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What is Your Idea of Christian Life? #141625 08/11/02 03:20 PM
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Lynne - ChristianLiving Offline OP
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Attending church whenever the doors are open?
No TV?
Doing what feels right as long as it doesn't hurt anyone?
What is it to you?
(You don't really have to get too deep if you don't want to)

Re: What is Your Idea of Christian Life? #141626 09/02/02 02:48 AM
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Michianna Offline
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Lynn this is a question I've been pondering for some time now. I used to be a faithful church goer. I was very involved. From Preschool Director to Awana Leader, everything but a Sunday School teacher. I felt that was the one area that I needed to keep just for myself.

I've switched churches three times now. The first time there were complications due to gossip and a family member being involved.

The second time I realised that I had joined a church that although I felt sure God had plans for they were plans not for me. The church was being led by men and not by God. I found it very difficult to support Pastors who were more interested in their retirement and selling beanie babies than God's word.

The third time I went to my Pastor with a serious family problem. Instead of finding compassion and support the answer I was given sent me into a serious questioning of my beliefs. It's a long story but I felt abandoned. I realised about 8 months after this happened that I wasn't the only one. There was a split in the church for almost the same reasons I quit going. The Pastor eventually left, actually he was voted out and a lot of the members went with him.

I feel like I should be going again, but my family isn't at all cooperative. My daughter doesn't want to dress up, my son wants to wear his tennis shoes and my husband won't go at all and doesn't seem to think that I should be involved in anything that might possibly interefere with his life in any way.

I know God is calling me to walk more closely with Him. I'm just not sure how to accomplish it. I feel guilty because I've been told all my life that if I want to be close to Him, I have to be in a church. Part of me really feels that it is what's in my heart and soul and not what building I'm in.

I'm just not sure, but I do know that I trust that God will help me work all this out. I know that he will help me get back to the point where I truly stepped out on faith and faith alone.

What do you think Lynn? What is your idea of Christian Living?

Re: What is Your Idea of Christian Life? #141627 09/02/02 04:43 AM
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Lynne - ChristianLiving Offline OP
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Cheryl, so many people are having the same questions you are. I'm so sorry you were hurt by the church. Church should be a place for healing, not for hurt.
I think the first and foremost thing to living a Christian life is a close relationship with Jesus Christ. That is a personal relationship and the rules for that are Biblical not man made.
I do think that church is important, for good teaching and for community. It does have to be a church you feel comfortable in and where you feel that the goals are truly the goals that Christ had for the church.
Have you thought of any of the contemporay churches.- If there is one in your area. The ones I believe in are conservative in their teaching and belief - strictly gospel-- but contemporary in there worship style. The churches that follow the Willow Creak or Purpose Driven Church style are great. Usually contemporary worship music. Kids love it because there is something there they can identify with and that keeps their attention.
In the church where I attend, people wear everything from 'dress-up' to shirt sleeves to casual to jeans and sneakers. The teaching stressess over and over that Jesus loves everybody. It doesn't matter what your clothes look like, it matters what your heart looks like.

I'm glad you came to the forum. I look forward to chatting with you.

Re: What is Your Idea of Christian Life? #141628 09/02/02 02:37 PM
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Thanks Lynn!

I've never heard of the Willow Creak or Purpose Driven styles. That's so interesting. How could I go about finding out if there are churches like that in my area? I know there is one new church that meets in a High School.

I've come into contact with them twice now. Once at a Christmas parade downtown. They were passing out free hot chocolate. That hot chocolate was really a blessing too, because it was COLD.

Then a couple of months ago we were coming out of Home Depot about to get in the van (which the ac had gone out and it was a 90 degree day). They were passing out free popsicles. Again it was a very appreciated gesture.

I stopped and asked some questions about the church. They told me it was very upbeat and casual. They aren't interested in passing out guilt but they are interested in helping people come closer to the Lord. They also said that they offer kids services and told my daughter her jeans and baseball t-shirts would fit right in.

She's anxious to go and really so is my oldest son. My dh doesn't think we should go though. He really hasn't given me a good reason other than I've already been to three different churches and they meet in the high school. I'm not sure what to think.

I'd really like to go back to my old church since that Pastor is gone now. However, I just feel really nervous about that. There are very few people who knew why I left. My kids did get strep throat and we had it in our house for almost 9 weeks so that really provided an excuse for absences. It's really a very complicated story spread out over 8 months.

There is also another church that is so big they have like 6 different services. The church itself is one of the biggest buildings spread out over a mile long. They have everything from Bible studies, kids services to a cafe and bookstore. I think nice casual clothes would be ok there but the size of the place is a bit intimidating, although it's only about 5 miles from my house.

It's so hard because I've found that I like the smaller church because it's easier to get involved and meet people. But-people tend to know everyone's business and the peer pressure can be tougher or the hurt can be worse when you follow bad advice.

LOL See I can't make a rational decision about this.

Re: What is Your Idea of Christian Life? #141629 09/03/02 03:24 PM
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Lynne - ChristianLiving Offline OP
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My church met in the Middle School when I started going. Then we finally built our own building. it takes a while for the membership to grow to support a building without going into a huge amount of debt.

Check my subject links under contemporary churches. I know the Willow Creek at least has a list of their affiliated churches. (I'll put in one disclaimer--I went to one of those on the list when we were out of town and it was not what we were used to at all. You will find all kinds, but at least in that list, you will know that those churches are striving to be a contemporary and relevant church.)
I have found since our church has grown into a BIG church, people have to take the initiative and join a small group (small groups get together for either Bible study, fellowship, support, or all of those) Most new churches have those now so that people aren't so apt to get lost.
You could also volunteer for one of the ministry teams like hospitality (if they serve coffee and cookies), or greeter. Thats a great way to get to know people fast.

I'm really glad I started attending my church when it was just beginning because it was easy to get to know people and grow with the church. I think there is a difference between a small church that is just beginning and growing and a small church that is small and stays that way.(It often is not providing anything relevant to young people and they leave.
Excuse me---I'm rambling.

Re: What is Your Idea of Christian Life? #141630 09/03/02 10:29 PM
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Michianna Offline
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You weren't rambling at all. You actually gave me some points that I really do need to consider. I have four children and the oldest is about to turn 11. He really needs a church that can offer him support and guidance.

I actually went to your site and found that link for Willow Creek. The big church that is close to me, Southland Christian is listed at the Willow Creek site. I ended up going to their site and found out that the Sat night service is more casual than the Sun morning services. Maybe we'll go visit.

Re: What is Your Idea of Christian Life? #141631 09/08/02 08:21 PM
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Lynne - ChristianLiving Offline OP
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Wonderful!! Let me know how it goes.
By the way, I was talking to some people last night who reminded me that just because they are listed at the Willow Creek site, it doesn't mean that they "really" follow the guidelines. each is individual. I hope you find this one to be perfect for you and your family.

Re: What is Your Idea of Christian Life? #141632 09/18/02 03:21 AM
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Hmmm, for me it is summed up in Matthew 25:31-46, the devision of sheep and goats.
I have to live my life for others and not myself. It's not always easy, but I try. I means not always living in my comfort zone, but helping those who need help, even if it means getting dirty.

Re: What is Your Idea of Christian Life? #141633 09/19/02 11:14 PM
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Lynne - ChristianLiving Offline OP
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Great answer ! <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
For those who don't know what those verses concern click Here: Matthew 25:31-46
It does mean getting out of your comfort zone and loving those who we might have considered 'unlovable'


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