Church Guide

Posted by Dion Todd January 15th, 2015 6,155 Views 0 Comments

What is the Church?

If you Google “What is the Church” it will return something like this:

Noun: church/CH?rCH/

1) A building used for public Christian worship.

2) A particular Christian organization, typically one with its own clergy, buildings, and distinctive doctrines: “the Church of England”.

However many things the Church may be, and no matter how much I like google, that is two things that the Church is not. The Church is not a building, nor an organization.

The Church is people… The first mention of the Church in the bible is Matthew 6:18 and uses the Greek word: Ekkleesia. In the New Testament Ekkleesia never means the building or house of assembly, because church buildings were built long AFTER the apostolic age. It means an organized body, whose unity does not depend on its being met together in one place; not an assemblage of atoms, but members in their several places united to the One Head, Christ, and forming one organic living whole (1 Cor 12). The bride of Christ (Eph 5:25-32; 1:22), the body of which He is the Head. The household of Christ and of God (Matt 10:25; Eph 2:19). The temple of the Holy Spirit, made up of living stones (Eph 2:22; 1 Cor 3:16; 1 Peter 2:5). Ekkleesia literally means: “The called out ones”.

In today’s culture though there is no denying that our understanding of the word Church is a building. Certainly google thinks that. So even though it is the body of believers that is the actual “Church”, for ease of use, in this document we will use the term “Church” to refer to a local assembly of believers gathered together in a building.

Why would I want to attend Church?

You can be saved and get to heaven without going to church, but in reality it is difficult to walk alone. In Christianity the Lone Ranger eventually becomes a Lonely Stranger. While there are many reasons that you would want to attend a local church, some of which I will list below, the main reason (for me) is becoming part of a Church family. You are surrounded by people that care when the storms of life hit. You have brothers and sisters to turn to, to talk with, to spend time with, to pray with, to share your faith with and you do not have to walk alone. We attend a thriving community church and it is the highlight of our week. There is always something going on that we can take part in like: life groups, prayer meetings, bible studies, praise and worship concerts, conferences, movies, various outreaches and group outings, along with many opportunities to eat. It is great fun and adds spice to our life.

  • Some of the best friends we have ever had we met while attending church.
  • The enemy seeks to divide and conquer and will try and separate you from the rest of the body, just as a pack of lions separate off a gazelle from the herd. Once you are walking alone it is just a matter of time before you are lunch.
  • All week we are bombarded by the “World” and bad news. Attending a service brings encouragement, strength and restores our hope. The prayer requests that come in from people in deep depression / suicidal are usually not attending church.
  • The Bible says that we should not forsake “our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near,” (Heb. 10:25).
  • One of the 10 commandments is to keep the Sabbath day Holy. (Ex. 20:8) Our body needs a day of rest.
  • It strengthens the family. A family attending church together grows closer to each other. It is a family outing that the children will always remember.
  • We need to hear how other believers have struggled, grew and lived out their faith from different perspectives.
  • Being in a praise and worship service with other believers brings healing to our spirits. It releases joy and encouragement with in us.

But I have problems:

We all have problems. Churches are not museums for the healthy, sinless, perfect people. They are sanctuaries for those of us who are broken, hurting and in need of healing through the word of God. (News Flash…..that’s all people!) Jesus will accept you just as you are. You can never make yourself perfect anyway, you just accept His forgiveness and move on. It is very important that we hear the word of God to bring change to our lives. This is how we become better people. The Bible says, “So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth. It shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it,” (Isa. 55:11). Also, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart,” (Heb. 4:12). The word of God, when it is preached, presents to us the truth that the Lord wants us to know. We need to hear the word of God presented to us, analyzed, and applied to our lives so that we can live better, accomplish what God desires for us, and can bring glory and honor to Him.

The word of God is like a mirror that shows us what we truly look like. Do not try and make your self worthy to go to Church, You already are! John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. ~NKJV. This was written for YOU.

Tips for finding a local Church:

When searching for a local Church to attend there are some things to be prepared for. Here are some tips that may help you:

  • Pray that God will lead you to where He wants you be in the body of Christ. It does not have be a fancy prayer, just say a simple prayer like: “Lord, lead me where you want me to be”.
  • Make a check list of the things that you would like to see in a Church before hand. This way you will know it when you see it. Do you like traditional hymns or contemporary music? If you have children you will want a nursery, or a children’s program to get them involved as well. Is there a youth program?
  • If possible try and go with a friend to their church and see what it is like. If you have things in common then you may feel right at home there.
  • Remember, God Loves YOU… but some of His followers might not. Do not get offended or hurt if you do not fit in the first Church you attend. Clothing, adornments, and outward appearance can vary greatly from church to church. This is normal Rapport. (Really All People Prefer Others who Reflect Themselves).
  • The word Hypocrite simply means “Actor”. Try to find a Church where you fit in and can just be yourself without acting like someone else.
  • Many churches are denominational: This usually means that they have an established set of beliefs that sets them apart from the others. Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Pentecostal, Charismatic, ect… Each has their own strengths and weaknesses. Non-Denominational / Community churches are usually a safe bet and tend to cater to the masses.
  • Do not settle for a fixer upper, or plan to “change” them. The fact is that they have probably spent a lot of time getting that way and plan to stay there, long after you are gone. If it is not acceptable as it is then keep looking. You will just end up restless and wanting better. Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? NKJV
  • Distance – Do not settle for the church on the corner simply because it is close. While proximity is nice, it is worth the extra drive to attend an active flourishing church instead of a dead, cold church. If they call for an ambulance and they come and carry out the first 3 rows of people before they find the right person, it is a bad sign.

The “Body of Christ” is made up of believers everywhere with Jesus as the head. Like it or not, as Christians, we are a part of the same body. Baptist, Catholic or Charismatic – You are brothers and sisters. We often point at each other and will divide over the smallest things, but even then, we are still a part of the Body of Christ. If you stay at home, you are still a part of the Body of Christ. But God has a plan for each of us and a place for us to serve in some way. Being it is His body and He wants you be in the right place He will guide you if you ask Him. With all of that out of the way here is a link to a site that we have built to help you find a local church:

www.churchfinder.us

Join the discussion! Please sign in to comment, like, and share.



RHM Eco System Version: 0.439 © Refreshing Hope Ministries . Page rendered in 0.0772 seconds.