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I Don’t Want to Go Church Shopping

church shoppingMany of you know my husband and I recently moved to a new area and are now looking for a new home church. We are just a couple of weeks into the search, but I already have a bit of a battle going on inside me. The church shopping mentality threatens to take control. My desires are trying to push their way to the front.

I want a church that… I’m looking for a church that will… I’d really love for our new church to… Wouldn’t it be nice if…

I have this idea of the church I want. It combines the best of our past church homes. Incredible, worshipful music. Solid, engaging teaching. Believers that do life together. Heavenly involved in missions. Strong community outreach. Active women’s ministry.

And we could look for a church like that and probably find one. We could make a list of all the attributes we desire in a church and compare each one we visit to that list. Does this one meet the criteria? Does that one make the cut? Do we cross off that last church?

But Lord help us – and I mean that as a prayer – I don’t want to find our new church home that way. In fact, I will boldly say, God doesn’t want us to find our new church home that way. I don’t want to choose my favorite; I want to search for and find the church God has already chosen for us.

The term “church shopping” rubs me the wrong way. Yet, sadly, not only do many of us use it, but it also adequately describes how many of us look for a church. We shop for one like we do a car or a prom dress or laundry detergent. Honestly, it’s easy to fall into that mindset. Our consumer-oriented culture programs us to think that way.

But God doesn’t do things the way we do. The Bible tells us that God puts the body together like He desires (1 Corinthians 12:18). He places the people He has chosen into leadership (1 Corinthians 12:27-28). He determines the gifts to individual believers and selects their place of service (1 Corinthians 12:7-11, 27-28).

God’s Word applies to my life today. He already has a church and places to serve picked out and waiting for us. I am determined not to “shop.” I want to seek His will and then follow it. May He help us do just that.

How does this biblical view compare with what we usually hear?

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11 Responses to I Don’t Want to Go Church Shopping

  1. Charissa July 17, 2017 at 8:52 am #

    It sounds terrible, but many churches don’t follow the word of God, denominations are notorious for this. When looking for a church, I made sure that the one I went to followed the word of God and that the people were good, Godly people. You would be surprised how many “church people” aren’t very “churchy” at all! Praying you find a wonderful church family/home. Because in the end, that’s exactly what it is 🙂

    • Kathy July 17, 2017 at 12:10 pm #

      Charissa, you are right. We also check a church’s beliefs on the foundational things before we even visit!

  2. Mary July 17, 2017 at 12:04 pm #

    So needed to hear this. In a world where it’s all about me, me, me we can and do easily take that into church. It’s about Him and His will for us. Where does He want us to serve HIM? Thanks Kathy for this much needed insight as we too “look” for His will for us in a church.

    • Kathy July 17, 2017 at 12:09 pm #

      Hi Mary, thanks for coming by! Let’s keep speaking God’s truth to each other. I need to be reminded too!

  3. Curleen July 18, 2017 at 11:12 am #

    Hi. So how do you know if its the church you want or the church God has chosen for you?

    • Kathy July 18, 2017 at 11:29 am #

      Good question Curleen! Since we have moved 7 times with my husband’s company, we have been through the process multiple times. Each times has been a bit different. We definitely pray the whole time. I also think the right attitude is key. If I truly want to find the place God has chosen and not put my own desires at the front, God will honor that desire and prayer. He wants us to know His will. One helpful thing to do is to try to meet with someone in the church leadership and talk about the church and its needs. For instance, do they have areas of service that God you could meet because of God’s gifts to you? When my husband and I were searching for our last church, we went to lunch with the pastor of one church we visited and his wife. Over lunch, they told us about a new area of community outreach the church would soon begin. It would be less than a mile from our house. My husband and I both knew that was something God wanted us to be a part of. Our search ended right then!

    • Charissa I July 18, 2017 at 1:38 pm #

      I think one way to know if God is choosing where we attend church is by prayer and being still with Him. His still small voice will always guide us when we come to Him in prayer, ask in His name, and trust Him completely 🙂

  4. Kayleen Schwartzenburg July 19, 2017 at 11:34 am #

    Ugh, we are in the same boat! We have been to 4 different churches, praying along the way! We have been to the last one we visited 4 times now. It’s neat how God brings church members along at the right time and the right place! We ran into a couple st Sam’s club who had just been in the service we were at. Very nice couple who shared their experience of joining this church and how they got connected! Another gentleman we ran into encouraged us to try a small group and which bible study he thought we would fit into. I believe God gives us these sort of confirmations of where he’d like us to be!

    • Kathy July 19, 2017 at 11:35 am #

      Kayleen, I love that you are keeping your eyes and ears open to God’s direction! May He confirm His choice to you soon!

  5. Abeeku July 24, 2017 at 2:24 pm #

    Very interesting read. I’m at a church now but I feel like I may need to branch out again but at the same time I am meeting people of all ages where I’m at . But need a strong young adults group. Frankly I don’t want to church shop again but I feel like God is telling me that I might have to.

    • Kathy July 24, 2017 at 5:14 pm #

      Do you have a place to serve at your current church? God may not plan to meet all our desires in a church, He may want to use us in a specific way instead. Keep praying for God’s direction!

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