Church Selection/Division

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Jimbob, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. #1 Jimbob, Jul 14, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015
    My wife and I recently moved and are seeking a church family. We are age 61, both born-again over 40 yrs ago, always been active/supporting members or seeking such membership and conservative, Bible (all of it, not parts and pieces) believing folk. Needless to say, our first considerations in our selection (esp these days) are the doctrinal position and practices/functions/emphases relative to God's whole Word and is it disseminated/taught in an interesting and effective manner. Then there is the fellowship and finding opportunities to serve using our gifts, talents, abilities. As most here who have been in the "family" for a few decades or longer, we have progressed through the pain, frustration, disillusionment, and disappointment of realizing and accepting the fact that all Christian fellowship previous to the glory, wonder, and perfection of heaven will be tainted to some degree with sin; regardless the environment; that our ONLY real safe haven is in communion with God the Father/God the Son/God the Holy Spirit. When I start getting dependent upon human relationships God seems to always bring me back to the Words of Jer ch 17 about not trusting man and the wicked and deceitful condition of man's heart with which we ALL battle within and without. Yet, we all need good Christian fellowship (iron sharpens iron; a cord of three strands is not easily broken; wisdom is seated in much counsel; search for significance; opportunities to exercise our gifts talents and abilities, etc), is one of the aspects sought when seeking a new church family. We have finally found a church with an acceptable doctrinal position and good fellowship group to belong and one of its "core values" (not stated as such) is all members incorporated into the fellowship utilizing their individual gifts, talents, abilities. The only problem so far is the fact that the group has several Pastors of which it seems two predominately preach. The oldest and best by a huge landslide only preaches now and then and the young one who has probably preached 80% of the time so far (been going since April) just kills my wife and I by his style and delivery. He preaches at a 6-8 yr old level and on top of that he says the same thing over in different words 2 or 3 times and he would rather preach from his experiences and head knowledge and using a "gentile" touchy-feely manner than crafting the message with Scripture making the point. I am trying to love the man but I absolutely hate and am offended by his preaching. We have been looking for over two years now and have exhausted the potential Bible preaching, believing, and practicing churches in this new area. When I suggested we try to move on my wife..., well she wants to stay due to the unbelievably good fellowship of which we haven't been able to enjoy for way too many years. I don't know if I can even find another church to try out. I have exhausted the ph book and online resources. As this church uses the auditorium of another church (who by the way is the church this church broke off of about 100 yrs ago and they have been all over the area and just recently are back on the the same property) I suggested that when this guy preaches we just go down the hallway further from Sunday school to the other worship svc and see if it is any better. No go for her. She did agree to just going home and watch some more of media ministry. I catch three sermons (EXCELLENT expounders of God's Word), taking notes, BEFORE "going to church" - forsake not the assembling together... My PROBLEM is the division. Worship here, fellowship there, serve and support where, and accountable where? My wife is right in that there is nowhere else to go unless we want to consider driving so far away that travel time and gas/vehicle money become a significant consideration but I want to be easily close to my fellowship so I can be there when needed. I guess my question is/are:
    1) Would it be acceptable to the Lord if I divided what I have been accustomed to finding "under one roof" among several? and
    2) If so how do I divide my tithing, gifts, talents, and abilities? and
    3) Will the church be agreeable to such a divided "membership"?
  2. I think it might help if you go into scripture and compare it with how the church operates as oppossed to how it should operate. What most Americans grew up and are accustomed to does not follow the biblical model.

    That said, lets get to your questions...
    If you are serving Him and leading your family in the way that He wants you to then yes. I suggest not worrying about what you are 'accustomed to'. There are many ministries that glorify Jesus that exist outside of a designated assembly. Would a church membership (that idea has always bugged me) keep you from taking part in one of those?

    Have you taken your issues to the leaders in question?
    It may be risky, but I would guess that you are not the only one with those issues, but most 'church members' will never say anything due to an overdeveloped fear of conflict.
  3. Yes. Memberships enable one to be invoved in the decision-making process for church business and provide a platform for consolidation of funds and resources (gifts and such) so that a more effective and efficient investment of stewardship may be wrought for the Lord's glory and honor. Usually membership entails the same type of loyalty of the 1st century Christinas toward the local congregation. Accordingly, there are normally loyalty and support obligation and accountability clauses in church memberships. This was so serious in the first church that a husband and wife (Annaniahs and Saphira sp?- Acts 4 or 5, I think) were killed by God for lying about their offerings to the local congregation.

