I have been stewing on this post for awhile now. I feel I need to say something but I had decided to wait until I could say something in a loving and wise way. You see we have been traveling fulltime since May and have faithfully attended four churches in that time frame. This post is about churches in general but my only perspective is from the Independent Baptist churches we have researched and attended.
Finding doctrinally sound, hymnal singing, “Sunday best” dressing, friendly, and active churches are actually really hard to find. Some areas had a few more options than others. Yet the search for good churches can sometimes be time consuming and spiritually disheartening.
More Churches are leaning towards Contemporary Christian Music over Hymnals.
My family prefers a bit more “old fashioned” style churches, without drums and that sing hymnals. This is just our personal preference and I am not against others worshipping this way. I am just saddened that through our travels it has been hard to find church that still sing from hymnals. I listen to CCM now and again on the radio but there is something about hymnals that stir my soul to humbly worship my Lord.
More Churches are becoming slack on what attire members and even pastors wear.
I understand that churches should be “come as you are” but it saddens me to see people take entering the House of God so casually. We have attended some Florida churches that the pastor looks like he just came from a cook out. I understand that some men don’t like ties and many women don’t like dresses but I see this casual attire as a lack of reverence for the Lord. As a society, we are showing less respect for the Lord than generations before us.
More Churches are dying out instead of being ON FIRE for the Lord.
This is probably the hardest realization I have had! We have attended churches that have sound doctrine, sing hymnals, dress modest, and are friendly but the congregation has lost their zeal for the Lord. They lack a nursery and children’s miniatries since they are not reaching out to the next generation – young families. Many stopped doing visitation since only a handful of people will participate. Even some are lacking pastors since their congregation is too small to support the full income of a pastor’s salary.
So what can we, as individuals and familes, do to help our local churches grow spiritually and also congregations to grow physically?
- Attend weekly services at a local church of your choice that you are parked near.
- Ask how you can serve within the church, even if you are only passing through. Many pastors are excited to have people offer to help!
- Attend the fellowships, prayer meetings and participate in their community outreach programs if you can. Does the church have a food drive or give gifts to children with parents in jail? Contribute if you finacially can.
- Participate in their visitation times. As long as your doctrinal beliefs match, many pastors are excited for the extra “hands and feet of Jesus”.
- Make sure you are keeping up with your personal devotions and prayer life. Do you have spiritual matters to attend to? Take care of your spiritual walk so you can better worship God and serve others.
- If you are a parent, instill in your children the importance of attending and serving in the local church. Teaching starts at home, not at the church.
*Do you have any thoughts on today’s local churches? How do you and your family stay active spiritually while on the road?