Housewife Theologian

The Gospel Interrupting the Ordinary

MoS on Finding a Church

Written By: Aimee Byrd - Jan• 15•14
Playful and robust, but perhaps lacking the qualities for mature reflection and a bit reductive in content.

Playful and robust, but perhaps lacking the qualities for mature reflection and a bit reductive in content.

This is Bully Pulpit week over at the Mortification of Spin. So Carl, Todd, and I decided to a brief pitch on what to look for in a church. If you are ever in the position of needing to find a church home, you know it can be frustrating. What are some important elements to look for? After this episode, I am encouraged to head up the new bouncy castle committee at my church so that we can get with the program…

Take a listen here.

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  1. Tim says:

    Todd’s description of what to look for in a pastor left out having great hair. Or a shaved head.

    I think the points the three of you made of what to look for in a church would make a good article. (Hint, hint.)


    • Aimee Byrd says:

      You may be right, we didn’t have the chance to talk about projector screens, interactive sermons with texting, and how to spot a good prayer labyrinth. And I can’t believe Carl and Todd missed another opportunity to talk about Jon Payne’s tan.

  2. Dan says:

    Per Carl’s post over at Ref21, Mixed martial arts? Why on earth not? Must confess that I embarrassed my wife Sunday by refusing to look at a short liturgical dance. After reading of Nadab and Abihu in Lev 10 yesterday morning, perhaps the proper response would have been to get up and run like H-E-double-hockey-sticks?

    All in fun but with just a slight chip on my shoulder.

  3. John says:

    You did not even mention asking God for wisdom and leading. Do you not think that God might communicate somehow with you in the process of finding a group of believers to be a part of? What if a town didn’t have a Presbyterian church? Is it possible to be a part of a community of believers where the bond of unity is primarily love and not doctrine?

    • Aimee Byrd says:

      Asking God for wisdom is certainly a good addition to the conversation, John, thanks for bringing that up. But as to your last question, I would find that very difficult. I agree that unity and love are very important, which is why doctrine is important. In fact, in Jesus’s prayer for the unity of all those who are his, he prays that God would sanctify them in truth. And then he says, “Your word is truth” (John 17:17). To sanctify means to set apart. It’s God’s truth that sets us apart. In this prayer, we also see Christ praying for “those who will believe me through their word” (v.20). The disciples preached the Word of God. Christians are defined as those who believe God’s Word by faith.

      One of the most meaningful ways to express your love is to actually learn about the person to whom you’ve set your affection. We are blessed to have God communicate who he is in his Word. As soon as you say, “I love Jesus,” I would ask, “Who is Jesus?” This is a theological question, and we are now entering the field of doctrine. Doctrine is not a bad thing. The Holy Spirit works through God’s Word to unite us.

      And you don’t have to be a Presbyterian for that. But Todd was emphasizing the importance of a church confession and good church government. I know from experience that you can belong to a church without a strong confession of their faith, and the leaders hold different positions on major doctrines. It may start out strong, but it is heartbreaking when the divisions begin.

      • John says:

        Thank you for your comments, Aimee.
        Sometimes the main reason for associating with others is a common doctrine. Doctrine is important in foundational areas. But we easily can hold different points of view in non-foundational areas and still be children of God. (Consider the early church example of eating or abstaining from meat. The apostles had no problem with meat, but they gave instructions that favoured the weaker members!)
        How beautiful would it be if the main reason we were together was because of our common love of Jesus. It would mean we could worship locally or where God guided us.
        Secondary reasons for choosing a church would probably be doctrinal. But if it was the love of God that was the main thing in our lives, we would then even live in harmony with those of other churches. Never would we look down on or speak poorly of other expressions of the Body of Christ (but you would be able to in a very clean manner point out differences to your kids for example).
        I wonder how our society would react if it was more obvious that we loved each other – that we were all on the same team?

        • Aimee Byrd says:

          In some ways we are saying the same thing. Common doctrine is important because our love for Jesus is very important. And, I think it was in a different podcast that Carl was highlighting this benefit of the confessions: that they show us the primary issues that are important. That way, we can avoid dividing over secondary issues such as you mentioned, so that we can worship together in harmony.
          But, I look forward to worshipping on the new heaven and earth, when our faith will be sight, and our love will be perfected.

  4. WV Survivor says:

    I was a bit jealous listening to you three go through the various options for churches. Think about us in the boonies, who have only cults, lib prot, RC, charismatic, and the broadly evangelical as choices.

What do you think?