To view this notification widget you need to have JavaScript enabled. This notification widget was easily created with NotifySnack.
Home Tour About Read What's New Help Forums Join Login
My Account
Shop
Save
Support
E
Book
Store
Learn
About
Jesus
  




The HOME for Christian writers!
The Home for Christian Writers!

Forums

This area is only a small portion of FaithWriters. The main site can be joined HERE.
Shop & Save to SUPPORT FaithWriters.
Upgrade to SUPPORT FaithWriters.

Church Attendence

A place for general chat (non-writing related). Please keep political discussions to the relevant neighborhood forum.

Moderators: cori67, RedBaron, Shann

User avatar
lish1936
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
 
Posts: 2051
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:21 pm
Location: New York

Re: Church Attendence

Postby lish1936 » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:25 pm

Some little gremlin came and ate my post about a common thread between tithing tithes and tithing time.
:eyes :roll:

Lillian
E-Book - Retirement Lane - How to Celebrate Life After 60

Fortunate 500


I write even when I think I can't, because I must. :-)

I love to write. Nothing escapes the crush I have on the written word. I'm hooked on words!!

"Let words bewitch you. Scrutinze them, mull them, savor them, and in combination, until you see their subtle differences and the ways they tint each other." Francis Flaherty

User avatar
Deb Porter
FaithWriters and Site Admin
FaithWriters and Site Admin
 
Posts: 16038
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:02 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Church Attendence

Postby Deb Porter » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:10 pm

Thanks for that 2 cents, Betty. Much appreciated insight.

Lillian, no idea where your post went. That's weird. :shock:

Love, Deb
FaithWriters' Writing Challenge Co-ordinator


Breath of Fresh Air Press - a little publisher with a lot of heart

Image

User avatar
Colswann1
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
 
Posts: 1065
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 1:02 pm
Location: UK

Re: Church Attendence

Postby Colswann1 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:50 pm

It seems the modern approach to church is more and more like a pick-and mix casual approach to it. Does Christ's approach to his Church change or is it us who accommodate are preferences that suit our tastes?
Colin Swann

Jesus’ love is constant and never wavers.

User avatar
RedBaron
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 25036
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 9:41 am
Location: Ohio

Re: Church Attendence

Postby RedBaron » Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:17 pm

Colswann1 wrote:It seems the modern approach to church is more and more like a pick-and mix casual approach to it. Does Christ's approach to his Church change or is it us who accommodate are preferences that suit our tastes?


The modern approach to church is nothing like the original church. They met in homes, and sometimes had to hide to worship. They met every day, they ate meals together, etc.

Sometimes I think it would be better, but we're so much more an isolated society, that I think a lot of people would bulk at that. I know there are some home churches now, and there are times I'd rather have something like that.
<><
Shari
FW 500 Member

"...hunt like a spider..." Cori - FW Con '07

User avatar
Colswann1
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
 
Posts: 1065
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 1:02 pm
Location: UK

Re: Church Attendence

Postby Colswann1 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:33 pm

Yes Shari, I think most would agree that the Church isn't a building. I was suggesting a group of people meeting under the covering of God's appointed ministry, A bit more than just meeting God in the garden or other places outside what the Bible indicates as the Church.
Colin Swann

Jesus’ love is constant and never wavers.

User avatar
RedBaron
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 25036
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 9:41 am
Location: Ohio

Re: Church Attendence

Postby RedBaron » Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:41 pm

Colswann1 wrote:Yes Shari, I think most would agree that the Church isn't a building. I was suggesting a group of people meeting under the covering of God's appointed ministry, A bit more than just meeting God in the garden or other places outside what the Bible indicates as the Church.


Yet, I think there is precedence for meeting in the garden, at the side of a lake, etc. :D
<><
Shari
FW 500 Member

"...hunt like a spider..." Cori - FW Con '07

User avatar
Colswann1
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
 
Posts: 1065
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 1:02 pm
Location: UK

Re: Church Attendence

Postby Colswann1 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:06 pm

Yes I agree, but I don't think that's Church. I love to walk with God in all places but I need feeding in the fashion that Jesus said to Peter: 'Feed my Sheep'.
Colin Swann

Jesus’ love is constant and never wavers.

User avatar
yarra
Pencil 3 (100-149 Posts)
Pencil 3 (100-149 Posts)
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:41 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Church Attendence

Postby yarra » Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:07 am

I'm coming to this conversation quite late and most things have been said.

