Monday, March 16, 2009

Warning: Fellowship Required


We are in the process of searching for a church home. It hasn't been the funnest experience we've had this year. But, as believers in Jesus Christ, we know the importance of fellowship with other Christians. God's Word mentions many times, the benefits of encouraging and growing from one another. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25

One of the arguments I hear from people is that they don't need to go to church, they can worship God just fine on their own. Sure, that's possible. But seriously, how many of these people are taking time out to read the Bible? How many are truly digging deep to unearth the treasures of His truths and apply them in their life? Most of the time it's their excuse. These people might stay away because they've been hurt by church-going folk. I can understand that. I've been hurt before too. There is a saying that pierces my heart, “A person may not become a Christian for two reasons, 1) Because they never knew a Christian. Or, 2) Because they did.”

Friends, sheep bite and the body has body odor. We are flesh and bones, created with a sinful nature. Lets not be surprised when a hurt happens. No church is perfect. Our eyes are to be on Jesus, not on people who are poor examples. The Lord tells us not to give up meeting together. His Word encourages us to continue, and no matter what, to assemble together. Don't tie God's hands. He wants to bless you with the fellowship of other Christians. And in turn, maybe you can be the one to encourage future believers, all the more as you see the Day approaching.


25 comments:

A Stone Gatherer said...

I so agree! That verse in Hebrews is part of my life pasage for this year! I say it often!

Tammy said...

Joanne,
I can't imagine not going to church.I love the company,worship and the Word but there was a time when I made excuses not to go.It took us a while to find our home church.We did a bit of wandering in the 20 years of worshiping at our home church.

Keep praying and seeking God. He will tell you were to stop and pitch your tent.

Thanks for the visit.

In His Grace,
Tammy

Cherdecor said...

I so agree with your post today. I am sure that it upsets the Lord a little when we cannot take time out from our very blessed and busy life to worship the one who gave us all that we have.

We have always been church goers but not until the last year have we found a church where we feel God is on the move. When we saw that, we got excited and decided to join. My husband spends all his spare time preparing, leading and helping this ministry.

We came at the right time. They say that this church has not always been the church it is today. God had to do some rearranging first.

I think another reason people do not go to church is unconfessed sin. They don't feel comfortable in church. That is an easy fix. Just confess and forsake.

With the fall of the economy, I think our greatest days of ministry are ahead. So, let's all go to church!

LisaShaw said...

Joanne,

As your family asks the Lord for where He wants you to be, He will lead you.

Your message is dead on in every way.

God bless you.

Beth in NC said...

Oh girl, I wish you lived here. Waaaaaaaaaaaa!

I pray God provides the perfect (well, you know what I mean) place for you and your family.

Where your sheep armor over your heart so they don't bite ya!

Love you,
b

Mari said...

Great post Joanne. God has the right place for you, just keep listening. Even when you are in that place, there are still times of hurt because of all us imperfect people who are making up the church at large, but it's worth it to be in the fellowship~!

beloved Mama said...

Love this post- I've told you before- we've been there! have you found a home? Have you thought about starting a "house church"?

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

As a preacher's wife, there's sort of a built in requirement for church attendance. Still, I have many days when I'd rather hit the snooze and pull the covers. But I don't because I know that being in the community of believers is a privilege, not a dread. I need them, and rarely do I walk away feeling as if I wasn't better off for having been in the house of God with God's people--even with the ones I'd rather avoid.

I just keep thinking that heaven will not be a solitary place of worship, but corporate worship. Jesus and his grace doesn't belong to me alone, but to everyone. Better start living like it here...in the great dress rehersal for what's to come.

peace to you in your week, and may God bless your family with a new community of worshippers very soon.

~elaine

Aspiemom said...

I hated it when we moved and had to search for a new church. It was so discouraging. Finally we went to one and we just knew it was "home." But it's taking a long time to get to know people. Since we're new to the area we are having to start from scratch. People who have never moved just aren't sensitive to that situation. We get so lonely at times. It seems like it's always us reaching out and we hope that we'll build good friendships in the near future. They are so important!

Thanks for this post.

English Cottage in Georgia said...

What a wonderful blog. I too am looking for a church home...not an easy thing to do. I have been a long time lutheran (missouri synod) and the closest is over 50 miles from home.
My family needs the fellowship of other Christians nearby. I feel that the coming years Christian will need the fellowship more than ever. Changing a religion one has been with 53 years is difficult, but important.
I love you blog and its purpose. I hope you do not mind me posting your blog on my sidebar.

