So recently I moved from Bath to Exeter. Not a huge distance but certainly not close enough for me to keep going to the same church. This put me in a bit of a dilemma – how do you go about finding the right church for you?
The first question I had to deal with was why I don’t always like going to church? It’s become almost too obvious to say that men don’t like going to church, but often it’s true. I’m still not 100% on what makes me not like it, maybe I just like to have a lie in on a sunday or maybe I don’t like the idea of being preached at, though I do quite like doing the preaching. There’s lots of things it could be and maybe one day I’ll realise what it is that puts me off every so often. However me not always liking being there isn’t going to stop me going. I’ve figured that this whole following God thing seems to work best in a group!
Looking for a church is something I’d never had to do as a regular punter so to speak. I went to the church my parents when to when I was a child and continued there until I went to uni. While at uni I worked for a church on a placement and was expected there on sundays, so had never really had to find a church to go to for myself. There were a few things however that I thought were important about a church, and this is what I based my decision on, in no particular order.
- Outward looking – they need to be involved in the community, the city/town and be concerned about engaging with real people missionally, not necessarily always focused on evangelism but working against injustice and bring glory to God in the local area.
- The Bible as a high priority – I’ve noticed that at times it’s easy to under estimate the Bible and just take it at it’s face value, when in fact it’s a book that can entirely change your life.
- Passionate worship – it was important to me to be in a church that passionately worships God, not just in sung worship but in everything they do.
- A place to serve – there needed to be opportunities to serve in all sorts of areas but I do have a passion for worship leading and youth work
and now after a fairly long time of looking, trying to decide between visiting traditional churches and super charismatic churches and everything in between, I have found a church that seems right for me. It’s a free church, with all of the above, to the extent that the second time I went I was in the worship band!
The thing is, it’s not just a church that meets my ‘requirements’ . Its a church that I feel a part of already. This is because of the welcome I’ve received, to the extent that I feel I now belong to a church that wanted me to be a part of it.
This CartoonChurch.com cartoon by Dave Walker originally appeared in the Church Times.
I was going to comment about housegroups / home groups / cell groups / what ever… I was going to talk about how meeting half way through the week to study the Bible can seem like a weird and odd thing to do. I was then going to say something about loving being able to share in the brutal craziness of life in light of Gods Grace.
But my throat is doing some weird aching thing, and I’m missing not being at housegroup.
But I think Dave said it better on his blog.
Here’s this weeks weekly round up…
To start with, some serious C of E news, it seems there have been some factions opening up and things like that. If you feel like you can concentrate then the Church Mouse explains it all. (Not to be confused with Clarissa…)
Have you heard about the Steelroots saga? If not check out our post here. While the eChurch goes a little deeper, giving a little bit more detail about the tale of the American Bully Boys. If you want a lesson on irony check out the American Steelroots Twitter page.
On a lighter note. According to the BBC, contrary to popular reports, Homer and Bart Simpson are not Catholic.
On a final note if your interested in “iPhone Photography” you may want to check out the Project 365 blog from “ThatAndy”.
Imagine a world where no two churches are allowed to have the same name. If a second church opens with the same name, then one church will sue the other for the right to use that name.
So there would only one “St Peters Church”, only one “City Community Church”, and yes. Only one “Baptist Church”.
The same rules apply to youthgroups, housegroups, and any other ‘groups’.
Want to know what I’m on about?
Well check out:
Steelroots.com – the website for a Christian youth television company based in America.
Steelroots.org.uk – the website for a Church youth group.
The cease and desist letter that one has sent the other…
Shout out to Dave Walker for bringing this to peoples attention.
Now heres something a little special from the world of Chelmsford and the brain of Phil Ritchie.
As part of the Bible Year 2011 initiative, the “Beer and Bible” initiative is there to encourage public reading of the Bible in 200 pubs around the Chelmsford area, with a focus on seasonal times such as Easter.
The Church Sofa lads are fans of both the Bible and Beer, and any excuse to combine the two is worth celebrating.
Personally speaking one of my most peaceful months for a few months was spent next to the River Exe in Exeter, pint in hand, while reading 1 John. It was a nice pint by the way…
Beer and Bible on Twitter
We had a bit of a heart to heart earlier, and well… Housegroup / youth group preparation / Church services aside… we’re not great Bible readers…
So I thought I would ask how you guys are doing?
When was the last time you read the Bible, not including the above mentioned events, or “The Blokes Bible”, “Street Bible” etc…
The results will be announced when we have enough replies to make a meaningful comment.
Every now and then – when we can, we’re going to try and round up the best of some of the best blogs, articles, and websites we find online. Here’s our first lot:
- The CNN Belief blog takes a look at the belief of the Chilean miners, and how they came across some Jesus T Shirts. On that note… Can we get some?
- It seems that Dave Walker has hasn’t really been elected to the General Synod. Personally speaking…I think its simply an elaborate double bluff…
- The Urban Pastor talks us through the best ways to ruin your small group / housegroup / homegroup. I’m quite a fan of number 1…
- Scott Gould asks “Who Is Your Phyllis Wills?” – powerful stuff!
- From the makers of thechurchsofa, we present our own site dedicated to Dartmoor. The site is a directory of some of the best Activities, and places to stay in Dartmoor, Devon, please feel free to check it and let us know what you think.
Have you got any suggestions for our next round up? Please drop us a DM on Twitter – or in fact, leave a comment below and let us all know!
Fancy a drink?
Its one of those human rights… that most people dont have…