Monday, September 21, 2009

Topic: Church Struggles...

A url friend posted this on a board:
Background - Reader's Digest much condensed version. We left a church in January 2007 because of major doctrinal issues. We came to this church because we knew people here and my daughter had friends here already. For various reasons, she only goes with us on Sunday mornings, and goes to a different church for youth group. She would just as soon leave our church for the other one totally.

Last year, the new church went through a pretty bad split. It has not recovered from that split yet, and has slowly been bleeding off more and more families. Last week, our home group leaders announced that they were ending the group. He had been one of the elders until he resigned earlier this year. Tonight they told us, not unexpectedly, that they are leaving the church after next week.

We've been fairly unhappy there for some time ourselves. Since the split, the pastor just hasn't gotten back to where he was as far as the quality of his sermons. We leave in two weeks for our vacation, and I strongly suspect that when we return, we will be leaving the church also. I really don't want to go through this again, but it looks like we are. We just don't know where to go. We would love to go to the same church that dd goes to youth group at, but that church holds it's own set of problems.

I know several of you are dealing with church issues also. It's such a tough position to be in! I never went through this before I moved out here. I grew up in one church, only left it when I moved, same as all the other churches I've attended over the years. And now to be in a position where it looks like I'm leaving another one....I don't like it, not one bit.

My response:

I'm sure, as usual, not everyone is going to agree with me. We have been living on the road for a number of years now. We had a church at home that we regularly attended. When we moved about 8 years ago, the church went through a split because of various reasons. (I don't know all of them, and I don't care) The church hasn't been the same since. It's close, but still not the same. (We go back often to visit)

Since we have lived in so many places, we've tried to find a church similar to our old church. We have found one in the past 8 years. Unfortunately, we moved away from that area.

Maybe none of this is making sense, but in my mind I'm building up to my point...

A couple things I've had to remember and keep in mind...
1. No church is perfect. It is filled with people just like me-sinners, saved by grace.
2.Every church has it's problems. How the pastor and the staff handle the problems is the key.
3. We are the church. Church begins with us, from the time we get up until the time we go to bed.
4. Since we are the church, I'll go back to a discussion I think I brought up on here a long time ago...IF we look at the book of Acts, the church's purpose was to disciple and train and send out. We as a modern church DO NOT do that. Most churches nowadays have become social clubs.
5. We are suppose to be lead by the SPIRIT, not by a doctrine or denomination. Some things might look odd to the world, even our line of thinking, but they may be the SPIRIT moving us. Look at the many examples in the's one of so many examples:

Acts 8:26-39

26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza."
27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian [c] eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means "queen of the Ethiopians"). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship,
28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet.
29 The Spirit told Philip, "Go to that chariot and stay near it."
30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. "Do you understand what you are reading?" Philip asked.
31 "How can I," he said, "unless someone explains it to me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
32 This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading: "He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth."
34 The eunuch asked Philip, "Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?"
35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
36-37 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, "Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?"
38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.
39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing

This post is getting too long and I have some things to get done around here. So I'll leave it for now-might be back later.I'll be praying that you have direction, (name here).
Your thoughts?


Susan said...

Wonderful post, Bobbi. The Lord has moved us around quite a bit during our almost 51 years of marriage. Sometimes due to physically moving from one area to another, sometimes because it was just time. We have found each and every move to be an upward move, it I can say that, when WE were ready to be open and exposed to deeper knowledge and insite. Trust the Lord when He speaks to you about moving. I know this last move was the last thing we wanted to do!!! We had learned so much under that minister and we loved the people so much. We "drug our feet" for 4 months (a polite way of saying we were disobedient to what God was telling us!!!) but finally moved on December 23, 2006, a Wednesday night and have been totally happy and blessed where HE chose to place us.

Sorry for such a long comment.

Susan said...

Hi Bobbi,

Please e-mail me so I have a way to e-mail you. I tried to reply to your comment but you are listed as noreply.