Question: What do your friends say?

coffee17_1.jpgI’m curious.  What do your friends say about their church?  Specifically I am wondering what stands out in your mind as you reflect upon conversations that you have had with friends regarding their church.  

Do you have friends who express much satisfaction with their church?  What is present in the life of that church that has created so much satisfaction?

Do you have other friends who express much dissatisfaction with their church?  What seems to be the issue?  Why do they remain with that church? 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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12 thoughts on “Question: What do your friends say?

  1. I spent about a half hour on the phone today with my sister who lives in Talladega, AL and she can’t find a church within an hour drive that has anything to offer other than hard-core legalism or some health / wealth PMA "gospel" that she can’t stomach. I feel for her because I know the difficulty in that part of the state to find a church where one can minister and be fed. For the most part, out here (SoCal) people seem to be fairly contented with their church. We just started attending Southwest Christian Church in November and we absolutely love this community of faith. We out of town last weekend and so many people came up to us today to let us know we’d been missed … and we don’t even know each other yet. My children have had to do some searching to find a church in which they seem to "fit" as Long Beach was such an atypical church of Christ. But they have done well, as have we! I’m interested in how others will reply to this, though. Good question!

  2. I think the thing which I most hear when people are enthused about their church is the sense of community, having a place to belong, and to be understood. Of course worship and teaching which they connect with is also high but I find when people are very endorsing of their church it always centres around the community aspect of it.Interestingly enough the same is true of those who are dis-satisfied with church, in more rural areas people attend church because of their doctrinal beliefs yet dont experience involvement in a meaningful community which creates a ‘sunday only’ church experience for them.

  3. Depends on where people are in life.  My brother just started back to church last summer and attends a huge church in KY.  His main comments are the minister: he’s down to earth, good communicator, he’s inspiring and non-judgmental though he calls the church to account for their actions.  The minister inspires the church to reach out to the community, and this is encouraging to my brother. When everyone was coming down hard on Britney Spears, the minister there encouraged his congregants to write her letters of encouragment that he would deliver himself.  He went downtown and offered free hugs for a day to anyone on the street.  He’s just an out of the box, and out of the church building kind of man, and this is really appealing and healing for my brother.  I think what satisfies folks in a church is different depending on where they are in life and what kind of past experiences with church color their present one.

  4. The most common issue that i have heard is that everyone wants to feel as if they are loved by the community of peope who represent God on this earth. They just want to see Jesus living within us. Every time i hear someone endorsing their church the word love is involved and this love last all throughout the week… it extends to calling, visiting, helping the sick, shut -ins, depressed or just to say hi…. that is something to talk about

  5. Bryan,I like what you say regarding love.  ("Every time I hear someone endorsing their church, the word love is involved….")That is interesting.  Maybe one of the things we are saying when we like our church is that this is a group of people in which I am experiencing love, in a way that is very satisfying and encouraging.Thanks. 

  6. Hi Jennifer,Thanks for the interesting snapshot of your brother’s minister.  He sounds fascinating.I do suspect you are right.  What satisfies and encourages us about a church may have much to do with our past experiences (whether good or bad) and how they color their present experience.

  7. Liam,Your comment (like Bryan’s) echo’s the power of community in our church experience.  Having a place to belong, where one feels loved and valued seems to be very high on what we want and appreciate about a church.I read again the remainder of your comment and wondered how people in these rural areas could experience more of a sense of community in their setting.

  8. Greg,I suspect many people in various parts of the country and world can identify with you sister.  I have hear so many stories of how difficult it is to find a church situation that "fits".  Then there are others, like yourself and your children who for whatever reason seem to be able to find that fit within a relatively short period of time.I feel for these people (like your sister).  I suspect this can be very discouraging.

  9. "When everyone was coming down hard on Britney Spears, the minister
    there encouraged his congregants to write her letters of encouragement
    that he would deliver himself." That is lovely. 

  10. I concur with both Jennifer and Bryan’s comments.  These are both very important aspects in determining whether one is "happy" with his/her church. 
    I have a wonderful pastor, but I don’t feel there is a real sense of love or community in my church.  I have been there for four years and I continue to stay because I got tired of "church hopping" and because my kids enjoy attending this church.
    When the church needed a leader for my kids youth group last year, I reluctantly stepped forward.  Today I feel God was "calling" me to do this.  I also feel he is calling me to be an initiator with all of the people at my church.  I need to be the one to say "Hello, how are you?" first.    
    God works through each one of us.  All that is important is that we do God’s will.  I may never make a difference in changing the attitude of my church, but at least I know I am actively doing my part to share God’s love not just with my group of kids, but with the church as a whole.