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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-18-2014, 07:52 PM
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Re: church for a non-church-goer

Originally Posted by Adeline View Post
oh my gosh, the bolded really struck me. I never actually had that exact experience, but just the notion of it is something I can relate to. The whole idea of do these people actually care about me in a real world setting? It's easy to be nice to people and say your "hi's" and "how do you do's" after service, but will you really be there when their life is in shambles or seek to understand what they're really about? Yep yep yep. That is something I fear would happen as well. We want to know that when we invest our time and emotions in people, that they will do the same as well.
Churches do exist where people actually care about each other. You do have to search for them sometimes, but they're not mermaid-rare or anything.

IMO, a lot of it has to do with the demographic, sad to say. A lot of your more old-school type churches are more about being seen in a pew (in you sunday best!), vs more modern, younger demographic churches sometimes have more of a supportive spirit. At least that's been my experience.

Kind of sad, because I really dislike the modern gospel music that comes with it--I say let gospel be gospel and let rock be rock. Those two things are like peanut butter and fried chicken--each good on their own, but it's a disaster when you combine them.

Darling it's better down where it's wetter, take it from me! --- Sebastian
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-18-2014, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: church for a non-church-goer

oh, I know, I don't mean to sound like a church-basher. Overall I think churches are great for many people. But sometimes the focus can be off for people involved in such a setting. I long for true fellowship, not just read the bible, pray, eat a lemon square and leave. My mom did make some long-time friendships that she still keeps in contact with from the church they were apart of when us kids were growing up. And then many of the members were simply just people she chatted with there and nothing more.

And I agree with the differences in churches, usually the old school vs modern are different in their evangelical approach as well. Old school usually caters to the existing members, while modern seeks to bring in new believers. Generally speaking, that is.

Too funny, because I sort of feel the opposite about music. I enjoy the traditional hymns as well, but I like me some contemporary worship
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-18-2014, 09:59 PM
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Re: church for a non-church-goer

I have known some churches and ministers to have a web presence, from which one can get some idea about their theology and "feel". This included web sites and social media like Facebook.

I do not go to church, but have caught a glimpse of a handful through old school friends on Facebook.

My parent's church, which I grew up attending, is "old school" when it comes to gospel music. They still have a very caring congregation. I didn't realize some might see a correlation.

"We are only here briefly, and in this moment I want to allow myself joy." -- Amy, from Spike Jonze's "Her"
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-19-2014, 01:24 AM
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Re: church for a non-church-goer

Originally Posted by Adeline View Post
And I agree with the differences in churches, usually the old school vs modern are different in their evangelical approach as well. Old school usually caters to the existing members, while modern seeks to bring in new believers. Generally speaking, that is.
I know of a few churches that will have a contemporary service and a traditional service to try to meet generational preferences. I grew up as a kid going (being dragged) to this very chapel:

I also was dragged to other types of services, some timid...some pretty wild (no snakes, however. haha).

A church I recently went to, the pastor just uses his iPhone to read Scripture. With another church, the pastor always uses a Bible and expects everyone to have one. Some will scribble notes all up in the pages...some wouldn't dare. None of these issues matter to me, but I realize some are really sensitive and particular about their preferences. I find today that most churches are pretty homogeneous as they try to reflect some semblance of modernism and don't want to freak out most shy away from being arduously long or overly-charismatic.

My ideal church is a body that is de-centralized...greater focus on smaller groups so that people will stay connected (home groups or cell groups)...and has leadership that believe in equipping the whole church to be ministers to their community, in their job, or wherever they feel led to shine. Church in my opinion, should be commissioning new generations to be lights to the world...and less custodial in preferences that are usually culturally arbitrary. And that's just my preference and not meant to be a indictment of other models...because I don't think it should be the same everywhere.
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-23-2014, 05:02 AM
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Re: church for a non-church-goer

Originally Posted by Jellybeans View Post
Only you can decide what is right for you.

Live your life for you.
Correct you have your own life so just focus on that and do whatever you want to do..

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post #21 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-25-2014, 09:13 PM
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Re: church for a non-church-goer

The2ofus said: Your story of basically opening and closing the doors of the church sound a lot like us. I landed in the hospital and no one really cared except i wasn't there for them to hear my pretty voice singing up front. Our faith grew when we stepped out of religion, out of the busyness and just sat and listened. Yes we want community but it wasn't there. Visiting a building does not give one community.
I've heard many similar stories from's very unfortunate as this is what the church is supposed to foster...and Be about.. People !

I can't say these are my reasons for slipping away ....

