It seems the worst thing a person could put themselves through, is the experience of church hunting. Finding a place to call “Home”, and a church “Family” to be apart of.
Several things that stand out as you walk into a church, is the interior.
Where are your children going to be during service? Is it easy to find? How many hallways do you have to wind through before you find it?
Where are the restrooms?
Is there carpet? Is there concrete?
Will your expensive cup of hot coffee have to cool in the car while you sit through over an hour of service?
The next thing people note, are the people.
They look friendly, but are they going to talk to you? Is the church even small enough to know when there are guests?
Will the Greeters be the only people who make your acquaintance? Will they care if you come back next Sunday?
Are you going to meet somebody genuinely interested in who you and your family are?
Will the person who told you you can’t have your coffee in service be the only person who reaches out to you?
And then you sit down, and service starts.
Why do churches spend so much money on a sound system, when no one knows how to use it?
Either the acoustics are too loud, or the sound is muddy, or you can’t hear the vocals…..
People around you worship God, oblivious to you and who you are. Wrapped up in their moment– not even realizing you’re there for the first time.
Never taking the moment afterward to reach into your Life.
People don’t go to church to sit through service. They go to find people who will connect with them and help them find the things they are looking for.
They come in, wanting to be poured into, and leave empty.
When the emptiness continues, time after time, eventually they stop trying to find something new. They stop going altogether.
The “greeting” comes around. Your hand might be shaken, you might be nodded at.
And then the pastor gets up.
Now, going into a non-denominational church presents several problems.
1) The pastor is waaaaay too Charismatic, and you sit through what feels like a televangelist service. It includes prophetic “messages”, or escatology and “the end is upon us!”
((Which I believe is highly possible….. but not quite the same as they do))
2) The pastor starts mistranslating scripture, taking things out of context and pushing modern ideology instead of sound theology held strong through the ages.
3) The pastor goes into political moments and asks for the wrath of God to fall on our Nation’s leaders. Also not biblical.
4) Prosperity preaching.
Non-denominational churches seem like they all spring out of the Pentecostal movement. Where are the Spirit-led, Baptist background churches with sound theology, but openness to the Gifts?
At any rate, it’s so hard to find what you’re looking for, when there are so many options…. and you’re tired of looking.
I’m tired of looking.
I’m tired of going to church, never being talked to.
I’m tired of going to church and only ever being talked to by the guy who tells you you can’t have your coffee in service.
The lack of friends in my Foresaken home in the High Plains becomes even more than obvious as our second child prepares to come into the world and we lack EVERYTHING for a little girl, because the first was a boy.
The lack of a church Family with people we can talk to as our life stands on the balance of Change, is also highly frustrating.
Man was not intended to be alone. Even Jesus surrounded himself with friends.
Jesus was highly extroverted. He was a natural people person and confident in who he was.
Unfortunately, mankind is not at all like Jesus. And you walk into a new church and walk out of a new church still waiting to be reached into.