    I won't jeopardize our future there by being the "trouble-maker" from the start. I see that you place no value on my concerns for membership but I am not a member who has a right/investment in the group to voice such things but I do have a call in with the "good" Pastor for an appt later this week to ask certain questions which should reveal what I need to know. I am naturally a boat-rocker and an unorthodox or out-of-the-box thinker but through the decades wisdom has shown me that such revelations must be timed carefully if done for the Lord. One can be a boat rocker for the sake of the excitement and conflict it arouses for which timing is insignificant; but if one REALLY is doing it to help and serve those in the boat the surrounding seas, boat structure, recovery tools and ability, and so on must be analyzed and weighed and/facilitated BEFORE rocking the boat.

    I do appreciate your input eric. Is there any input from anyone out there who has an appreciation for the local congregation and membership to it? You have plenty of time as I am now leaving for an out-of-town job for several days.
  4. Um.

    jesus walked on water. If you rocking the boat just step out on the water. Faith will keep you up when you follow Jesus.

    The other disciples stayed in the boat cos they were afraid. But not simon Peter. And if I recall, Peters bravery and faith in Jesus became the foundation of the church ....we must all step out sometime.
    Cturtle, eric m williams and chili says Amen and like this.
  5. Think about it this way: do children in a household wander the neighbourhood visiting various families for a time, and offering to cut their lawns for a meal and a bed? Wouldn't that be dishonouring to their families?

    I think if this church you have found is rich in fellowship and ministry, then you should be able to trust that this apparent weakness in only one of its ministries, namely the pulpit ministry, would receive a correction in due course. I believe you can easily trust that there are many within your fellowship who feel the same way, and there are others whom the leaders have taken into their confidence, who could actually speak with influence to the problem. You shouldn't have to do anything but pray.

    God is the builder, and He desires to be glorified. This may just be a season for you and/or others that He is allowing. So, in short, if it was me, I would simply let the world turn a few times, and see what God will do. You may kick yourself if you make a move and then discover that the Lord was actually working it all out! If you stay to see what He will do, and work toward upholding the leadership despite your feelings, you will receive a great blessing in the end.
  6. Suggestion. Take it or leave it as it is only an observation. It helps all people reading posts if you will break the comments up in new paragraphs ever once in awhile. It makes following your thinking easier to grasp. Please do not take that as a rebuke...only an observation.

    Your question then is...........
    1) Would it be acceptable to the Lord if I divided what I have been accustomed to finding "under one roof" among several? and
    2) If so how do I divide my tithing, gifts, talents, and abilities? and
    3) Will the church be agreeable to such a divided "membership

    1). Now.......I am one who has always said that there can only be ONE leader. There is a reason why the military has ranks and the people look up to and respond to the highest ranking person. That removes false signals and misunderstanding being given to the same people. IMO, I would never be involved in a church where there are "multiple pastors".

    It sounds to me that there is a division in what you describe and my dear friend God does not divide, He multiplies!!!!

    2). Then as much as I like fellowship, it should never be the deciding factor of a church involvement. You are required to grow and learn and be in a place where you can serve God and be effective in the calling He has placed upon you. Tithing should not be a problem if you stay there as you can designate how mush of your tithe goes to what you want it to go to.

    Example: If you give $100.00 attach a note saying that you want $50.00 to go to missions, $25.00 to salaries and $25.00 to go to church expenses.

    Remember, you are a servant of the Lord and not one of the church. To avoid any dividing you must minister to ALL the church members not just ones on either side of the membersgip.

    3). IMO.....NO. I personally would not advise it as from what you have said, the door for confrontation and "Clicks" is wide open for Satan to walk in and destroy the whole congregation.

    That is only my opinion brother. That does not make it right or the gospel in any way. YOU must be led by the Holy Spirit of God and all I can say is that God wants us all to have peace and joy as we worship in in truth and spirit.
    KingJ likes this.
  7. Your penname reminds me of an old traditional hymn where it talks about God's love and forgiveness as a healing balm. That being said, like I alluded rocking the boat (or walking on water) must be wisely considered. Peter walked on the water for a moment because he was invited/commissioned by Christ Himself. The others in the boat probably didn't because they weren't invited and/or were just not interested or were too distracted with keeping the boat afloat to notice.

    Talking about stepping out, you would be very ashamed for having suggested that to me if you knew my history.

    Thank you for your input. I catch your point but I think that it is applicable elsewhere for the moment. :)
  8. 1) The crux of your point apparently hinges upon your first two questions which it appears you presume the answers to be "no' and "yes." Unfortunately, I kow Christian families who have had their teenager do just that in so many words because they did not like their bedtime or requirements to get their homework done before going out or to bring the boyfriend in for the father to "meet." Their teen ager had no problem, and in fact it appeared enjoyed, dishonoring and defaming their parents.

