1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a Christian Forum that recognizes that all Christians are a work in progress.

    You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

Finding a church

Discussion in 'The Church Forum' started by Windmillcharge, Oct 7, 2021.

  1. Faithbuilders

    Faithbuilders Active Member

    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    163
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    Canada
    Just because you know the Bible, and the Truth; does not make one a pastor. The 5-fold ministries gifts are called by God Himself: we need it make sure that we are called into that ministry, or it will fall. Finding a good church that teaches the uncompressed, un-polluted Word of God, and moves in the power of the Holy Spirit is not an easy task. I do believe, however, if you ask the Father, He will guide you to the church you are meant to be in.
     
    michaelvpardo, Pearl and Nancy like this.
  2. theefaith

    theefaith Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    17,633
    Likes Received:
    1,156
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    There is only one church Jn 10:16 all other are heretical sects the tradition of men
     
  3. michaelvpardo

    michaelvpardo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,868
    Likes Received:
    1,554
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    I like this. The Lord places us in His body according to our own calling and gifts. Not everyone is called to teach or preach, but there are multiple gifts of the Spirit. Sometimes a congregation needs help with "administration " to help meet the day to day needs of accounting, paying bills,etc., or needs "encouragements", people to come alongside the hurting, and those that are stumbling over trials. Even the gift of "helps" is essential. You can't expect your pastor to clean the building where you meet, to maintain the grounds, to speak with every soul that has some special request, or guide people to open parking spots.

    I'm not sure that the Lord calls anyone to warm seats, but certainly someone needs to make the coffee, or pick up bagels and donuts for fellowship, to watch over young children without the attention or self control to sit still during worship, to operate sound systems, to play music for worship, etc.

    Everyone that's "saved" is saved to a purpose and that purpose always involves some service to the body of Christ.
    Possibly the most important service is prayer over all the rest and who is incapable of prayer?

    The Lord knows the needs of His church and places us in the body to meet those needs. Trust Him and you won't be disappointed, and remember that sometimes a weak church is where the power of God is most manifest. You can never know how God will use you for His glory. Serve Him in humility and He will lift you up and give you honor and love among the brethren. Amen.
     
    Pearl and Ziggy like this.
  4. michaelvpardo

    michaelvpardo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,868
    Likes Received:
    1,554
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    I was raised to be a very independent sort of person, my parents valued personal strength. Consequently I was not accustomed to anyone ministering to or helping me, but I learned that it's good to accept help, that by doing so someone else is blessed in exercising their gifts. It takes some humility and I was prideful in many ways, but the Lord is able to humble us when we walk in pride. I found it better to humble myself than suffer His hand, but it took time for me to see this. The Lord works to perfect what He starts and it's best to cooperate.
     
    Windmillcharge, Ziggy and amadeus like this.
  5. michaelvpardo

    michaelvpardo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,868
    Likes Received:
    1,554
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    I did that myself, but not by intent. I was "saved" through the ministry of coworkers and in one of my read throughs of the Bible I was convicted by the verse about abandoning the gathering together of the assembly. That's when I started looking for a "home church." However, I don't know that this is for everyone. Some people were raised by Christian parents and believed the gospel at an early age. Sometimes they stay in the same church where their parents served and worshipped, sometimes they relocate as adults, sometimes the Lord makes them discontented where they are and gives them the desire to go visit other assemblies. "One size doesn't fit all."

    I believe that the key is to trust the Lord and be sensitive to His guidance. I don't know that you can follow Him without knowing Him, but those that know Him should trust Him, shouldn't they? Following His guidance is how trust is built, and trusting His word is faith. I like the story of Gideon from the book of judges. He tested the Lord, but he learned how to trust His word.
     
    amadeus likes this.
  6. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    20,355
    Likes Received:
    27,593
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    Yes, only one with one Head which is Jesus. How do we get into it? Should we follow a man or the Spirit of God?
     
  7. michaelvpardo

    michaelvpardo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,868
    Likes Received:
    1,554
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    That's a lovely sentiment Ziggy, but unless another poster lives in your neighborhood, it would be difficult for any of us to help you in an hour of need.

    I had a fire in my attic once, I guess over 10 years ago now.
    I found out about it from a phone call from a neighbor while driving home from work. I won't share the details, but my former wife left the house with our dog and our cats were outside when I arrived home. The fire department had opened a hole in the roof and poured a lot of water into the attic.

    While I was standing staring at the roof dumbfounded and clueless about where to go or what to do, a brother in the Lord stopped at the house. He'd been working in the area and came up to help when he saw me standing there in shock. He took me to home depot to get a tarp and ferring strips. He went up on the roof to help secure the tarp over the hole. Then he took me to his home where his wife served me dinner and provided a bed for the night. I just stumbled along grateful for their loving kindness.

