Duh--What church should I attend?
Part # 3 of three Part Blog:
- Why go to church?
- What is the ‘church?’
- How to find the right congregation?
How to find the right congregation?
A congregation is what we normally refer to as a church. Here is the distinction I am making.
This is the one described in my previous blog… “what is the church.” It is the timeless eternal body of believers.
This is a local gathering of believers who are part of “The Church”.
Think of it this way—-three levels:
Level # 1- THE CHURCH—the mystical eternal union of all believers.
Level # 2- The Church in a town/ city/ area. Because of level # 1, there is realistically only ONE church in a town, city, etc.
Level # 3- Congregations: These are various groups of people that meet together for primarily four interactive, communal, things:
- Word: Preaching, teaching, sharing
- Sacrament: Celebration of the Lord’s Supper (communion/ eucharist)
- Worship: Music, readings, silence, gifts
- Prayer: Communal prayer, interaction, liturgies
But, all of this is done communally —which creates the family, body, building, vine illustrations from blog #1.
The key point is understanding the purpose of church. Because the church is a body, the body(congregation) that I become a part of —frankly needs me. If it doesn’t need me, it is not a body! It is not a building! It is not a vine! It might even be an aberration of the church? It may indeed be a group of people, an organization, but it can’t be a church.
A congregation —by virtue of definition and essence—needs me.
For a congregation to be ‘set in order’ a congregation needs the following things:
- Governmental standards and procedures
Now to the real question: How to find the right congregation.
There are a series of things that you need to do:
- You need to seek the LORD and ask where does He need you to be. The Lord has a place for you to be.
- The congregation which you will join will be your family—so choose wisely.
- Please recall, the congregation that you will join is the congregation that needs you. You are to be part of the body—so you need a place to minister and function.
- Combine all the above with your spiritual temperament and appetite.
- Avoid a consumeristic mentality—-the what’s in it for me. This is not helpful and is really not Biblical.