Sunday, September 5, 2010

Day 238 - Churches

One of the most difficult things about moving to a new city is finding a new church. Sure there are hundreds of churches to choose from. Surely it wouldn’t be that hard. Well, think again. Lisa has been looking for a couple of months. She has found one that might work, but was hoping to find one that was a little bigger. If she was looking for the basic Baptist or Methodist church, there would be no problem. There are many of them, and I am sure they are all pretty good. I know that Jennifer is having the same problem in Ft Lauderdale. The problem is that what they want in a church is what I want in a church. It is pretty hard to find. I am so blessed to have RiverStone, and there is also Bethel Atlanta and even a couple of more in Atlanta that I would consider. But that is probably less than ten churches in the Metro Atlanta Area. How many churches are in Atlanta anyway? You get the picture, our requirements for a church are very stringent.

So, what makes a good church anyway? Well many things, and first among them is to have a friendly congregation that welcomes newcomers. But many churches have this. So what else? I have to have a church that focuses on releasing the Kingdom of God into its area of influence. It has to focus on the Kingdom and not on its programs. It also should be about community transformation or revival. Of course it had to preach the word of God and not only preach it, but live it through the release of the Gifts of the Spirit. The church should not only “believe in healing,” but actually pray for people and see them healed.

Hopefully my church will have good contemporary worship that is relevant to the next generation. You see, it’s not really about what I like but more about equipping and releasing a new generation for revival. Speaking of the next generation, the children and youth are very important, so there should be classes for them that do more than play games and babysit. If they aren’t learning to do the works of the Kingdom, we will never see more than one generation go after the things of God.
So here we are back to Lisa’s dilemma. She has found two churches that are trying to do these things. The problem is that both of them are really just church plants. There are not enough people to really do everything that they have been called to do. I’m sure they will get there, but they just need to grow for a few years. Julia and I were involved in church planting for years. I know what is involved and the commitment it takes to plant and grow a church. I also know that not everybody has been called to be a pioneer in this area. It is definitely a call from God.

At this point in their lives, I don’t think that Lisa or Jennifer is called to be involved in a church plant. They don’t have the extra time and extra energy that it takes to be committed on that level. So, right now Lisa is still looking. There is one more place that she wants to go. Hopefully she will be able to find it next Sunday. I pray that this will be a place where she can get plugged in and make new friends. I pray it is a place where Anna and Julia can grow in the things of God, and in the heritage that is theirs. I know that both my girls will find the place God is calling them to be, it’s just that after being with us for so long, not every church will do. And for that I am so thankful.

Well, it’s back to Atlanta tomorrow morning. It has really been a good visit. The girls are growing up so fast. I can see so much of my Julia in Julia. She is definitely going to have the fire that Julia had. I even think she “roars” much like her Nana. Lisa says it’s her cat sound. It sounds more like a Lioness to me. School is fast approaching and so is my trip to Australia. The rest of this month is really going to fly by. It’s still early and Lisa is putting the girls to bed. I think I will read a while, and then maybe watch a movie with Lisa before I pack and go to bed. Tomorrow night I will be back in my rocking chair. It will be good to be home too.

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