In May of 2009 I started attending the Episcopal church and eventually joined.I spent my entire life as a Baptist. I have changed denominations, yet I am still not settled or comfortable in church. Where is that feeling of home that I keep hearing about? Something is missing.
Last Sunday, frustrated I decided to go to an independent Baptist church with my father-in-law. The pastor said, “Jesus is still in the soul saving business and is still a radical guy” To make a long sermon short, he said that people get stuck in the routine of church that they forget that Jesus is in the soul saving business. Are churches telling the world that? Are churches so busy doing church that they have forgotten why they do what they do? Are they so busy with their ministries that they have no time for winning souls for Christ?
Then I turned my thoughts to my own search for a church. I ask questions like, what sort of women’s groups does this Church have? Do they have a food program for feeding poor people? Do they have a children’s’ or youth group? How often do they do communion or Lord’s Super? What I don’t ask is what are they doing to spread the Gospel and reach souls for Jesus? Are they teaching Biblical truth? No wonder I am not finding my church, I am not looking at it from the correct point of view. Is the church in the soul saving business?
I am so wrapped up in finding a place to do Christian things, but forgetting about what it means to be a Christian. My top priority as a Christian should be to share Christ and His love with everyone.
So many times I think people go to church do the thing and say, “ok, I did my Christian duty this week” Being a Christian is more than that, it is a life, it is a responsibility to Christ to share the gospel with everyone we come in contact with. Yes we need fellowship, Bible study groups, preaching, teaching, charity programs, communion, baptism…. all the things that Church offers us, but we have to get out there. Get in the world and get to the radical business of soul saving. Lost people are not often in the church pews, but out in the community.
Is my priority in my spiritual life to share Jesus in all that I do? Do those around me everyday see Jesus in me? Am I personally in the soul saving business? Do I share the gospel with people sacrificing my comfort, my feelings, and at personal risk? I did not like the answers that I got, I did not like what I discovered about myself and it was not pretty.
If my daily life with Jesus doesn’t have an element of radical then something is truly missing. It’s that missing element that I have been looking for in my search for a church and it isn’t there.
I am not going to find it in any church, I am going to find it in God and in my living out of my relationship with Christ at the risk of looking radical and crazy to some people. God first me last. I have to step out of my comfortable place and share Jesus. Yes, I still need a church, a home base…a place to recharge my spiritual battery. But not one of my choosing, but of God’s….and it may not be the type of church I would choose for myself.
OK , Lord I get it….Now I am at the, now what are you going do about it point. Isn’t it funny how God always leads you on a path and gets you to a point where you have to make a decision….. Do I keep avoiding settling in a church till I find the perfect one that does all I want it to do and be all that I want it to be? First I am going to ask God to lead me to the church He wants me to go to, to one that IS in the soul saving business, one that teaches the Bible, truth and is focused on sharing Jesus with the world EVERYDAY not just on Sundays. Where I can say, this is who I am, this is what I am going to do for Christ and this is where I am going to do it…and hope they don’t call the men with the straight jacket.
No church is perfect, no church is going to fulfill all I am looking for…..that church doesn’t exist. Can I make a stand for Jesus inside a church and out, even if I end up looking like a crazy person? Jesus is in the soul saving business and the bottom line is I should be in a church that is in the same business.
(Note: I always give credit where credit is due,so here is a link to the church pastor that got me thinking http://pensacolabaptisttemple.org/about.aspx)