Wednesday, February 05, 2014

So you want to find a church.......

Last month I wrote a post called "So you found what?"  I did this because I get SOOO many emails asking me how to have a relationship with Jesus.  I also get a ton of emails asking me about finding a church and how to get involved in church.  So I want to address that. 

I want to state a few things up front.  Going to church is not a legalistic thing - church doesn't save you.  The most important thing is to have a relationship with Jesus.  Also, this isn't "find a Baptist church to join" either.  The important thing is the church believes the Bible.  The Bible is the authority - not man.

And I'm not a theologian or seminary graduate.  I'm just a girl who loves Jesus and His church and I know that church is a foreign place to a lot of you and I want you to know how positive it can be.  I've read so many posts lately from people inside and outside the church who bash the church.  

I get it.  

No church is perfect.  Only Jesus is.  And sure- the church is full of hypocrites.  So is every workplace, grocery store, and Facebook.  We are all a bunch of sinners in need of a Savior.  The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints. 
  {I didn't come up with that last sentence - I've heard it all my life.  I don't know who originally said it - but it's good!}

1.  This is important.  Find a church that you feel comfortable in.  Find a church that preaches the word.  Find a church where you love the music.  BUT remember.........the church isn't there to serve you.  You need to find a church YOU can serve in.  Don't just go and fill a pew and leave.

2.  DO think about your kids.  We knew we wanted to join our church because they have a STRONG youth program and a lot of programs for children.  We were five years away from having kids but I knew that the church I wanted to be in was one I wanted my children to one day be firmly rooted in.  Maybe you don't even want to go to church.........but try it for your kids!

3. GET INVOLVED.  Church can be the most amazing support system you will ever have.  But you have to dive in.  Get in a Sunday School class/family group/ life group.  Whatever your church calls it - join one!  I promise you, you will never feel involved in a church by showing up on Sundays and that's it.   Moms - if you want friends this can be the best source.  It can also be so good for your marriage.  I was at a marriage conference last week where 6 couples who have been married over 30 years shared tips.  EVERY SINGLE one shared that being involved in church and having close friends in church was one of the best things they ever did for their marriage.

4.  You may not think you have any talents or maybe you have a lot of talents.  There is a place for you somewhere.  FIND A PLACE TO SERVE.  Sing in the choir.  Volunteer in the nursery.  Teach youth Sunday School.  Offer to fix the morning coffee.  Help with VBS.  Cook meals when someone has a baby.  Volunteer to help stock the church food pantry.  There are a MILLION ways to get involved.  And not only will you be serving the Lord, but it will give you opportunities to meet other people.

5.  This might feel awkward but call the church office and ask to meet with the pastor.  If you are new to church or just new to your town - it might help to talk to the pastor and find out what the church is about and talk about ways you can get involved. And any pastor worth anything will be more than happy to welcome you!

6.  I know you can have a relationship with God by just being in your house or nature and reading your Bible by yourself.  But we are also called to fellowship with believers.  To serve and to give.

7.  Give to your church.  You can't outgive God and he asked us to tithe.  Not because He needs our money.  But because it's an act of faith on our part.  And a way for Him to show us that He can provide our needs.

There are a lot of things we can do in life that we may later regret.  Finding a church family and serving the Lord alongside fellow believers will hopefully never be one of those.

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