Then there were other weeks, when I could have gone. But I didn't. I've been feeling indifferent about going. Which kinda bugs me, because I've always loved going. But lately I've been craving something that I haven't been getting.
But first, here's my disclaimer: It's always hard to say that you need something else, without sounding critical of what you currently have. And that's not really my motive here.
My pastor gives a "lighter" message on Sunday mornings, because he wants it to be an atmosphere where you can feel comfortable bringing someone - someone who might be "searching". Someone who might not necessarily go to church on a regular basis. His messages are topical. Something based on scripture that you can apply to your life. He is good speaker. Very animated. Very funny. A real person you can relate to. But when I leave, I find that I don't feel like I've delved into the Word. I feel like I've gotten some wise advice for my life - and I guess there really isn't anything wrong with that. But the unflattering truth is that I don't want to sit through a message directed at an unbeliever, Sunday after Sunday.
There. I said it. I want to be nice, but I also want to be honest.
And yeah, I know what you might be thinking:
You get what you put into it.
You need to go there to give, not to receive.
Don't go with the attitude of what they can do for you, but what you can for them.
If you go with a good heart, you'll always learn something.
You should be learning the Word on your own, not just on Sundays.
And I totally understand all that. But truly, I don't think I'm going with the attitude of "what can they do for me?". I just want to go and learn and be challenged and get closer to Him.
My pastor does a more in-depth bible study on Wednesday nights, and when I've gone in the past, I've learned a lot. But I don't go Wednesdays. I like to be home on weeknights to make dinner for my family and be there when my husband gets home, and to help Little Boy with homework.
I've attended this church for about nine years. I've met some of my most beloved friends there. Friends that I can count on for true fellowship and for lifting me up when I'm down, and they know they can come to me for the same. So I'm not bashing my church. But I really am in dire need of something more.
My sister goes to an awesome church, and she loves it. She is so excited about it! I've gone a few times and I also download their podcasts. Their messages are awesome and challenging and scriptural and relevant. The sermons are topical, but they are also "meaty". But her church is too far from me. But that's what I want. To be excited, to be growing, to be challenged, to be intimate with God and His people.
And no, I don't expect Sundays to be the only time I hear or read the Word. I do read on my own, and I listen to my Sister's pastor, as well as others like Joyce Meyer, John MacArthur, etc.
So last week, I really gave this some thought.
And here's what I was thinking. Little Boy will be attending a new Christian school in the fall. And I was thinking that since he'll be going to school there, it makes sense for us to check out the church there as well.
But a couple of days ago, I talked with someone who goes there. They really like it there. But they said that it's kinda the same as my current church. Which puts me right back at square one.
I've been thinking..surely I cant be the ONLY person in my town who wants to hear a meaty sermon. Surely there exists a church that digs deeply into scripture on Sundays. So I Googled the churches in town and began to peruse the list.
Just so you know, my city has lots of churches. Lots of big churches. We visited a few of them before we found our current church. But if I am honest, I will tell you that most of them lighten up their Sunday sermon.
My sister tells me that kind or church is necessary, and perhaps she is right.
But, back to the list. I came across the name of one particular church that I actually drive by every day. It's caught my eye before because I remember once when I passed by, they had a sign up that said they were having "Apologetics Month". I was kinda intrigued, but soon forgot about it. But last night I went to their website and here's what I read:
Therefore, if you choose to make (us) your home church you can expect a strong, in-depth forty-five minute to one hour study on Sunday mornings. The teaching is from the Bible, chapter by chapter, verse by verse. We will draw our wisdom and direction from God's Word and we as a church family consider it the final authority for all questions regarding faith, practice, etc. Sadly, this approach to ministry is becoming unique in American Christianity. All too often the Bible is abandoned, compromised or the message watered down.
I saw that they podcasted their sermons, so I downloaded a few of them. I started listening to one last night, which I thought was pretty good. The preacher seemed very knowledgeable about biblical theology. Not legalistic, but not postmodern. Very balanced. He gave a sermon about a topic (which he explained was a a break from their Sunday schedule - they are currently going through Hebrews, but took that Sunday off to speak about a particular topic). When he was done with the sermon, there was Q & A session about the topic, which I thought was kinda different. The whole thing seemed geared toward the Christian. And that is exactly what I am looking for.
(Not that I want to exclude the person who might be seeking. I welcome them to join us as we do our thing!)
I talked to Hubby about this and told him I'd like to check out this new church. He said OK. Maybe next Sunday.
So we'll check it out. Its not a huge church, I haven't heard anyone talking about it, nor have I run into anyone who has attended there. So anything can happen. I'll let you know how it goes whenever we decide to check it out.
Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.