I grew up going to church/Sunday school up to 3 times per Sunday. That was in the 50s - 60s (Yes, I'm that old!). But now, in the twenty teens, things have changed for me and changed for the church as a whole in the area where I live.

I think, to get things about church attendance in perspective we need to remember that the Bible does not prescribe the style of 'church'. Yes, it commends keeping up meeting together, but it doesn't suggest that it means meeting in a designated building, at regular and very frequent and concentrated times.

Now, before you all respond by saying how important discipline and patterns are in our lives, I want to say that these things are important and help us to keep on keeping on in the faith. Having a regular commitment to myself to attend Sunday morning church services is very good for me, but I can break that commitment without guilt if I need (really need) to do something for someone, to be there for someone in my family, etc.

My church currently only has one service per Sunday (plus various week day activities) and this is the trend for small churches like mine. Bigger churches here in Australia tend to have more services but usually a different congregation attends each service.

We need to not take on false guilt about church attendance. What is right for one person may not be right for another - God made us all differently. I know of a young-ish woman who was pastoring with her husband and has suffered burn-out and anxiety. She had to pull back from various activities for the sake of her health. So do other people. I definitely have to say 'no' to things and allow some quiet time in my life, for the sake of my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

Just getting people in my community and city to attend a church at all, for one visit, is a challenge and I hope no-one I took to my church would ever hear someone telling people to be there more often.

And just one more thing - sometimes the Lord, our Shepherd, ''makes us lie down in green pastures'', leads us 'beside still waters'', away from our church groups and their 'noise', to ''restore our souls''.

User avatar
Anja
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
 
Posts: 879
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 4:20 am
Location: Canada

Re: Church Attendence

Postby Anja » Sun Aug 03, 2014 12:09 pm

I am very late coming to this conversation.

During the 80's and 90's, I never missed a church meeting. Never. Not even for the births of my children, except the one who had the audicity to be born on a Sunday. Did not miss church meetings when it was -40 with snow covered roads. Did not miss service when our son developed a chronic illness, nor when my husband became disabled. I was caregiver, chauffeur, housekeeper, gardener, cook, and the church made sure I didn't neglect my duties and obligations to God by appointing me SS Superintendent, bulletin secretary, women's group president, building committee member, Bible study leader, church secretary, and music team member. I have filled every position of the church, from janitor to fill-in pastor. Babysitters were heavily frowned upon, so our children were taken to every meeting, and there was no childcare available. (It was considered unspiritual. Children must learn to sit still, even past their bedtimes.)

(An aside to this, one pastor said that if we were using our children as an excuse to avoid meetings and church, God would remove our "excuses." Subsequently, when my baby died, it was a heavy, heavy blow, and only added to the guilt, pressure, and incredible fear of God.)

At one point, I said to the chairman of the board, "I have been to 14 meetings in 17 days."

He said, "So?"

I decided on a different tact. "I don't believe the work of the church is necessarily the work of the Lord. My neighbours are going to hell, and I don't have time to care. My children are exhausted. I am exhausted."

He replied, "Jesus will never come second."

I said, "To what? Programs and busyness and activities that are designed to serve us and no one else?" No answer.

To make a long story short, I was hospitalised at one point. Depression and mental breakdown. But now I know it was burnout and exhaustion. Guilt. Discouragement.

I don't attend church now, in the sense of a certain building at a certain time. I believe when Jesus refers to church, he is referring to the universal body of believers, which meets anytime, anywhere. I have fellowship each and every day with a variety of people, both acquaintances and chance encounters. (Met a lady last night, a nun, at a gold panning championship, of all places, and we had an amazing time of learning, sharing, and prayer. "Where two or three are gathered in My name...")

I have mentors and friends that I weep and rejoice with. Regularly, irregularly, we have fellowship. We pray, instruct, rebuke, as the need may be. As far as tithing goes, I believe all my talents, time, and treasure belongs to Him. He directs the how and when and where of my every minute, every penny. My service to others does not come under scrutiny or approval from a church leader. I simply "do" as directed by the Holy Spirit. Without compulsion, without pressure, without guilt.

We do go to Cowboy Church, when available, often linked to cowboy events. We love the "come as you are" atmosphere. We live on a ranch with 3000 head of cattle. Between feeding, calving, and a thousand other messes that cows, calves, and bulls can get into, we can literally have "an ox in the ditch" on any given Sunday... or weekday.

