes the churches closest to home are not going to be spiritually helpful to a family.
     
  9. Michael Wrenn

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    I don't know of any egalitarian Baptist congregations within a hundred miles.
     
  10. Oldtimer

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    I'm fortunate to live less than 5 miles from the church we attend. However, we do have a number of members who travel quite a ways to attend.

    Observation: It seems that participation in church ministries is directly related to the miles driven to attend Sunday morning services. Both time available and rising transportation costs do take their toll on ability to serve our Lord within the church facility and surrounding community.

    Where possible (as the Lord leads), the closer to the church, the better for many reasons. It's hard to grow in fellowship with other believers when miles driven puts limitations on the opportunities to do so.
     
  11. Luke2427

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    How do you know God wanted you there?
     
  12. ktn4eg

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    ..................And if God has never called a person to preach (as He has not chosen me to do so after 66+ yrs here on earth & in 46 yrs in His family) how does one go about "planting a church" close to where he lives............
     
  13. Salty

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    Actually in the OP I stated

    "Wouldn't it be better for a church to start a church plant"

    I believe in part that many churches will not have church plants because it will take members away from the mother church. Is it too radical to say that power corrupts?
    Personally, I believe in the divide and multiply concept.
     
  14. saturneptune

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    That is a really good post. In my case, I grew up in a PCA (P.resbyterian Church of America) in Gulfport, MS. I met my wife in Paducah, KY and switched membership to a SBC church 35 years ago. Tom Butler attends the same church as I. This church is solid in its theology, outreach, and caring for each other and telling others about the Gospel.

    I think changing churches should be very rare and have a very good reason as lead by the Lord. If I had to move 30-60 miles away for some reason (job, economy etc), I would probably consider a local church of like faith and order, but unless I felt lead to join, I would absolutely drive that far to serve. There were people I worked with that drove 80-90 miles. There is no way I would join a church as you describe above to save time and gas.

    As far as planting a church, that would take two things. First of all, is it what the Lord wanted, and two, under the authority of the local church I belong to.
     
    #14 saturneptune, Sep 7, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2012
  15. ktn4eg

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    At our church ( www.lighthouseministries.org ) we're not so much into "dividing our own congregations' membership" (although we HAVE had a couple "church plants" that have done so). Our focus is providing a venue for foreign refugee/ethnic groups to have a place where the Gospel is preached by their own national pastors. That's why we've planted a Laotian congregation that has been its own autonomous local body for over 20 years, and is why we currently sponsor both a Korean and an Ethiopian congregation who meet in separate facilities on our campus while our Sunday morning corporate worship services are also going on.

    We've also help sponsor what's called the "City Church of Woodbine" that currently meets in an area of south Nashville that is the home for about 1.4 million Hispanic, Burmese, Nepalese, Arabian, Kurdish, Iranian, Indonesians, Filippinos, and various other refuge/immigrant people groups ( www.citychurchwoodbine.org ).

    You see, in the greater Nashville TN area we don't have to send our members overseas to do foreign mission work (although we've done that & presently have people from our own congregation serve in some capacity in almost every continent in the world [especially in the "10 - 40 Window"])......God has seen fit to send people from all over the world to our very own doorsteps!

    So no, we're not into church planting so much to "divide our own" congregation. We're more into "preaching the Gospel to ALL nations," ......even if that only means going a few blocks away from our own campus' doorsteps.
     
  16. Sminasian

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    Well, since the entire state of Rhode Island is 40 miles, nothing here is really " far". But to those who live here, well, a trip to the beach is literally a day trip. A whole 40 mins.

    I dont measure things in miles, I measure them in how much time it takes to get there. Large baptist church may be 5 miles TOPS f rom my house. Takes 15 mins with traffic.

    Conservative baptist is a few miles, a better ride, takes 10 mins with traffic. I admire anyone who travels a great distance to attend a particular church. To me it shows dedication and conviction.
     
  17. Salty

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    or it indicates someone who just wants to attend and is able to use the excuse "it's too far to drive to be so involved....
     
  18. Gina B

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    Church and the community are intertwined, so if it isn't impossible, it seems the best option would be to attend a church in your own community.

    Church plants? Awesome. I'm tempted to say "If you build it, they will come." LOL I have a hard time conceiving of not being able to afford a church plant. Anyone can afford to ask the owner of a building to let them meet there, or start in a home, pitch a tent, etc.. Getting it done right is more important than getting it done fancy, isn't it?
     
  19. Salty

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    I was pastoring a church plant - was meeting in a small cafe. We had two weeks notice that the cafe was closing. Wasnt able to work out the owner of the building.

    Went down the street - found a building for lease. Actually, a business had a lease - and merged their operations - but was still reponsible for the lease for the next 12 months. He was paying over $1,000 a month. He let us sub-let for about 150 per month.

    this is just a bit off OP, but somewhat important
     
  20. Oldtimer

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    I do, too, up to a point.

    In some parts of this country, it may take many miles of travel to reach a church grounded in sound biblical teachings. For one to seek out such a church and regularly attend services, it does show dedication and conviction.

    However, in this part of the country, there's a Baptist church almost within shouting distance from home in just about every direction. I'm guessing there's a dozen, probably more, within 10 miles, or so, from my home.

    As mentioned earlier, we live less than 5 miles from our church. And, we have members, who drive, perhaps 25-30 miles to attend Sunday services. Some of those also attend Wednesay Bible Study and participate in other ministries. Some don't because "It's too far to drive."

    The latter do have a valid excuse with the time it takes and fuel costs to make multiple trips during the week. A valid excuse in terms of attending OUR church. It is not a valid excuse in terms of serving our Lord, when they drive right past sound Baptist churches (yes, multiple churches), closer to their homes in order to reach ours.

    Can't help but wonder what other motivations lie behind their "dedication and conviction" to attend our church. While we can't know what's in someone else's heart, we can know them by the fruit they bear, or lack thereof. "I'd help (or attend) with xyz, but it's too far to drive." from those who ONLY come to 11:00 am Sunday services. As Salty mentioned, has distance become an excuse not to become involved with church life beyond being fed for an hour a week? Especially, when there's a sound Baptist church within shouting distance of their home.

    Gina made a good point.
    Serving our Lord is so much more than spending some time on Sunday morning in worship services. Is it too far to drive to help a fellow church member when they have a need? Whether it's taking them a hot meal in times of sickness or mowing their grass? Is it too far to travel to help the church with a special community outreach effort? Does it take too much time and expense to help with a week of Vacation Bible school? Is the drive too long to go to evening church activities after work during the week?

    If the answer to those questions is yes, perhaps the best way to serve our Lord is to turn into the driveway of a church much closer to home, when that choice exists.
     

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