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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Big Church

Big churches just aren’t my style. I realized that today as I sat in a Sunday School for 30-40 year olds with younger children. There were two elevators in the church! Amongst the hundreds of faces I saw today only the kids’ Sunday School teachers introduced themselves to me.

Ideally, I would like a medium size church, 150-250 people, with children’s programs and a Wednesday night fellowship supper. A weeknight Bible study with childcare provided would be icing on the cake.

Another thought I had while I was there is what can I give? I don’t have time or money and I cringed when I thought about tithing. They were asking for donations of time and money and I sat there realizing that I have very little of either. I was hoping to meet new people and find a new community but I’m not sure the BIG church is where I’ll find it at. The search is on…

 

10 comments:

Blondie said...

As someone that grew up in small churches, let me give you my take/experience. God led us from our previous church (like your ideal) in 2005. He landed us in a place that we would NEVER have picked for ourselves. This is a MEGAchurch - very far outside of our comfort zone/happy place. Over the last four years, the church has become much "smaller" for us, even as the overall church has gotten huge. I can only encourage you to do what you know God is leading you to do and to not give up on something just because it doesn't seem ideal to you! You never know what God has ins store!!

Janna

heidi said...

I so agree. Its so easy to get lost in a big church and its harder to form relationships with others...It becomes more of a "it's who you know" that gets you to know others when the church is so big. Ours is maybe 150-200. Many of us actually get to know one another and the level of accountability rises at that point too. I'm praying you find something that works just right but remember there is no such thing as the perfect church.

Erin said...

The current trend in Christianity, seems to be mega churches and I find that very troublesome. I actually think that the biblical model for Christianity is NOT a mega church, but more what you described a small group of believers, 500 people max.

We have lived where we are for six months and still struggle to find where we belong

Chris said...

It's so hard to find a parish. We've only had to search once, because there's only been a short time when dh wasn't priesting somewhere.
You have my sympathy.

What can you give? You can pray. Pray for the minister and his family. Pray for the children of the parish. Pray for the mission team or the folks who are grieving. It just takes a few minutes to hold someone before the Throne, and boy, is it important.

Sorry people weren't more friendly.

Jules said...

I am not a big church person, either. As to what you can give? You are great with prayer. You can give your prayers.

Nikowa@KHA said...

I completely agree with you! I don't want it so small that they're knocking on your door the next Sunday if you don't show up. Yet not that big either! :)

Carol said...

I wanted to comment on your distress over not having the time nor money to tithe. While, yes, He expects us to support the church, there is also a time in everyone's life when they instead need support from the church. This appears to be that season in your life.

Remember the story of the woman who gave pennies and was considered to have given the most even when others gave hundreds times more. She was the one they wrote about, not the rich who gave.

Set your goal to give as and how you can....you'll be amazed at the times that you CAN give as He will place those opportunities into your path. And when you feel down about the times you can't give and the church obviously needs....remember that you are doing what He has commanded you to get your life back in order financially, educationally and work related. Once those goals are met than you can and will be able to give to the church in greater amounts.

While we aren't supposed to look around and see what others are giving/doing....the fact is that it's often very obvious. My own observation has been that the adults whose children are grown (or nearly so) are the ones who spend the most time "doing" at the church....and based on my own parents/grandparents comments, they are also the ones able to make larger tithes and give to the special requests, etc. And the reasons are just as easy to understand....these adults don't have the burden of raising His children...so they are able to give more to His church timewise....and the same for moneywise. Their season of giving of themselves and their finances have arrived....and yours will also.

Do what you can, what He puts in front of you....and leave the rest up to Him to worry over. Worrying about it will not strengthen your relationship as you'll feel unworthy of it...and we all know that He does not feel that way.

Stephanie said...

I just found your lovely blog, and I appreciate this particular post. I'll tell you my story in a few words. I have always been part of small churches (before marriage and after marriage to a pastor). Now we are in a very large church. Churches vary, of course--ours is exceptionally great, I think--but most large churches do make a great effort to cultivate community. This usually happens through small groups. Just listen to God's leadership and he will show you where he wants you to be...Whether it's a big church or small. I have loved both!

Rev. K.T. said...

I have been following your blog for awhile -- I am a FL homeschool mom and I love how organized and "together" you always sound. But I'm also a pastor, so this post really caught my attention. I love that you are seeking spiritual nurture at this stage in your life. And it sounds like one of many positive steps you are taking. I just want you to know I support you 100% and make myself available as you work through all of these changes. (I too am doing Total Money Makeover -- my own style, but we're making some positive changes.) If you ever want to talk, e-mail me at katie.treadway@gmail.com

Peace.
Katie (mom and pastor)

Mandy said...

Sounds like you and your sweet family are at a crossroads time of life. Finding the right church is a matter of prayer. James 1:5-6 gives powerful counsel. I suspect that you already have prayed about which church to attend. EXPECT that the Lord WILL lead you. Who knows? Maybe the right church will come to you which will save you having to visit a number of churches?

Jessica, thank you for sharing your wonderful talents and your influence for good. May you continually be blessed!

Mandy