I have calculated that I have been “church shopping” at least five times in my semi-adult to adulthood. A church is the place I go to to find friends and to grow spiritually. From South Dakota to Gangnam, South Korea, I was able to find a church quickly and to begin settling in.
South Korea was a bit difficult because many of the churches there are not always what they should be. Korea has a tendency to overly revere pastors and in turn many pastors feel a strong sense of power and entitlement. Also in Korea there are a number of churches that have been guilty of financial dishonesty. With all that said it does cause some disconnect from basic Biblical concepts that they attempt to teach at the pulpit.
So when I was coming back to the U.S., I was excited to find a church. I thought, it would be easy. It was always easy to find one prior to me leaving three years ago. However, it hasn’t been. I have attended five churches in the area. Seems like a small number to begin judging on but this is after doing some research and scoping out churches that I felt would be a fit for me through online resources (everything is online these days.)
I was shocked to find some of the most popular churches to be big productions lacking depth, with the pastor on stage with a spotlight and the sanctuary so dark you cant even see to take notes. Some of the churches didn’t even use the Bible. Call me old school, but I do feel like a church should use the Bible in there Sunday sermons.
Back in 2015 the departure of Christians from churches hit the news, CNN picked it up and several other news sources as well. The news stated that from 2007-2014 the number of Christians dropped about 8% and has continued to drop. After my experience searching for a church for the past 2 months or so, I understand that a number of these people who left the church probably (yes it is my opinion) because their church and other local churches, were trying so hard to be the new “it” church that they forgot to mention the important things of faith. This does not mean that a church cannot change, or seek to reach the new generation but it does mean that while they do those things they should aways keep the fundamental principles of the Christian faith. I will be praying for the churches in my area that they can grow and be strengthened in their walk with God.
This may seem a little judgmental and maybe even a little quick to reflect on, considering I have not been to ALL the churches in my area and that I have only been look for about two months. However, I have been to many different churches (both big and small) and I have done a lot of research. I was also very disappointed by so many of the churches that I attended, that I felt as though I needed to say something.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree? Disagree?
As I write this, I am happy to say that I think I have found a church that I could attend. They are outreach oriented, encourage note taking, and they also use the Bible! This was my first time attending the church and it will take a few more visits for me to feel comfortable calling it my church but it is a better start than what I have found in my search.
Thank you for reading my thoughts.