    A faithful and loving church is a beautiful thing. Just recalling this brought a few tears to my eyes, because I had to move away from that area and miss that assembly. However, wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, you'll find love that is practical, not just lip service. If you're able, don't deny yourself the experience of such love, or the opportunity to demonstrate it to others. It's a tremendous blessing.
     
    amadeus and Ziggy like this.
  8. michaelvpardo

    michaelvpardo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,868
    Likes Received:
    1,554
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    That's an odd bit of information to put in a brochure and suggests a certain weakness in faith, but in some places rents or mortgages are high, workers are all paid employees rather than volunteers, etc., but you're wise to consider such things and that seems like excessive expenditure. Just having that in a brochure would be a "red flag" to me.
     
  9. michaelvpardo

    michaelvpardo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,868
    Likes Received:
    1,554
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    I've moved around a lot in fellowships, but I felt lead to do so as part of my calling. The Lord brought me to assemblies with spiritual issues, usually a problem with a pastor and I'd find myself with opportunities to "point the issues out" to the pastors.

    Where pastors or other elders were open to scriptural counsel, health was restored. But one church eventually closed its doors forever and in another the pastor was "let go" because in both cases the pastors were blind to their faults and failed their congregations.

    It is wonderful though to find a church where you can serve and be served, and rejoice in the family of God.
     
  10. michaelvpardo

    michaelvpardo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,868
    Likes Received:
    1,554
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    You're not wrong in your assessments, but sometimes the Lord calls us to weak fellowships to help strengthen them. It's unlikely that one new congregant will change the practices of a megachurch, but never underestimate the power of the Lord to affect real change even through one man with His Spirit. Elijah made a difference, but it was God working through him that accomplished everything of value that he did.
     
    amadeus and MatthewG like this.
  11. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,865
    Likes Received:
    7,689
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    I don't have a neighborhood. I live in the sticks 10 miles away from the closest town.
    The closest church in the town has gay pride flags flying outside.
    I live on SS supplement. $500. a month. I go to town once a month for food shopping.
    I can't afford the gas. I'm disabled and can't walk or sit in one position for very long. I would probably be a distraction.
    I been to a few churches in my time, but they don't like it when you ask questions, so I stopped going.
    That was when I lived in a city and was healthy and had a job.

    I'm happy here. I feel you all are my neighbors and my family.
    I meet here everyday or as often as I can. Sometimes I wonder over to other forums but their not the same.
    This is my church.
    I hear what your saying...
    All I can do is trust God to keep my dad's property that I live on, safe.
    And last fall was pretty intense. A circuit breaker went bad and I smelled burning electricity. I called an electrician and he fixed it.
    The roof leaked in the garage and destroyed the heater that kept the water pump from freezing, so I called my friend that mows my lawn and he brought his brother and fixed the leak, the gas company replaced the heater, and all is well.
    Both buildings could of been toast. But the Lord intervened before that could happen.

    I feel a lot of love through these pages. Through the words I hear the spirit in the people.
    I can almost imagine what everyone looks like. Not by the flesh, but by the spirit.
    And it is a tremendous blessing.
    And this is what the Lord has provided for me.
    So I'm not complaining.
    :D
    Hugs
     
  12. michaelvpardo

    michaelvpardo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,868
    Likes Received:
    1,554
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    Pretty sure you're answering someone who attends a church by assignment and they're all perfect.;)
     
    amadeus likes this.
  13. michaelvpardo

    michaelvpardo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,868
    Likes Received:
    1,554
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    RCC, dead, lifeless.
     
    GRACE ambassador likes this.
  14. michaelvpardo

    michaelvpardo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,868
    Likes Received:
    1,554
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    That's good advice, and should start as a Bible study, but this assumes that of those gathering there are some that are spiritual and have an understanding of sound doctrine. It's not unusual for cults to form in such ways because one strong personality is able to mishandle scripture and seize a leadership role. Churches that promote such small groups usually assure that the group leader has a demonstrated level of maturity and understanding.
     
    GRACE ambassador and MatthewG like this.
  15. michaelvpardo

    michaelvpardo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,868
    Likes Received:
    1,554
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    You're not wrong, but it's not wise to challenge a pastor's teaching in a public way. Pastors are dependent upon the congregation trusting them and error, especially gross error should be discussed first in private. If such disagreement isn't resolved privately, then it's proper to bring in a few more as witnesses for a limited discussion over the same issue, preferably church elders or deacons. If you find yourself in a minority opinion with church leadership, it's best to just pray and consider your own beliefs, whether you might be mistaken, or move on to a like minded assembly.

