Observations of a Church Shopper

For the first time in our lives, my wife and I are church shoppers. We've been visiting different churches until God gives direction as to where He wants us to "plug in". Here are a few of my observations as a visitor.
All of the churches we have visited are "inner-directed". That is, they are more concerned with getting their own itches scratched, and having their own backs patted than they are in reaching the world for Christ.
Worship is an after-thought in most, if not all of the churches we've visited. The pre-set order of service precludes the Holy Spirit leading in any direction other than what has been prescribed. Very little of the worship is God-focused even though the words to some of the songs are. We're still mainly singing to ourselves or each other...not to God. Almost all worship is confined to singing or listening to singing. Little thought is given to the fact that music is only a small aspect of true worship.
Sunday school classes are more interested in fellowship than Bible Study. Not that fellowship isn't important, but in the 5 or 6 hours of SS that we've attended over the past several weeks, we've experienced maybe 2 hours of Bible Study. The rest of the time has been spent fellowshipping or sharing prayer requests. Oh, and the request time beats the actual prayer time a good 3 to 1.
Those are just a few of the observations we've made. Hopefully the lessons we're learning will stand us in good stead when God plugs us in somewhere else, or maybe even back where we came from. There are many things I've noticed as a visitor that I never paid attention to as a member. Perhaps we should require that everyone get out of their comfort zone and experience life "on the other side".

Comments

As you know, we had to "church shop" when we moved up here. There was one church that we visited where we sat in a S.S. class for probably 15-20 min. before anyone ever recognized that we were there or bothered to find out whether or not we actually went there.(??) Then when approached, the teacher said, "Now you all have been visiting for a while now, right?" (it was our first time!) We also experienced the lack of Bible study. You know, I think churches would do a great service to their ministries if they would ask themselves how well they serve the individual who wants to study God's Word, the individual who NEEDS God's Word.....Do people leave your S.S. class having met God there in the Word...or do they leave with a head full of prayer requests for sick people, and the directions to the next social.
All I have to say is AMEN to this. I totally felt the same way as we left Sebring and moved to Vero. THis is something we took very seriously and were not quick to jump in to. I am so so glad God led us to our church we are in now, a former mentor of Scott's, the man who led him to Christ as a 7th grader is our pastor. We had no idea they were even in Vero. Can you believe God called them to Vero the SAME summer he called us??? We found each other after a few months living here through the grapevine hearing each other's names in public. It just brings chills to my arms. The only flash of our church is the that of the Holy spirit speaking throuhg His word with everyone digging to know more and more about him. As a matter of fact it's a very traditional service but at the same time not oppossed to something a little more if the spirit leads us to that, but only out true Thanksgiving no as entertainment. It's been such an encouragment to have my pastor's wife (Barb) take time to call me, go through a bible study with me and just know me, my flaws and all. She helps me with Anna and just the little things in life. She has just be an accountability person in my life in the most loving way whom I can open my heart to. She is like my second mom. I have always wanted someone like her to take the time for me. It's been amazing and helps me to know how to help the younger women instead of just being expected to know how (Titus 2). This has been the largest prayer answer I have had in years.So I understand looking for the church and the importance of it. Hope you didn't mind me writing but I just loved you and Rae when were in Sebring. So it warms my heart to follow your blogs and keep up! I really hope and pray you find your church "home". Although we know where our real home is =)

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