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The Wanderer

What To Look For

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The Wanderer    1,431
The Wanderer

Lets say one who was looking for a church to go to. There are no Adventist Churches nearby said man can easily get to. What kind of things would YOU consider as essential features of a given church to have, before you could  see fit to attend. In a personal attendance to each church in the town you live in, what would be the top 5 things you would like to see/hear, or experience in a given church, and how would that indicate to you you want to try a second visit. To the church?

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Gregory Matthews    3,270
Gregory Matthews

As a general statement, I have told people the following:

1)  Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you.

2)  Look for a church that is teaching what God wants taught today, keeping in mind the all are human in part and none are 100% perfect.

As I respond to the question, which the above may not be a good response, I think I would add the following:

3)  Look for a church that feeds you spiritually.  Congregations have personality and no congregation can meet the needs of every person.

 

 

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LifeHiscost    636
LifeHiscost

First I would expect the major portion that was being taught in that particular congregation would be the Words Jesus had spoken. Secondly I would be looking to see the general direction of the congregation as it related to end time events. Then I would make effort to determine whether that body of believers was coherent together for the finishing of the work necessary to finish the commission given by Jesus before He said He would be returning. Third I would want to make sure that particular group was using the necessary tools that would bring conviction to those being reached out to.

God is Love!~Jesus saves!   :happysabbath:

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phkrause    1,964
phkrause
4 hours ago, LifeHiscost said:

First I would expect the major portion that was being taught in that particular congregation would be the Words Jesus had spoken. Secondly I would be looking to see the general direction of the congregation as it related to end time events. Then I would make effort to determine whether that body of believers was coherent together for the finishing of the work necessary to finish the commission given by Jesus before He said He would be returning. Third I would want to make sure that particular group was using the necessary tools that would bring conviction to those being reached out to.

That's a very interesting response! Are you talking about a SDA church or a non-SDA church? If I'm not mistaken, and wanderer can correct me, he's asking about a non-SDA church to attend if there are no SDA churches available.

For me, the first thing I would do, and don't think of me as be legalistic, but I would go there on the Sabbath and if it was not opened, I would go home and go on-line and look for a SDA program/station, etc. Like 3abn, Hope Channel, Amazing Facts, etc. Of course by doing that you don't get the fellowship that your looking for! So maybe you do go and find a church that has that, and after awhile you invite them to spent time with you on Sabbath in fellowship!

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The Wanderer    1,431
The Wanderer
42 minutes ago, phkrause said:

That's a very interesting response! Are you talking about a SDA church or a non-SDA church? If I'm not mistaken, and wanderer can correct me, he's asking about a non-SDA church to attend if there are no SDA churches available.

For me, the first thing I would do, and don't think of me as be legalistic, but I would go there on the Sabbath and if it was not opened, I would go home and go on-line and look for a SDA program/station, etc. Like 3abn, Hope Channel, Amazing Facts, etc. Of course by doing that you don't get the fellowship that your looking for! So maybe you do go and find a church that has that, and after awhile you invite them to spent time with you on Sabbath in fellowship!

For me, the thing that is wrong with this picture, is that I would feel like I am just hiding my Light under the bushel, so to speak. I don't want some gyp joint where i just get "fed" and I would prefer to find a church where there is something I can do. Because, ultimately, church is about people. And Jesus. Kinda hard to do if one is sitting in front of the Squawk Box  There are actually two Adventist churches within driving distance, but they are quite a ways, and neither of them have a single thing they are doing in the community. So, what can I say?

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LifeHiscost    636
LifeHiscost
36 minutes ago, phkrause said:

That's a very interesting response! Are you talking about a SDA church or a non-SDA church? If I'm not mistaken, and wanderer can correct me, he's asking about a non-SDA church to attend if there are no SDA churches available.

