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    Denomination & Faith Movement Discussions - Thread: went to a new church this morning

    1. #1
      jsimms435's Avatar
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      went to a new church this morning

      I have been attending a large Baptist church about 23 minute drive from my home for the last two or three months. I was very large, probably over 1,500 people or more on Sunday morning. The music was great and lots of activities. I struggled to get to know people there and decided that I needed to find something smaller where it would be easier to me to get to know people. So, today i went to a smaller Baptist church about four miles from home. About 120 people in worship service. The pastor didn't speak as they had a guest speaker and he is going to the national convention next week, so I won't hear him that week either.

      What do you look for when you have decided to switch churches you attend?

      The church does have a web site and has a doctrinal statement that I agree with.

    2. #2
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      If it's a Baptist church then I would look to see if their doctrine was that of a Particular Baptist (Calvinist/CH Spurgeon) understanding of God's word. I have lost my taste for free-will teaching.
      Second, I look for a missional mindset. Go into all the world and make disciples...
      Third, I look to see if grace is extended by all age groups to the other age groups. If they have a "contemporary" service and a "traditional" service, this tells me that they struggle with extending grace. One body, one Lord!
      Fourth, how close is the after church restaurant?

    3. #3
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      Theology for me is a top priority and from there I would say the liturgy (it's taken right from scripture) and strong hymns that have good theology. After that comes whether or not the pastor has a firm grasp of the distinctions between law and gospel. Then of course I like to feel welcomed. I would prefer a choir but where I am at now there is none and that didn't stop me from joining. I still get to sing for them and I just had to get used to singing in front of them instead of up in the choir loft where I am more comfortable.
      "Christianity does not require more work but more trust." Pr. Jonathan Fisk
      "Bearing fruit does not make you a branch. A branch is a branch because it grows from the vine." Pr. Jonathan Fisk
      "A Christian's life is not defined by what the Christian does. It is defined by Christ and what He has done for us." Pr. Rolf David Preus

    4. #4
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      Correct doctrine and worship would top my list. Those bases seem to have been covered already in your case, jsimms. Then, the sermon and the demeanor of the pastor generally, and the decorum. Some churches believe right but seem to have no sense of reverence. Ultimately, though, if I wasn't also able to feel accepted, I would probably look elsewhere.

    5. Likes RichWh1 liked this post
    6. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by MennoSota View Post
      If it's a Baptist church then I would look to see if their doctrine was that of a Particular Baptist (Calvinist/CH Spurgeon) understanding of God's word. I have lost my taste for free-will teaching.
      Second, I look for a missional mindset. Go into all the world and make disciples...
      Third, I look to see if grace is extended by all age groups to the other age groups. If they have a "contemporary" service and a "traditional" service, this tells me that they struggle with extending grace. One body, one Lord!
      Fourth, how close is the after church restaurant?
      Well, I would say that they definitely seem missions minded. They describe their service as blended. In the service I was in they didn't use the hymnals, but the words were on the big screen at the front. That isn't a deal breaker for me. I have listened to the pastor online, so I know he's fairly solid in doctrine.
      I am thinking that there will be plenty of places for me to serve as well, which is important to me.

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    8. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by Albion View Post
      Correct doctrine and worship would top my list. Those bases seem to have been covered already in your case, jsimms. Then, the sermon and the demeanor of the pastor generally, and the decorum. Some churches believe right but seem to have no sense of reverence. Ultimately, though, if I wasn't also able to feel accepted, I would probably look elsewhere.
      I told someone recently when they asked about the church that I felt invisible at the last church I attended. Nobody made much of an effort to get to know you and I didn't feel like anyone really cared if I was there or not.

    9. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by Lämmchen View Post
      Theology for me is a top priority and from there I would say the liturgy (it's taken right from scripture) and strong hymns that have good theology. After that comes whether or not the pastor has a firm grasp of the distinctions between law and gospel. Then of course I like to feel welcomed. I would prefer a choir but where I am at now there is none and that didn't stop me from joining. I still get to sing for them and I just had to get used to singing in front of them instead of up in the choir loft where I am more comfortable.
      Well, the church this morning had a fairly large choir, so that is good.

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    11. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by jsimms435 View Post
      I told someone recently when they asked about the church that I felt invisible at the last church I attended. Nobody made much of an effort to get to know you and I didn't feel like anyone really cared if I was there or not.
      Right. Some churches are like that.

      I don't get particularly concerned about it the first time I show up (although some people say that they do), but if it continues while I continue to visit...that's not tolerable.

    12. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by Albion View Post
      Right. Some churches are like that.

      I don't get particularly concerned about it the first time I show up (although some people say that they do), but if it continues while I continue to visit...that's not tolerable.
      This morning one of the men who was in the choir came down after they sang and asked if he could sit next to me. Then he introduced himself at the end of the service. I thought that was nice of him. He obviously realized I was visiting

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    14. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by jsimms435 View Post
      This morning one of the men who was in the choir came down after they sang and asked if he could sit next to me. Then he introduced himself at the end of the service. I thought that was nice of him. He obviously realized I was visiting
      That's impressive, don't you think? Most of the time, we would settle for a welcome and a few words at the door that show a personal interest in the visitor.

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