Stores come in a variety of styles, sizes, and selections. There are grocery stores, auto parts stores, clothing stores, discount stores, among others. Some stores are box-like, while others are part of a larger shopping area, such as a mall. In selecting a grocery stores, for instance, one can choose between mainstream (the basics), organic, national, or even international. When it comes to stores, there’s usually something, somewhere, that has what you’re looking for. No one store, however, has everything you’re looking for in terms of food, clothing, automotive supplies, home furnishings, or your favorite pet.
The same is true with churches, No one congregation, pastor, or building has everything you need or are looking for. One style, size, or selection does not fit all. Churches are like ice-cream, pizza, or soda pop: there’re lots of flavors to choose from. It all depends on what you’re hungry for. More importantly, it should depend on where God speaks to you to go.
Whether where you go is large, small, medium, young, old, really old, hip, contemporary, or as progressive as a medieval monastery, go where the following takes place:
1. I’m (including spouse and children) being fed the Word. Not what the pastor says, but what I can see for myself is in the New Testament where we, as Christians, are to live.
2. I’m challenged, rather than comfortable. Am I challenged to continually grow in my relationship with God-and others-or is going to church just another part of my comfort zone? Where paying the price of admission (tithing) to see the “show” is enough.
3. I’m able to serve in some fashion, using my God-given gifts and talents to advance the Kingdom of God, through my church. I can’t think of anything more frustrating than being able and wanting to serve, but not being allowed to serve to due to age or inexperience. What better place to develop one’s gifts and talents than in church?
What’s your church like? Are you being fed the Word? Are you being challenged? Where are you serving, with the gifts and talents God has given you?