A little lengthy, but valuable for every Christian.
Stealing this from Michele Brent Bissig page, who borrowed the article from another pastor.
As a believer, when searching for a new church, you had better be led by the Holy Spirit. From personal experience, Michele and I have never left a church without knowing where God was leading us next. Never!
Wandering from place to place “shopping” is not the Lord’s plan, and always leads to a wilderness experience where you either dry up, get weird, flakey and religious, or get devoured. (When you get devoured, you’re not a martyr either, just say’n.)
Psalm 92:13 12The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; 13planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. 14They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green.
I’ll let Michele take it from here…
When the pastor knows he has people visiting from another church, who are “shopping” for a church, he can do one of two things;
A. Be himself…a Pastor, or…
B. Go into audition-mode and become a recruiter and a salesman.
Hopefully, the pastor will be himself and Pastor.
The second pulls the pastor out of his gifting and purpose, leaving him feel like he is auditioning or trying-out for the “church-shopper”. Unfortunately, far too many church-shoppers unknowingly force pastors into the last scenario.
Shopping for a church is wrong.
Patrick has always taught people must be called to a church. If you are attending a church because of it’s amenities or your friendships, once the amenities change or your relationships change, you will be gone.
God calls people to a local church to be equipped, and to serve. Many Christians never completely understand those two concepts. They want to be equipped the way they view training, and what they feel they need. But, more often than not, God has a completely different plan. (Kinda like the Karate Kid movie…”Wax-on, wax-off!” Daniel didn’t understand his training, but Mr. Miyagi did. Once Daniel submitted to the training, he learned and then won gold).
Many jump-ship during the process because they never understand what God is doing, or believe he is taking too long. Because of how we are wired, we then unfairly blame the pastor or staff.
When our son completed his drivers ed training, he received his drivers license. One night, not long after, he asked for the keys to our brand new Expedition. Patrick Bissig, declined. Ryan was disappointed that he didn’t get to go driving his friends around in the new, family truck.
Having a drivers license only gives you a legal right to drive, but doesn’t mean you are ready…or mature enough…to do so. After Ryan proved himself to be responsible, level-headed and a careful driver, we had no problem with him driving our truck.
One last thing; shopping for a church that will fulfill your hunger, ministry-calling, or aspirations is the always the wrong approach.
Jesus must be the well, supplier and equipper.
Anything, or anyone else meeting those needs will always leave you shopping.