Looking for a new church AGAIN

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-29-2004
Looking for a new church AGAIN
6
Sun, 07-11-2010 - 1:07pm

I've been lurking around here with occasional posts.

When I lived in Chicago I went to a wonderful church. It was a Baptist church but I didn't go to it for the denomination but for their doctrine, the way the pastor spoke and the way I was being fed. It was home.

Seven years ago I moved to Southeast Alabama with my husband to be near his family and have been having a hard time finding a church I feel that way in. I realized a while ago that I was too busy comparing and not noticing what that church had to offer but here churches start up and fold every week and most churches are store front churches which I have no problem with but those are the least stable.

We tried a Baptist church and loved the pastor but every week they pushed membership and came to our house or called several times a week to talk membership. My husband, even though a believer will not join a church even if he's gone to it for years.

After we left there we moved about 25 miles farther south and went to a church where the pastor stood in front of everyone and said he knows how much money the people make and the lifestyles they lead and knows who's tithing appropriately and who isn't. That did it for me and that church. I do believe in tithing but I don't feel the pastor has a right to say that while in the pulpit.

We finally found a church that we were beginning to feel at home in and I working with the youth pastor to improve the youth group to bring in more kids and be able to separate the age groups a bit rather than having 5-16 year olds in the same group. About a month ago the pastor announced they didn't have the money to pay the youth pastor anymore so that was his last week. This was news to the elders of the church and several were very upset. After that his messages got deep into tithing and we were told if we have money set aside to pay our electric bill but couldn't give to the church we should use that money and give it to the church because God will bless us and if we didn't obey God and tithe as he commanded God will turn his back on us and won't answer our prayers. As I said I do believe in tithing but I also believe God expects us to be good stewards of His money and if He gave us that money to meet our obligations and pay our bills are we not being good stewards if we don't follow through with that or is that the human in me and I'm not trusting God enough that. I'm in a catch 22 here.

I do need to mention that the pastor has been on a "get rid of the Muslem's" crusade for many months. There are several mosques in our area and he wants them shut down. He's been having meetings with other pastors and says that the Mulsems are out to destroy this country and we need to step up and do something.

Well, last week the pastor announced he was resigning. I know the church is in trouble and we've lost many members which I think might be due to his anti Muslem speeches but I may be wrong. There's a new pastor who's suppose to be there next week with the congretation of his existing church. Again the elders were in shock as none of them were told about this decision. This is a decision the pastor made on his own.

The new pastor and his church have a website and in reading it I'm not too comfortable with some of the "regulations" I realize there are different types of churches where some the women don't wear slacks or the members aren't to listen to secular music or even contemporary christian music. Those aren't churches I'd go to. I feel it should be a "come as you are" atmosphere. Yes, there are some things I wouldn't do such as wear shorts to church but that's my decision and I feel nobody should be wearing cut offs or jeans with holes in them but if that's who they are and they won't come to church if they had to change then the church should accept them as is.

The church I attend had people of all races and backgrounds and they were welcome. We had bikers who would come in their Harley Davidson T's and leather jackets but they were in church. It seems this new church won't allow that.

So, now we're back to trying to find another new church. Boy how I miss my old church in Chicago.

I guess I'm not really asking for advice here, just needed to vent a bit. We're praying that God will lead us where He wants us and if it's to church with the new pastor we'll continue going there but right now I'm afraid my stubbornness is getting in the way of hearing God's voice if He's trying to tell me anything at all right now.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 07-11-2010 - 1:41pm

Another lurker, this time from the UK!

Hugs, Jane


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-29-2004
Sun, 07-11-2010 - 2:36pm

Jane.....Thanks for your response.

I suggest a while back when the woman who worked in the nursery left to join the military that we have volunteers and rotate. If we had even 4 people we'd only have to be in there once a month. They asked if I'd work in there until they got volunteers. Of course nobody volunteered. Then when the youth pastor was let go I was asked if I'd take over. I told them I'd help in any way I could but I won't do it alone, I don't feel I'm equipped enough to run the youth group or children's church by myself. Again, no volunteers or help so there's no youth group or children's church for the summer.

I know a lot of people are upset that the decisions are being made by one person and the church members or even the elders aren't consulted or asked to pray about it. They're not even aware there's a problem until the pastor makes an announcement on his decision. I spoke with the ex-youth pastor last week. We talked about the pastor leaving and the financial problems the church is facing. Two weeks ago the pastor announced we're $2000 short of making the mortgage that month. The ex-youth pastor told me if they'd have talked to him about the situation he might have been able to help but he wasn't told anything except "we can't afford to keep you on" It's not a church of the people but a church of one man and that's been made rather obvious. But as I said in this area churches are starting up and folding every day. Someone gets an idea that they want to start a church so they do. They got their title of pastor or minister online (I had a cousin do that as a lark from 4 places for free). I think that's a slap in the face of the church and most of those are the ones that meet in a hotel room or store front and one day you go to church and it's no longer there. I do live in a small town in the Bible Belt here so I guess that's no uncommon but from someone who came from a major midwest city it doesn't seem right. Again, that's just my opinion and my background coming out. It does make it hard to find someplace that you feel you can get comfortable in since you never know if it will be there tomorrow.

Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-23-2010
Sun, 07-11-2010 - 2:38pm
Sorry to hear of your church dilemma, God will lead you to the church home that fits, be patient.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 07-12-2010 - 9:04am

Can just see how difficult to resolve anything if all the decisions have been made by the one person without any consultation - that's not really Church is it?

Hugs, Jane


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-14-2006
Mon, 07-12-2010 - 11:24am

I am with you about the come as you are atmosphere.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2004
Fri, 07-16-2010 - 11:17am

I will be praying that God will guide you to the church you need to fill your spirit and feed your soul:)


I feel compelled to share with you on one part of your post:


As I said I do believe in tithing but I also believe God expects us to be good stewards of His money and if He gave us that money to meet our obligations and pay our bills are we not being good stewards if we don't follow through with that or is that the human in me and I'm not trusting God enough that. I'm in a catch 22 here.


I struggled with the above for YEARS!!