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So Ive been thinking about going back to church. I suppose Im just pandering for some encouragement. I was once a Sunday School Director and a member of the Church Council. When I went to pray about Seminary I was given no sign. Looks like 29 of the 30 of us did, but not me. I dont know just thinking too hard maybe.
 

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There is a place in Hell for me...the THRONE.
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God must have a different path for you than seminary. Go back to church this Sunday and enjoy the fellowship.
 

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As a former atheist turned Christian, it is interesting that I checked back in on this forum on today of all days, after being away for, well, a long time....

I still remember the day I went back to church the first time. I'm glad I did. Certainly, you have nothing to lose in going. Let me know if you want to talk about it.
 

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So Ive been thinking about going back to church. I suppose Im just pandering for some encouragement. I was once a Sunday School Director and a member of the Church Council. When I went to pray about Seminary I was given no sign. Looks like 29 of the 30 of us did, but not me. I dont know just thinking too hard maybe.
Good Luck

churches are not what they once were and the search for one can be daunting to say the least
 

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There is a place in Hell for me...the THRONE.
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No kidding! We are searching right now, and are getting very discouraged. :surrender:
Have you tried a Calvary Chapel in your area? They are very word based and fellowship strong.

https://calvarychapel.com/

I grew up going to what is known as "Big Calvary". It was the location that started it all with Pastor Chuck Smith (Bless his heart and may he rest in peace).
 

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Today sounds like a Great day to start back... Do not put off tomorrow on things you know you should do today!

Don't make it a chore and you will have a great time. Just go and Worship GOD.

Praying for you...
 

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Have you tried a Calvary Chapel in your area? They are very word based and fellowship strong.

https://calvarychapel.com/

I grew up going to what is known as "Big Calvary". It was the location that started it all with Pastor Chuck Smith (Bless his heart and may he rest in peace).
We did try one within reasonable driving distance, even knew the Pastor's wife and sister-inlaw from all 12 years of public school..Nice folks, but not very inclusive. Ive heard good things about other CC congregations in the area, but the driving distance is off-putting. We are visiting a church that's not bad, but it's a full half hour drive, and they expect people to find a small group..but we are so far from any of them, it's hard to commit to that. We've exhausted the churches out here with close enough doctrinal beliefs.
 

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There is a place in Hell for me...the THRONE.
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We did try one within reasonable driving distance, even knew the Pastor's wife and sister-inlaw from all 12 years of public school..Nice folks, but not very inclusive. Ive heard good things about other CC congregations in the area, but the driving distance is off-putting. We are visiting a church that's not bad, but it's a full half hour drive, and they expect people to find a small group..but we are so far from any of them, it's hard to commit to that. We've exhausted the churches out here with close enough doctrinal beliefs.
My folks are doing the same thing. After Pastor Chuck died his son in law took over. The feel of the church (THAT branch) changed and my parents felt like outsiders even though they were church elders. Programs such as the anger management group and the prayer chain were ended and that but a strain on existing members. Now there were no longer programs to help people.

For the past few years my folks have been to almost every church in their city and the surrounding area. They like our Calvary but at about 80+ miles away that is a bit far for Sunday services. We take them when they are in town visiting.

Their current alternative is something called BSF or Bible Study Fellowship. Both my folks have been in the program so long they are discussion leaders. This is a fellowship and bible based study group. They only use the bible and no outside text to study. I believe it takes 6 years to complete the whole bible study from cover to cover. Might be worth a look.

https://www.bsfinternational.org/

I forgot to mention that while both the men and the women study the same things in BSF they study in separate groups as the Bible teaches no woman shall teach a man etc. So my dad's group is Monday nights and my mom's is Tuesdays, I believe. My folks do chat about the lessons during the week and share ideas which helps to keep God close in all of daily life.
 

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I'm probably in the minority here, but since I'm Catholic, finding a church is obviously very easy for me. Local Catholic churches are all the same regarding doctrine. Sure, the extra stuff (organizations, social services, etc.) will differ from parish to parish. But it is nice not to have to worry about the doctrinal beliefs of individual pastors.
 

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Good for you

We are currently looking for a home church easier said than done. Every church we have attended has been bible based and sprite filled. It's been fun after attending one church my aunt called to inform me that with the exception of 4 or 5 people I was related to every member. The best part was after services several elderly men told me that they were school mates with my dad and that we were also kin.
 

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We are currently looking for a home church easier said than done. Every church we have attended has been bible based and sprite filled. It's been fun after attending one church my aunt called to inform me that with the exception of 4 or 5 people I was related to every member. The best part was after services several elderly men told me that they were school mates with my dad and that we were also kin.
There are numerous families in my small town that have to look for mates elsewhere..too many cousins within the same school district. You can imagine how it could be with the church situation. I describe this town as a place to watch your mouth..dont badmouth anyone. You never know which brother, sister, aunt, uncle, Grandparent, in-law, or ex you're talking to. Seriously. We've lived here almost 23 years, and Im still learning connections. :laugh:
 

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A lot of churches now have websites where you can contact the minister, read about their principles and even watch a sermon. We have a couple very good Christian radio stations so that may be an option in your area if you can't find a church that matches your beliefs. Don't settle.
 

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I could get over some differences in doctrine, I've found we believe a little different than others & we're okay with that. What I can't get over is the priorities of many churches. I believe the true priorities of a church, like an individual, can be seen in how they allocate resources. Most, in my opinion, don't match up with scripture nor do they reflect the needs of the church in a larger sense. Most kids growing up in a Christian homes going to church regularly won't be Christian into adulthood. The statistics are appalling but most churches are either blissfully ignorant about it or don't care. They have Zumba classes & travel groups though! They continue to staff youth groups with the most inexperienced staff & keep feeding the kids the same dribble they've been feeding them, never getting to the meat of anything. They never learn why Christians believe what we do or why the Christian worldview is best. While we are in a battle for the hearts, minds, & souls of our youth, the pastors are telling stories & cracking jokes in the pulpit & busy trying not to offend anyone. I can't, in good conscience, be a part of it nor will I allow my kids to darken their doorsteps.

