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Church (S)hopping…

Church (S)hopping.

So allow me to get some thoughts out. Heather and I have left our church now and for the past 5 weeks we have been worshiping at home with the help of Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church. But, we believe in the Bible and it says we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, which most people say means we need to go to church and be a part of a community of believers. Unfortunately, those are not always the same thing, I have gone to church since I became a Christian but it is not always my community of believers, if that makes sense.

When I started to follow Christ, God really took care of me by brining two of my best friends into His family as well, and for those early years we were together all the time building up one another as I believe the brethren are supposed to do, but we all went to different churches. I am in a similar situation now, I have a core group of peers that I lean on to be community, and we all go to different church, or live in different states.

Heather and I are looking at our options and praying that God pushes us in the right direction, there are thousands of churches in Columbus but I don’t know any of them because I am just not into the church circles. We have been asked to start a house church, but my connotation of house churches is negative, We could just start going to other churches but I don’t like the idea of shopping churches. Not to mention when you are called to ministry it is much harder, either you are coming into steal people away or they put a lot of pressure on you to do things right away. I will be posting more as we see where we are heading…

4 replies on “Church (S)hopping…”

Sympathy.

My own frustrations on this is that you can go to an old dying church, or the new churches kind of either expect you to be a new Christian or to “fit” in. What of those who don’t?

You say you have a negative image of house churches. Why? They used to be very common (1st century) and in many parts of the world they are the only option. More curious on your specific objections.

It has no concrete support, but my connotation is either people who are “Super spiritual nut jobs” or people who are offended and looking to stay that way so the gather other offended people to coddle them. To clarify I have no evidence and can’t really tell you where I got the idea but it is none the less something I forced to overcome.

That’s what I thought.

I know a lot of folks around the country that do house churches, though I don’t myself (yet). For many of them, it is a reaction to the “program” driven church mentality, or the “church as an institution” structure that occurs frequently.

Personally, I’m sick of the bureaucracy structures. At my current church home, I find myself going alone on items, as I will hear God telling me to go a path and those around so often want to know what the “church leadership” is thinking, or what x is thinking. It isn’t that they believe that mr x or whoever hears from God any better, they are just in this mentality that doesn’t allow so much hearing from God. And horrors if you quote a writer not on the sanctioned list of writers.

Because small groups or home prayer meetings lead by ‘christians’ who disagree or feel ‘hurt’ by the church they are in are the primary cause of church splits.

I understand your fustration Jason — I know of a great church you could go to, but you would have to move to AZ 🙂

No matter where you go, its going to take a while to build the ‘communitee’ feel you are talking about. As you visit new churches, try to keep in mind that no church is perfect and friendships take time to build. I would recommend making a list of churches you would like to visit – check them out and when you find one that you think ‘maybe’ then you should call the pastor. Let him know your situation from the start. If he has an issue with your situation, you just keep looking, but if he is understanding (even if he disagrees with you on tithing) it should be easier to stick it out long enough to build relationships…

I know God will guide you though this time — many good christians have been the similar situations…

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