Had an interesting conversation with a couple of brothers today. One of them, call him Bill, along with his wife, has been searching for a new church home. The church where they had been going for several years was changing. Many of the couples they had relationships with had moved away, changed churches, or otherwise lost contact with them. Several of their friends had gone to one particular church nearby, and they tried that church, but they didn’t like the preachers. The assistant preachers were younger than Bill and his wife, and in their sermons they told stories that were not relevant to Bill’s life.
So for several months (maybe even a year or more) they have been casting about for a ‘new’ church. They have partially settled on a large church in the area (with an auditorium that seats about 3,000 people, which is filled every Sunday morning. They like the preaching. The preachers preach from the Bible and they expect the congregation to participate in application of what is preached to their lives. And one of the primary reasons for their attendance there is that their 17-year-old son knows several kids who attend church there and they’re all actively involved in the church activities. In Bill’s words, “If my son is willing to get up and go to church regularly, then that’s the place for me.” His wife is not yet so enamored of that church, so they have not yet made a commitment to join. But they are going to worship services regularly.
I asked Bill if they were involved in any church activities besides attending worship services, and he said no. He said they don’t say much about personal involvement with small groups in the church. He said if you want to become involved in small groups you can locate them on their website. He said at their old church the pastors spent a good deal of time during the worship services on Sunday morning talking about small groups, where they meet, what they’re into, and what they’re studying. (He even mentioned the “motorcyclists for Jesus” group that meets on Sunday morning before or after church.) He again mentioned that he and his wife had many friends at the church, but they’d all moved away. He said that was a substantial difference between the ‘big’ church and their ‘old’ church. Continue reading