Much of what has been said here resonates with me, from the mediocre Christian statement to being uncomfortable / exhausted by groups of people. I feel I have finally "come apart," as He did, and found Him.
Ann Grover

"What remains of a story after it is finished? Another story..." Eli Wiesel

User avatar
lish1936
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
 
Posts: 2051
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:21 pm
Location: New York

Re: Church Attendence

Postby lish1936 » Sun Aug 03, 2014 5:14 pm

As far as tithing goes, I believe all my talents, time, and treasure belongs to Him. He directs the how and when and where of my every minute, every penny. My service to others does not come under scrutiny or approval from a church leader. I simply "do" as directed by the Holy Spirit.


The above caught my eye because it reminded me of a sermon I heard a few Sundays back from a young, earnest pastor whose church I visited; whose vision to evangelize his Jerusalem has resulted in over 1500 children for Vacation Bible School, and several satellite churches on the order of the Apostle Paul's model. He is not your ordinary suit and tie pastor, but his message on Malachi 3 leaves little room for equivocation as to what Malachi teaches. At some point, he addresses the subject of tithes vs. money as opposed to tithes vs. time.

He says it better than I could explain it. Ironically, the subject of tithing ties into the subject of attending church as a gathering of a body of believers. There cannot be a "storehouse" if there is no organized "meeting" of believers, if only on Sunday.

Should anyone reading this have a moment, take a listen. :D http://www.graceoc.com/sermons/the_dare

Lillian
E-Book - Retirement Lane - How to Celebrate Life After 60

Fortunate 500


I write even when I think I can't, because I must. :-)

I love to write. Nothing escapes the crush I have on the written word. I'm hooked on words!!

"Let words bewitch you. Scrutinze them, mull them, savor them, and in combination, until you see their subtle differences and the ways they tint each other." Francis Flaherty

User avatar
Deb Porter
FaithWriters and Site Admin
FaithWriters and Site Admin
 
Posts: 16038
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:02 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Church Attendence

Postby Deb Porter » Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:02 pm

Anja wrote:(An aside to this, one pastor said that if we were using our children as an excuse to avoid meetings and church, God would remove our "excuses." Subsequently, when my baby died, it was a heavy, heavy blow, and only added to the guilt, pressure, and incredible fear of God.)


Ann, this actually shocked me, and I am very hard to shock. Then it made me angry. Words fail me.

Our experience was not as extreme as yours, but I totally relate to everything you wrote. I think I may have mentioned before that when I hear of all the activities in the church (during the notices section ... PLEASE bring back the newsletter and spare us), I actually feel ill. I don't say for a second that there should not be things for people who want to be involved in activities. I just don't want anyone to ever make demands on me to attend things I don't feel led to do. Thankfully, our church doesn't do that. If it did, I don't think we would still be there.

Perhaps, Christian maturity is reaching that place where we are at peace in our relationship with God, serving Him as He leads, and not feeling guilted or compelled by any person to fit their ideal of what a Christian is. Listen to enough guest speakers over the years, and they will probably all have different opinions about what that is, anyway.

The danger with the pressure put on Christians is that many will leave the church and leave their faith as well. They come seeking grace and a release from bondage, and then find they are back in a different type of bondage and legalism. Somehow, I am fairly certain that does not please God.

Love, Deb
FaithWriters' Writing Challenge Co-ordinator


Breath of Fresh Air Press - a little publisher with a lot of heart

Image

User avatar
RedBaron
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 25036
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 9:41 am
Location: Ohio

Re: Church Attendence

Postby RedBaron » Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:47 pm

Wow - my heart breaks for you that you had to endure that. I pray that God woke those people up with a spiritual 2x4 upside the head!

Anja wrote:I am very late coming to this conversation.

During the 80's and 90's, I never missed a church meeting. Never. Not even for the births of my children, except the one who had the audicity to be born on a Sunday. Did not miss church meetings when it was -40 with snow covered roads. Did not miss service when our son developed a chronic illness, nor when my husband became disabled. I was caregiver, chauffeur, housekeeper, gardener, cook, and the church made sure I didn't neglect my duties and obligations to God by appointing me SS Superintendent, bulletin secretary, women's group president, building committee member, Bible study leader, church secretary, and music team member. I have filled every position of the church, from janitor to fill-in pastor. Babysitters were heavily frowned upon, so our children were taken to every meeting, and there was no childcare available. (It was considered unspiritual. Children must learn to sit still, even past their bedtimes.)

