The first church I ever attended was chosen by my parents, I continued attending the denomination for the next 17 years of my life.
The second church I attended was while I was living in London. I went with a friend and I loved it!! It’s the praise and worship that gets me all the time.
The church was fun and full of life. The first time I ever saw young people serving God and making it look cool, oh yes; I wanted to be a cool God worshiper!
So, fast forward many years later, I have learnt a thing or two about churches: Why it’s important to attend the right church for you and not because your fore fathers attended the church or big mama paid for the bench and pulpit.
We are all different and won’t fit into the same type of church, not all churches cater to all needs.
Take myself as an example, I have 2 young children, top on my list is the daycare at churches. It will be difficult for me to concentrate on the service, if am not comfortable with the level of care at the children daycare. How well my children will be taken care of; I mean, the programs for the children and what they are being taught are very important.
I know that when I left my first church not knowing much about God. I thought he was the big guy that whacks you for no reason. I knew more about hell, condemnation and the wrath of God than His love.
Praise and worship is top priority for me, also, there is something about anointed praise and worship, you forget about your issues and just focus on how awesome God is.
I really don’t care if a church is not next to my house. I am willing to drive the extra mile if it’s a great church.
It’s all about the WORD – I have to grow, I can’t stay the same way, my life must be producing fruits, the Word works if you are taught well and you receive it.
There is also this notion about white and black churches; some people only feel comfortable attending churches that are full of the same race. I know about this because I have only attended mainly black churches most of my life.
While I have no problem with any race or nationality attending the same church, don’t make it about the people; it’s all about God.
There is something really wrong if you chose your church because of your race, friends, family history, distance and location. Some people attend churches to do business, yeah you heard me right!
I once attended a church where I had to dodge women at every service because everyone was flogging Mary Kay product! At one time it was some pyramid scam that was going on, thank God I had the common sense not to buy or join.
We choose our church based on where God leads us to, Ps 92:13 says that those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.
I guess the questions we should ask ourselves are:-
What is my purpose for attending a church?
What are my needs?
Our needs are different and cannot be ignored.
For most people, it’s all about the deeper relationship with God, the Word and fellowship with the brethren.
For others it’s all about praise and worship, being part of the choir, writing music, connecting with fellow musicians.
If you are single, you don’t want to be attending a church where the youngest person is 55yrs old! The entire congregation is 20 (including the choir, pastor and staff)
If you have hearing problems and can’t read lips, you want to attend a church where they have sign language. Also, if you don’t speak English, you want to attend a church where they can interpret via headphones.
The role of church is changing more and more, I am very pleased with it. The church is no longer the place where only righteous people are welcome. Everyone is welcome, come just as you are.
There are more programs for singles, divorced, single parents, drug addictions, youth ministry, homeless, street evangelism, and missions.
The churches are learning to do business and keep our talents in-house, we have churches producing and recording their own home grown artist, record labels, publishing books, writing and producing films.
Gone are the days of selling out in order to pursue your God given talent. You can still use your talent to lift up His name and still keep it real.
The time has come that we start seeing churches as not just a place we come once or twice a week, or even once a year!
The church is more than just somewhere to come to when you are going through your issues. Yes the church is a refuge; it’s also a teaching organization, a healing center where lives are shaped, gift/talent is discovered and lifelong relationships are built. The church is also where you can travel the world through missions.
There are several department in churches, you can be easily trained on the sound system, playing musical instruments, singing, camera and videoing, editing and producing newsletters and books, leadership skills, mentoring, presentation skills, working with a team, project management skills, organizational skills, conference planning and many others.
These are transferable skills that you can use at work and in your lives. You can also be a blessing by using your gift/talent to bless the church.
So next time you are searching for a new church, consider what your needs are.