If you're looking for a church......I have a great idea for you.
That's right, I said stop looking. You already know what you're looking for, so why waste time going from place to place pretending to be genuinely interested in that church. Just start calling churches out of the yellow pages and asking them if they have what you want.
I was reading a blog by a young pastor of a young church that is literally exploding in Charlotte. He had a quote from a woman who visited one week. Here it is:
“I wanted to let you know that there’s one praise song, I can’t remember the name of it, that ya’ll do better than all of the dozens of churches we’ve been to in our church shopping quest.”She has been on a "church shopping quest" that has included "dozens" of churches. Why do people do this? Why do people seem to think that they should be going out looking for a church?
That's easy, we all go into church looking for it to be exactly what we want. We want the music a certain way. And it better be at exactly the right volume. The preacher has to be on fire, but not enough that it might burn us. There needs to be a few kids in the church, but not too many or too rambunctious. We don't mind if they always seem to start 2 or 3 or 10 minutes late, but they better end at exactly 12 and no later. And the list goes on....
My concern is, Where is God in your quest? Has He been consulted? Do you even care what His thoughts are? No, you just want to go where you are comfortable. Where the people are just like you and have no desire to change. Too many times we want to go to the place where it will sound like something important or prestigious.
"Yes I go to First Baptist Church."
"I go to Pastor So-and-so's church, you know, the one on TV."
So, what? What are you doing for the Kingdom?
I have been in churches for a long time and in a lot of places and I have discovered one thing. Most of the people who "church shop" are the ones who really don't want to go to one church exclusively. Why? Because then they might be expected to do something. If all you do is go from church to church to church, you never really have any roots. If you don't have any roots, no one will hold you accountable. However, when it's all said and done, it really doesn't matter what church you don't go to, so just pick one already.
But remember, while no one on this earth will hold you accountable, there is coming a day when Jesus is going to ask you why you wasted so much time looking for that perfect church when there were people dying every day without ever hearing the good news you needed to tell them.
In other words, let God lead you to a place to worship, and then start serving Him there.
But there's more...
Churches need to stop trying to cater to every whim of every person who visits. And church plants are the worst for trying to make themselves appealing to people in their community by constantly doing something different. The worst thing is when they change how they do things just because what they had been doing isn't filling the seats like they thought it would. Funny thing is, when they start doing it that way they claim God was leading in that way, and when they decide to end they just say it isn't working. Either God wasn't leading that way to start, or you have a lot of guts to say what God told you to do isn't working like you want so you're changing it.
If God says do it and then says change, change even if what you're doing is working better than you could have imagined. It just might be a test of your faith to follow His will.
If God says do it and it's not working the way you expected, keep at it. It just might be your 40 years in the wilderness.
If God didn't say do it in the first place, seek His leadership on what to do now before you try something else. Don't just do something else He didn't tell you to because you're doing something wrong now.
Let's just worship God and share His love and let Him sort out the rest.