    2) God tells us in Jer 17 NOT to have trust in man and again in Prov. Additionally, we have painfully experienced where fellowship and doctrine and service oppotunities were great but due to underlying politics terrible things NOT of the Lord were wrought and MANY were hurt and left and eventually a devastating church split occurred and a dynamic expounder of God's Word forever effected negatively. This was a Spirit-filled conservative church familiy, too. Someone in the right position could have STOPPED all of this disrtuction if they had confronted it. I tried but was ignored. My family and I left after that, 2 yrs before the church split.

    3) Time is very, very short and NOT renewable. The older I get the more somber gravity I feel concerning that. We have wasted much time like that waitng and seeing, church after church. Indicators are NOT good. This young man should have been corrected or erradicated just in the few months we have been there. Our substitute Sunday school teacher's wife made the statement once about how much she cherished his "preaching" to which no one responded negatively and she is among the youngest in the senior class. Like another suggests, I see some kind of political or other social manipulation/situation at play to have allowed this guy to contimue to get up and disgrace the pulpit as he does. Oh, by the way, since the OP I ve discovered that he is supposed to be the YOUTH pastor even though he takes the "senior" or main pastor's role in the pulpit.

    Thank you for your input. Points worth considering.
  9. 1) I agree with your point one regarding structure and division but as I age and maybe get in touch more with the Holy Spirit I am having to confess that sometimes structure and uniformity can greatly impede or totally smother the working of God. For ex.: when I was medivaced back to the states form Iraq it was at a time when changes in the care sytem were needed: the term "Wounded Warriors" was born at that time. The military discovered that each individual case was not being managed as it ought to be, to put it softly. There was a trial program called the "Triad" in DC (Walter Reid) which directly integrated the three separate offices (housing, medical care, records and scheduleing) in charge of each patient in hopes of creating more comprehensive, expediant, and effective care. They experiemented with expandeding it to where I was. In theory it had the capacity to work greatly to improve things but what I observed is that it worked for some and what I also observed is that if there was someone the Triad wanted to get rid of due to higher-established perrogatives or some local bias, getting rid of the soldier and NOT treating him was ALSO facilitated and expiditied by the Triad. So structure and uniforminty can work for good or evil. I can cite such church examples but let the one already cited in post #8 suffice, please.

    Many times God works in mysterious and unorthodox or out of the box or unsuspecting/illogical ways which may appear not at all acceptable or be radical/deviant to some. We see this prevelant in our Lord's life. I am at a point of growth and development in my spiritual life where I have come to accept the fact that God can work in ways I can't understand and think would not be a way He would work. I can never see me tempting the hand of God by just jumping out of the boat into the water without His direction but I'm open to much more possibilities and maybe the mainstream , traditional form of worship (re; structure, uniformity, centralized/localized) may have deviations which are honored and accepted by God, hence my querry here. I know God wants an ordered worship sevice and organized Body as He tells us that in His Word but one can have that and still have the others to some degree.

    2) I have traditionally minimized fellowship for decades in church slelection. Now that I don't have the work place and all of the environments opened from that arena and disabilities have kept me from doing many things out there in the social realm and when I am out I find myself not getting the respect or considertation I think I am due, both of us are finding the social opportunities at church much more important. Forgive me, please, for the selfish-ness.

    3) The HS is leading me away. If I am not mistaken the early church had multiple "pastors" so that doesn't bother me. What bothers me is the body of Christ continuing to allow the desacration of the pulpit to continue. That speaks volumes of where that body is in Spirituality and maturity/conviction/fortitude. We are going to have to return to one of the ones we have already visited for about three months and canceled for consideration earlier in the search, I am afraid, but it could be a very good thing. They reached out and tried to get us to return unsuccessfully so will have to get over all of that rejection stuff, if we/they can. We will see.

    Thank you for your input. Very much appreciated.
  10. Im sorry I dont really know your history. Its not that I post the first thing that comes to mind...but just to encourage you. Jesus told Peter to not be afraid. So whatever you decide, dont be afraid. He is with you.
    autumn oddity likes this.
  11. Lanolin, Thank you for the encouragement.
  12. Good stuff! I would say that in response to #3 and "multiple pastors" that in those days it was more of an "Elders" ministry than a pastoral office.

    It has been my understanding that they were simply functioning as mentors in a local assembly, and sometimes they were sent to temporarily assist other churches. There is, for example, no evidence that Timothy was ever installed as permanent "pastor" of the church in Ephesus, or any other church. These elders were not building their own little empires, they were not carving their niche in society; they were only serving their fellow believers in the capacity of a spiritual guide or mentor.
  13. Hmm. Well, I have to mow this home's yard and return to my burden up noth (Ludington, MI) from where we moved and hopefully get the labor up there frinaly finished of preparing that house to be sold. Will be gone again for days. Was gone over a week this last time but hopefully I can tie all ends up this time. Way long overdue. please pray I can complete mission this time.

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