I would LOVE to be an active member of a church. A REAL church that's making disciples, feeding the flock, ministering to needs, & is salt & light in this dark world. I would love to be volunteering large amounts of my time & resources supporting such activities. I'm not looking for perfection, I wouldn't fit in very well, heck they can even have a Zumba class. Unfortunately what I see are country clubs you can write off your taxes. So instead I volunteer & fellowship in a Christian mothers of preschoolers group & a Christian homeschool group, listen to Worship music, & listen to several different preachers on CD & radio. :dunno:
 

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There is a place in Hell for me...the THRONE.
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I could get over some differences in doctrine, I've found we believe a little different than others & we're okay with that. What I can't get over is the priorities of many churches. I believe the true priorities of a church, like an individual, can be seen in how they allocate resources. Most, in my opinion, don't match up with scripture nor do they reflect the needs of the church in a larger sense. Most kids growing up in a Christian homes going to church regularly won't be Christian into adulthood. The statistics are appalling but most churches are either blissfully ignorant about it or don't care. They have Zumba classes & travel groups though! They continue to staff youth groups with the most inexperienced staff & keep feeding the kids the same dribble they've been feeding them, never getting to the meat of anything. They never learn why Christians believe what we do or why the Christian worldview is best. While we are in a battle for the hearts, minds, & souls of our youth, the pastors are telling stories & cracking jokes in the pulpit & busy trying not to offend anyone. I can't, in good conscience, be a part of it nor will I allow my kids to darken their doorsteps.

I would LOVE to be an active member of a church. A REAL church that's making disciples, feeding the flock, ministering to needs, & is salt & light in this dark world. I would love to be volunteering large amounts of my time & resources supporting such activities. I'm not looking for perfection, I wouldn't fit in very well, heck they can even have a Zumba class. Unfortunately what I see are country clubs you can write off your taxes. So instead I volunteer & fellowship in a Christian mothers of preschoolers group & a Christian homeschool group, listen to Worship music, & listen to several different preachers on CD & radio. :dunno:
I like to think our church has their priorities straight but it is all relative to each person, family etc.

Our church is a young one. They started as a home study that grew very fast (as most Calvarys start). They took a loan out from another church a few cities over to build and buy the land to have a permanent home. In less that 5 years they had the land and church building (simple industrial style almost metal roof barn like) with no debt. All loans were repaid in full with interest in less than 5 years! The Lutheran church I went to as a young child still has a mortgage from when they bought the building in the 70s!

The Calvary belief is the church should focus on the souls of the church not how pretty it is. At the "home" church Pastor Chuck pulled the carpet out of the church (yes, he did it himself with the elders help). He did it because some of the elders didn't like the "hippy dippy" youth coming barefoot from the beach. The elders wanted to force a policy about shoes because they didn't want the carpet ruined. Chuck said "let them come as they are" and ripped the carpet up.
 

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You all looking might have to look to small or tiny churches

I looked and looked. Went to many different places here and found one right down the road about 7 miles.

Tiny place. 20 pews in total ( I kid you not). Small, friendly and they look out for one another. It is mostly older folks but we do have a few young families

LOL the Ladies group only had 6 ladies until I joined. Now we're the lucky 7. We're a force when we get going.

The property crosses the road so our pavilion is over there. We have some great meals there. In the Fall for hunting season we have breakfasts for the hunters starting at 5 am- 10am and then lunch starts at 11 and goes till 2. Breakfast is free and so is the coffee. Needless to say we're a big hit in the Valley. Hoping to be a reporting station this year for the hunters. We'll see.

We look after older people even if they're not members. We help members do everything and anything. Decorate for holidays at their homes, put in gardens, mow acreage if they can't,give a ride for errands,etc.

Just have to keep looking. You'll find your place
 

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So Ive been thinking about going back to church. I suppose Im just pandering for some encouragement. I was once a Sunday School Director and a member of the Church Council. When I went to pray about Seminary I was given no sign. Looks like 29 of the 30 of us did, but not me. I dont know just thinking too hard maybe.
Is there a Cowboy Church in your area? I have several friends who enjoy going to those types of come as you are, most of the time meet outdoors type of worship services.
 

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So Ive been thinking about going back to church. I suppose Im just pandering for some encouragement. I was once a Sunday School Director and a member of the Church Council. When I went to pray about Seminary I was given no sign. Looks like 29 of the 30 of us did, but not me. I dont know just thinking too hard maybe.
I believe that if God wants you to go to the seminary, He makes it a calling that resonates in everything in your life. Something that you simply cannot ignore. Through His grace we receive our talents and our abilities. If you talents and abilities all direct you to ministry, then you were born with your answer. So perhaps you did receive His answer and just did not come to realize it. Most churches do not understand prayer and so they do not instruct their congregations in how to pray or how to listen for His response.

The bible tells us that we have already received EVERYTHING from Him (John 1:16, 2 Peter 1:3, Philippians 4:19, Mark 11:24, etc., etc., etc.). We do not need to ask Him for what He has already given us. Pray in thanksgiving for what you have already received and then make sure you actually receive it. God's grace is like a blessed never ending rain. But since we are imperfect beings we often times ignorantly go inside to escape it rather than embrace it. And that's okay, because God gives us infinite opportunities to receive it. His grace only stops if you rebuke His Son.

I hope you find whatever it is that you are looking for.
 
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