Transaprent J said...

I remember a friend praying for my wife and I (can a guy comment on here?? :-) ) when we were looking for a church home. Tough to be in a transition period, and yes people do hurt sometimes, but the potential heartache is worth the effort... We were built for fellowship!

I'm shooting a prayer your way and hopefully you can connect with a church family soon.

Jason
Transparent Christian Magazine.Com

Katie said...

I can't believe how many times your blog has spoken to me right when I needed it!!! This is SO where we are right now. Thank you so much for the encouragement. =)

Lisa writes... said...

Praying you find the place God would have you serve among His people...

Elizabeth M Thompson said...

Joanne, thanks for sharing something so close to your heart. Leaving a church home you've loved is painful and finding a new "home" sometimes takes a long, lonely while. I pray that God will lead you quickly to a church home where your gifts (and those of your family members) will be used for His glory. And where other's gifts will minister to you.

Barbara said...

I will be praying for you to find where God needs you. I do happen to know a wonderful church,if you were only here. This I do believe..with your gifting and ability to share...there is a church somewhere that needs you and your giftings and when you find that place He has for you, anointing will flow. I am believing that God is preparing that way even now and that when you arrive you will "Know that you know" it is where He would have you. You have much to offer so there must be a great need somewhere in your path. Keep us posted on your journey.

Karen said...

I "went to church" on Sunday morning, for about a year after my divorce, slid in late on the back pew and was the first to leave. But for the past nine months I have really gotten involved in a Spirit-filled church, in small groups, and outreach, and it has made a big difference. Maybe it is by learning how to get along with our "brothers and sisters" that we "grow up".

Kate said...

Oh man, I'm sorry to hear that you are in church-home search mode right now. With moving as much as we have, we've been there quite a few times. And of course, there was the one time that we actually got kicked out of our church (long story) and had to find a new one. So, we have definitely been there. It kind of makes you feel homeless in a way. It's a funny feeling.

momstheword said...

Wonderful post and absolutely true. If you are a believer you need to be attending church. Period. You need to be around other believers, you need to be hearing God's word, and you need to be using your God-given gifts to build up the body of Christ!

Finding a church can take awhile, I know. But it's exciting to think about the place that God has for you!

I love what you say about not being surprised when hurt happens. People leave churches with hurts and baggage and anger, etc.

We aren't perfect and we need to learn to love one another and be patient with one another.

If our eyes are on Jesus, as you said, and not on ourselves than we will be looking to serve and to minister to others. We will be asking the Lord to love others through us. Then perhaps we won't be so quick to want our own way or to trample over someone's feelings in a rush to get something done. Also, we will forgive when someone tramples on us.

Jaclyn said...

I know JUST how you feel. We "church shopped" for 2 years before we finally felt like God wanted us at Calvary.
It stinks that sometimes people are wounded by those who are supposed to love and support them the most...fellow Christians...but...people are people, and therfore NOT perfect.
I'm sure you've already gone to quite a few churches in the area, but if you need any suggestions, I know a few!

Jessica said...

Well said!
A lurking regular,
Jessica King

Angie said...

I so agree! Church family is like any family. It takes work. Forgiveness and much love. GRACE. GRACE. GRACE. (Remember Lysa's words??)
I'd be a lost puppy without my Church family though!

LOVE YOU! WAITING to hear from YOU ;)

Anonymous said...

My pastor's response to people who say that -- "You don't have to go home at night to be married either". --- Sandy S.

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Excellent post!! I think it's so important for us to go to church! And God blesses us in so many ways through it.

I know that the Lord will lead you to the right church at just the right time!

Tea With Tiffany said...

Truth well said. I know God will lead your family to the right church family! In His time. Until then, enjoy the adventure of searching. I remember how hard that can be.

Chris Pedersen said...

We've been at our church for 18 years now and our church is only 19 years old. Sadly we are one of a handful of families still at the church for that long. It was not because God's word is not preached...indeed it is always preached! If you forgot your Bible, there is one in front of you in the chair rack.

People have all kinds of reasons why they have to move to another church. I have always said that if you leave because of this reason or that, remember the Holy Spirit will follow you until hopefully you are satisfied with only Him.

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