Saturday, June 13, 2015

Why seek a new church?

Lifeway Research is a church-oriented survey firm. Its studies find that most folks who change congregations feel their current church is not helping them develop spiritually. They seek beliefs they can live with. Fifty-six percent desire wider opportunities to serve others. They want to make a difference, instead of just going through the motions. Sandra Torchia of Leesburg, FL, is an example. She yearned to serve others, so she visited an African-American congregation and got a warm welcome. "I was the only white woman there," she recalled, "but my color didn't matter because I was a Christian." As it turns out, the African-American congregation needed a seasoned worker who "knew her way around the Bible."

Lifeway Research found 87% of church shoppers say preaching is an important factor. Is the pastor a good story-teller? Does he live what he preaches? Is the sermon supported by technology? A church member in Florida who was sick one Sunday watched the service from home on the Internet. "Boy, it was wonderful," she said. "It's like you had gone there."

One religious leader calls church "the structure of Truth and Love," and most pastors agree it's important to commit to a church you can enhance, because, as Edgar Guest observed, "God sends no churches from the skies. Out of our hearts they must arise!"

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