(An aside to this, one pastor said that if we were using our children as an excuse to avoid meetings and church, God would remove our "excuses." Subsequently, when my baby died, it was a heavy, heavy blow, and only added to the guilt, pressure, and incredible fear of God.)

At one point, I said to the chairman of the board, "I have been to 14 meetings in 17 days."

He said, "So?"

I decided on a different tact. "I don't believe the work of the church is necessarily the work of the Lord. My neighbours are going to hell, and I don't have time to care. My children are exhausted. I am exhausted."

He replied, "Jesus will never come second."

I said, "To what? Programs and busyness and activities that are designed to serve us and no one else?" No answer.

To make a long story short, I was hospitalised at one point. Depression and mental breakdown. But now I know it was burnout and exhaustion. Guilt. Discouragement.

I don't attend church now, in the sense of a certain building at a certain time. I believe when Jesus refers to church, he is referring to the universal body of believers, which meets anytime, anywhere. I have fellowship each and every day with a variety of people, both acquaintances and chance encounters. (Met a lady last night, a nun, at a gold panning championship, of all places, and we had an amazing time of learning, sharing, and prayer. "Where two or three are gathered in My name...")

I have mentors and friends that I weep and rejoice with. Regularly, irregularly, we have fellowship. We pray, instruct, rebuke, as the need may be. As far as tithing goes, I believe all my talents, time, and treasure belongs to Him. He directs the how and when and where of my every minute, every penny. My service to others does not come under scrutiny or approval from a church leader. I simply "do" as directed by the Holy Spirit. Without compulsion, without pressure, without guilt.

We do go to Cowboy Church, when available, often linked to cowboy events. We love the "come as you are" atmosphere. We live on a ranch with 3000 head of cattle. Between feeding, calving, and a thousand other messes that cows, calves, and bulls can get into, we can literally have "an ox in the ditch" on any given Sunday... or weekday.

Much of what has been said here resonates with me, from the mediocre Christian statement to being uncomfortable / exhausted by groups of people. I feel I have finally "come apart," as He did, and found Him.
<><
Shari
FW 500 Member

"...hunt like a spider..." Cori - FW Con '07

User avatar
deejay
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
 
Posts: 5457
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:16 am
Location: SoCal

Re: Church Attendence

Postby deejay » Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:23 pm

That wasn't a church, Anja, that was a cult! So glad you got free. Guilt has no place in Christianity, except when sin is involved. In my church, we are encouraged to help out in any way--"many hands make light work". It works, too--God has sent us some people with the gifts, talents, and abilities we need to whip our 40+ year old building into shape, and fit it for ongoing ministry in our community.

User avatar
yarra
Pencil 3 (100-149 Posts)
Pencil 3 (100-149 Posts)
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:41 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Church Attendence

Postby yarra » Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:08 am

I've come back to this conversation and read the more recent comments. I'm shocked at the way some people have been laden with burdens by their churches or pastors - burdens of expectations and guilt. I understand, Anja, why you have felt so hurt by the church.

Jesus said, 'Come to me, you heavy laden, and I will give you rest. My yoke is easy and my burden is light.' ( quoted from memory so please excuse inaccuracy - the meaning is there, and yes, I know this probably refers to the pharisees' demands, etc). He didn't want us bound by burdens of churchy-expectations, I believe. His emphasis was on living as he taught us, and making him our Lord.

But, it's so helpful and encouraging to have a group of encouraging, challenging, sharing Christians to spend time with. They are a segment of The Church wherever you meet with them. I do think God wants us to 'do church' collectively, as a part of The Church Body. It's worth persisting in looking for a group/church where you can receive encouragement and support.

When I'm in a critical mode regarding my own church, I sometimes think about the Christians in places like Vietnam, Iran, and currently (oh, so sadly) Iraq. I think about how they must treasure the opportunities to meet with other Christians when they can. It puts my inner grumbling back into perspective a bit. I have a church, and indeed a choice of churches, where I can go and freely worship. I am so blessed.

I don't think an online church would be a full substitute for a live one but there can be fellowship even over the net. I want to encourage the discouraged to use online resources when they feel they can't meet with others. One that I use and find helpful as a personal devotional site, and where you can share comments is WordLIve: https://www.wordlive.org/Session
Blessings, Ellen

Previous

Return to The Water Cooler

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


© MeasurelessMedia. All rights reservedTerms of Service



Jesus - True for You But not for Me      Website Builder     Build Website     Is Jesus God?    
Does God exist?     Build a writers website     Does truth exist?     Website online in minutes