For me, the first thing I would do, and don't think of me as be legalistic, but I would go there on the Sabbath and if it was not opened, I would go home and go on-line and look for a SDA program/station, etc. Like 3abn, Hope Channel, Amazing Facts, etc. Of course by doing that you don't get the fellowship that your looking for! So maybe you do go and find a church that has that, and after awhile you invite them to spent time with you on Sabbath in fellowship!

Because I'm an SDA by conversion from another Christian church of which I found very loving and appealing, it was difficult for me to be comfortable in putting the Word above a body of believers, which leads me to believe I was listening to the Holy Spirit as opposed to placing church leaders were infallible, something all believers will have to do sooner or later.

God is Love!~Jesus saves!  :D

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debbym    1,173
debbym
56 minutes ago, The Wanderer said:

For me, the thing that is wrong with this picture, is that I would feel like I am just hiding my Light under the bushel, so to speak. I don't want some gyp joint where i just get "fed" and I would prefer to find a church where there is something I can do. Because, ultimately, church is about people. And Jesus. Kinda hard to do if one is sitting in front of the Squawk Box  There are actually two Adventist churches within driving distance, but they are quite a ways, and neither of them have a single thing they are doing in the community. So, what can I say?

as for those two churches, are they too small to develop any measure of community services like free clothing distribution?  In the city of Spokane the church developed an after school care program.  to research and find an unmet need in the community and aim to meet that need is a great way to grow the members.

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The Wanderer    1,431
The Wanderer
41 minutes ago, LifeHiscost said:

Because I'm an SDA by conversion from another Christian church of which I found very loving and appealing, it was difficult for me to be comfortable in putting the Word above a body of believers, which leads me to believe I was listening to the Holy Spirit as opposed to placing church leaders were infallible, something all believers will have to do sooner or later.

God is Love!~Jesus saves!  :D

I used to be a Literature Evangelist, and I think, because of that background I find that I am quite comfortable in ANY church. I am just as comfortable in a Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall, or Mormon Tabernacle, or anything in between, as I am in an Adventist Church  That being said, there are things in many individual congregations that make me uncomfortable. But thats not the point. If its such a big problem to us on what "denomination" a person belongs to; how can we even have a conversation about Jesus with them?

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The Wanderer    1,431
The Wanderer
2 minutes ago, debbym said:

as for those two churches, are they too small to develop any measure of community services like free clothing distribution?  In the city of Spokane the church developed an after school care program.  to research and find an unmet need in the community and aim to meet that need is a great way to grow the members.

"be the change you want to see in others?"  yes, makes good sense. :)

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debbym    1,173
debbym
1 minute ago, The Wanderer said:

"be the change you want to see in others?"  yes, makes good sense. :)

I think it was Paul who wrote, "my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."  So when we step forward to respond to a need in Christ's  strength, His name, for His glory, with prayer and planning... how sweet when God is leading His people to minister to needs he longs to fill in other's lives.

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The Wanderer    1,431
The Wanderer
13 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

As a general statement, I have told people the following:

1)  Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you.

 

well; I have done this before, and it didn't "work"  Am I just blind, or is it some other problem? It would be nice to have a checklist of say, 6 essentials to look for in a church, and then start visiting the ones in your area to see which one/s match up the best? Seems to me that in the past that instead of God's leading, into a given church, just ended up with me bleeding out the door and down the street.  Each church is just a reminder of past pains. It would be nice to find a place where i can actually "fit in."

Edited by The Wanderer
added one sentence

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debbym    1,173
debbym

When a church is deeply centered in Christ,  His children will fit in.

as a Christian i have found it a bumpy road to learn his unconditional love for every person, and to be available beyond my smallness to express and represent that love.

this could be because  someone is outside my range of understanding or because others experience me as outside their range of understanding... the words comfort zone comes to mind.  i believe God is continually working to stretch us as His love is greater that we understand, and we need to be contonually stretching to know it and make it known.

