Sunday, September 04, 2005

Choosing a church

So I attend a small Southern Baptist church. Several college students attend this church, but due its location to our school it should be packed out. Now there are probably about 20 members of this congregation. They are some of the greatest people I have ever known, and I think all of them are either retired are close to it. Now a good friend of mine that I respect, and myself were talking about why so few students attend. Now my view is because there are so few ministries and studies students can be involved in. My friend’s main argument was that it is due to the worship. The interim minister of music is a great guy but he is always off key and we always do traditional hymns with piano accompaniment. I personally love old hymns and a even the organ, but I know I’m strange. So my question is: Do you really choose a church based on the style of music? I mean some people were rather forsake the fellowship than go to a traditional church. I personally love hymns so before you say that’s the reason I go understand that I use to attend True Life which is one of the most contemporary churches in the area, but it had good teaching from Pastor Joel Rainey. So am I just that weird that the doctrine of truth be more important than whether our music style began in the 1950s or whether it began in the 1970s? I know God gave people specific tastes, but I can’t understand why we would break fellowship over such a trivial issue. It seems so “me” focused. “This is how I worship in music.” If that is mindset you start from then what you are doing is not God-centered worship nor is it any kind of worship. In your home you decide what is your own style, but in the church you worship however possible. Now if there are two churches you are choosing between and both are equally doctrinal true then of course you should choose the one that fits your personality, but if you go in with the attitude is this what makes me comfortable and not is this where I can grow in my walk with Christ then you are committing a terrible fallacy. This isn’t easy to do. I personally have a hard time going into a very contemporary church and looking past that to worship and learn, but it must be done. We who are servants of Christ cannot be more concerned about our own style than we are about the doctrines of Christ. Both groups must be willing to look beyond such trivialities to expand the gospel of Christ. More on this later, but I would really like to hear your thought on this in the blog section. How do you choose a church?


Rodney Olsen said...

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You can choose to activate 'word verification' in your blogger settings and it should stop all the spam coming in.

Thankfully I have been at the same church for over 10 years and see no reason to move on so I don't have the dilema of choosing a church.

There is obviously a lot more than just music and doctrine to consider.

Doctrine is obviously paramount but we need to ask what is happening with that doctrine. Are we putting our beleifs into action? We may feel that we are correct in our thinking about God but if we aren't seeing people saved and our church growing we must ask why. Are we devoting as much time as we should to seeing people being introduced to Jesus?

Even asking why people would choose one style of church over another is missing the point unless people are being brought into the Kingdom.

Anonymous said...

The early church was led to where they were they would meet. This is where we get the fish emblem because the early disciples would make that figure in the dirt of sand to tell the believers that they were meeting there and that the Holy Spirit had led them. We must also be led of the Spirit to where God wants us. As many as are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.

There should also be a balance on the part of the church in regards to preaching, teaching, music and technology. The church should not get religious and dismiss these things but should learn to utilize the for the glory of God with pure heart motives and then these man created technologies, styles and such do not take the place of the leading of the Spirit of the Living God.

I was touched to read your article and your age. God has plans for you as you build your life on integrity and not only charisma. Hitler had a tremedous amount of charisma and many people followed him, Stalin had charisma and followers, however God places His emphasis on character.

God bless you.

Paul in Oklahoma