    We are not called to be divisive, but to a mutual submission. If such submission would compromise our conscience, then it's better to "shake the dust from our feet" and seek another place that doesn't compromise our conscience.
     
    amadeus likes this.
  16. Pearl

    Pearl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,098
    Likes Received:
    11,472
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    My own place in our church was as publisher of quarterly news letters with contributions which we shared and helped us keep in touch. I also took turns on the overhead projector and I hosted midweek bible studies and took turns on the tea/coffee rota. We can all do something for our fellowships. We don't need to be 'front of house' to use the talents we have. I don't think I would want to belong to a church which didn't want my talents - however small and insignificant they may seem to me. The trouble is though that some people want a 'ministry' and may convince themselves they are preachers or prophets etc when they are clearly not.
     
    amadeus and michaelvpardo like this.
  17. MatthewG

    MatthewG Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,478
    Likes Received:
    2,528
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    Fellowship with others is important not matter their own beliefs. When it comes to teaching one would desire to at least be open and honest with the people they are teaching to. As you see I have in my signature a route to a person who taught me a lot about the Bible.

    He is always persistent in making the case of, hey I can be wrong, don’t believe me but check the Bible and see, and he also brings forth a lot of helpful material for others to be able grow in their walk with Christ.

    I believe I should be the same way if teaching saying this what I believe the scripture is saying in accordance with context, hebrewism or imagery or practices from the Old Testament, and try to paint a complete picture if possible and all in accordance with trusting God to provide the ability for one to think for themselves and test all things by the spirit and also by reading and looking at what the Bible has to say. But I’m always capable of being wrong, if someone believes differently it is between them and God. Love is primary by the spirit.

    If it being truthful or not.
     
    amadeus and Pearl like this.
  18. michaelvpardo

    michaelvpardo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,868
    Likes Received:
    1,554
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    CB?
    While a member in one Baptist church, my wife (at that time) was working for a while in nursing homes. One place welcomed a preacher to come on Sundays to minister to the "home bound" and my wife suggested that I share scripture on a few Sundays. My pastor at the time was interested in what I was doing and attended one of these little services.

    That didn't last too long because some attendees wanted me to hear their confessions and act like a priest, making me extremely uncomfortable, but an old Scottish pastor who'd temporarily stepped in to conduct services while our pastor was absent felt that I needed an ordination of sorts to continue in that ministry,so he laid his hands on me and prayed with me for the Lord's support and guidance.

    With the approval of the church leadership we recruited some help from the congregation and found a nursing home and an assisted living residence that welcomed us as a church ministry for Sunday worship a few times a month.
    We did this for a few years, with me slowly preaching through the book of Matthew, and helpers providing music for singing and distributing "elements" for communion observance. Sometimes as few as 4 or 5 residents attended, but in the nursing home the nurses packed the room for the health benefit of ministry.

    Unfortunately, my former wife became disappointed over time with the ministry and upset at the time it required of me, so I used the ministry as opportunity to bring in other men equipped to teach and preach in my place for the experience behind a pulpit.

    At the same time I was a bit discontented with changes being made in worship services at our home church and had a sense that church leadership wasn't being considerate of the concerns of older members.

    After speaking with the leadership who believed that the mature should be willing to drop their concerns for the sake of church growth, and in pleasing the expanding numbers of youthful attendees, I perceived a church split coming and didn't want to be caught up in the strife that goes with such splits. Taking sides becomes an inevitability when mutual submission vanishes and my own discontentment, the loss of my peace, and a sense of the Lord’s leading, lead me to drop my membership and seek another local assembly.

    A church split did follow and others left with either hurt feelings or bruised egos, but that congregation survived and continued to grow, as well as the "eldercare ministry" we helped to start. The thing I had to consider is that the Church belongs to Christ, not to the pastors, elders or any men. The Lord is free to do with it as He sees fit. We can only serve Him successfully to the extent that we submit to His will and abide in His word.

    Some people are church planters. If it's the Lord's work, His word will prosper in His purpose. When men make the church their own, God can fix that, but at a cost to the assembly.

    We can accomplish nothing without Him and it isn't His way to validate our choices, but to guide them.
    God bless you brother and if He's leading you to start your own assembly, then I'm confident that He has a great starting place. Just remember whose church it is and it will prosper. Amen.
     
  19. michaelvpardo

    michaelvpardo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,868
    Likes Received:
    1,554
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    Actually there are wrong ways. The pastoral Epistles are proven instructions to church leaders and should be observed to build a solid assembly. Our God is a God of established order and not chaos, so He's provided sound principles for church order and leadership.

    The most spiritual churches I've attended upheld the entire counsel of God, had spiritual elders in leadership, and observed tbe proper order of church discipline.

    The Church was never meant to be a free for all, and forums like these are a proof that disagreement frequently leads to sinful behavior and bitterness. This isn't an option in public assembly and a small faithful church is far preferable to a megachurch that hosts Christian entertainments each Sunday. God can make anything work, but He honors those who honor His word. I've witnessed this repeatedly. The Lord is zealous for His word.
     
  20. michaelvpardo

    michaelvpardo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,868
    Likes Received:
    1,554
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    I'm not familiar with their orthopraxy, but encountered a number of Greek Orthodox practitioners while doing street evangelism and they were both friendly and biblically informed. They certainly didn't need to be evangelized.
    I wish this were true of all the established churches, but the Lord is sovereign in creation. Amen
     
Loading...