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LifeHiscost    636
LifeHiscost
2 hours ago, The Wanderer said:

well; I have done this before, and it didn't "work"  Am I just blind, or is it some other problem? It would be nice to have a checklist of say, 6 essentials to look for in a church, and then start visiting the ones in your area to see which one/s match up the best? Seems to me that in the past that instead of God's leading, into a given church, just ended up with me bleeding out the door and down the street.  Each church is just a reminder of past pains. It would be nice to find a place where i can actually "fit in."

16 And there will be a highway from Assyria For the remnant of His people who will be left, Just as there was for Israel In the day that they came up out of the land of Egypt.

Isaiah 11

God is Love!~Jesus saves! :D

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The Wanderer    1,431
The Wanderer
17 hours ago, debbym said:

as for those two churches, are they too small to develop any measure of community services like free clothing distribution?  In the city of Spokane the church developed an after school care program.  to research and find an unmet need in the community and aim to meet that need is a great way to grow the members.

well, this helps me to realize what the first thing on the check list should be. Are the people friendly, approachable? For eg, the last church I did go to, not a single person said a single word to me. It was kind of like being in a twighlight zone. I wont say what church that was, because its not important. I am very personable, and will have no troubles mingling and being the first person to speak, but I am thinking, yes, the responses will matter. A person has to be made to feel welcome when they go to church.

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LifeHiscost    636
LifeHiscost
17 hours ago, The Wanderer said:

I don't live in "Assyria."

We are talking about stipulations of biblical proportions which could easily be referring to other areas of the world in principle.

God is Love!~Jesus saves!  :D

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The Wanderer    1,431
The Wanderer
1 hour ago, LifeHiscost said:

We are talking about stipulations of biblical proportions which could easily be referring to other areas of the world in principle.

God is Love!~Jesus saves!  :D

what are those "stipulations??"

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The Wanderer    1,431
The Wanderer
On 8/12/2017 at 6:27 PM, The Wanderer said:

I used to be a Literature Evangelist, and I think, because of that background I find that I am quite comfortable in ANY church. I am just as comfortable in a Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall, or Mormon Tabernacle, or anything in between, as I am in an Adventist Church  That being said, there are things in many individual congregations that make me uncomfortable. But thats not the point. If its such a big problem to us on what "denomination" a person belongs to; how can we even have a conversation about Jesus with them?

I should have added, some of the churches, as i was referring to in this comment were like going to a parade, some were like going to jail, and some were quite nice. So, I am thinking, there is where to start, for the other "5 points" of the "checklist" I have been querying about. :D

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LifeHiscost    636
LifeHiscost
20 hours ago, The Wanderer said:

what are those "stipulations??"

10In that day the heir to David’s throneb

will be a banner of salvation to all the world.

The nations will rally to him,

and the land where he lives will be a glorious place.c

11in that day the Lord will reach out His hand a second time

to bring back the remnant of His people-

those who remain in Assyria and northern Egypt;

in southern Egypt, Ethiopia,d and Elam;

in Babylonia,e Hamath, and all the distant coastlands.

12He will raise a flag among the nations

and assemble the exiles of Israel.

He will gather the scattered people of Judah

from the ends of the earth....Isaiah 11

God is Love!~Jesus saves!  :D

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JoeMo    1,670
JoeMo

This may not fit universally for all folks; but after being in the same faith for 40 years, SDA or not, I would look for a church that:

1. At least has a service on Sabbath for Sabbath-keepers, whether they proclaim the Sabbath or not (many non-denominational churches here do that).

2. Proclaims Jesus Christ and the Father as the only Lord, God, and Savior.

3. Waits in hopeful expectation for the literal 2nd Coming of our Lord Jesus.

4. Considers the Bible as the ONLY and FINAL authority on spiritual matters.  Nothing wring with Commentaries as long as they can be backed up by scripture. (This can be sticky; as not all people interpret the Bible the same way - even here on Adventistan)

5.  Welcomes and includes all people as they are - sinner or saint - and demonstrate it by their actions.

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