When it came to our Pastor taking the time... showing he cared about his Congregation.. I couldn't speak a word against him.....He came to pray over me for all 6 babies... 2 sons in the hospital - he was there ... and for others -he was good like this.... there was that sense of community... I used to go to Bible studies, a Mom's group....

The Problem for me came to be about Doctrine, not about the people....though this did cause it's conflict - mentally... then feeling "where do I fit in?" - I can't speak these thoughts too loud!

I was that regular Church goer..oh I had my phases over the years.. 3 times a week.. to once a week... to a couple times a month going....while still questioning so much of Christianity, I am just the doubting Thomas type..!

It fascinates me why people believe as they do.. I would buy books on the difficult passages of scripture / on Cults...Christian Apologetics .. one was called "When Critics ask?"......yet the more I learned ...the more questions I had!!!

It came to the point I had to explore where these doctrines came from...learn of history... the men behind it all.. even in this you will get 2 sides to the story..... I found I had more in common with the Heretics of Old.. what was I supposed to do with that !@#$%.. In good conscience.. I couldn't call myself a Believer any more..

But the part was... when you quit going to church... you do miss those people....even if they remain on our FB ... it just isn't the same.. in this way.. I sometimes feel I am missing out...

I see too many Grey's in life.....I am not a Moral absolutist.. but a Moral Realist.. then there are so many ways to interpret the Bible on top of all of this !!...I have found I have more in common with anyone -if we just look past our Creeds.....

I like who I am more today over who I was back then..(so does Husband !)... I worried over many things, felt God was going to punish me ... when is the hammer going to fall because I loved Rock music, an R rated steamy scene, Romance Novels...enjoyed my BF in intimate places - I just felt guilty over many things that I knew I wasn't going to give up... Oldest son just tells me "Mom you had Religion"... really.. it stole some of my JOY..

When son comes home... I sometimes go ...Him & 2nd son are more Christian over Me & Dad (my Husband never cared - but was happy to tag along all those years)...

But when I am on their ground..(any Church... Jewish, Mormon, Christian, etc )... I will show proper RESPECT and can hang with anyone, I enjoy learning of others beliefs......

I still get goose bumps & almost tear up with some of the songs sung in church even today...

Do what brings out the best in you.. I think we all need some sort of "fellowship" in life.. but this can be found in friendships along the way -just hanging & sharing our experiences with each other...

I guess I see this as our real challenges in life.. religion aside...

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post #22 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-27-2014, 12:27 AM
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Re: church for a non-church-goer

Originally Posted by Tasorundo View Post
I don't think you have to go to church, but I think it is important to be in community with other believers. Christianity is not meant to be lived in a bubble. To know and be known is an important part of the whole thing.
I so agree with this! Going to church doesn't make you a "better Christian" all to itself, but you do need to surround yourself with other believers. And there is soooo much difference between different churches. Just keep testing the waters of different churches, and of different denominations too if you are undecided. I've been attending a primitive Baptist church for a few years now, and even though they are old-fashioned in some ways (such not having any musical instruments, just beautiful singing and harmonies,) they are the most accepting and forgiving group of people I have ever met in my whole life. It is so different from the highly judgmental, in your business bunch that I grew up around. It sounds to me you havn't found your "people". And while a little awkward that your husband doesn't go, I can assure you that you will not be the only "lone spouse". There are several of those where I go. Every now and then their spouse will go, but it's not the rule. Good luck to you!
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post #23 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-27-2014, 01:53 AM
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Re: church for a non-church-goer

Or should I push myself to go? Should I push my husband to go with me?
I was forced to go to church my whole childhood, did not want to, and when I became a teenager I went wild and forgot church for years. I got married and had children and would go regularly for a while then slow way down to a few times a year.

As life went by and crises hit I went back to church and when the crises got much better I would drift off again. I now go regularly and have for the last several years. Do I get a LOT out of church, not usually a lot but sometimes I do. Do I get some spiritual nourishment? YES. I go to church for several reasons. The first is that most of my family goes and we go out to eat after church. The second is that I know I do not discipline myself enough during the week to nourish my faith so the Sunday church helps me to do what I think is right. The third is that building my faith (Faith cometh by hearing) is a very settling experience that adds security. I am now very graceful to my parents for forcing me to go to church and Sunday School and Church camp, etc. because they provided a base of faith at an early age.

As I get older the real important things in life usually involve my faith. The important things like family, children, sickness, blessings, jobs, health, stress in life, gratefulness, forgiveness, etc. I get great joy out of the closeness in our family and attribute part of that to the spiritual heritage that I have. We often have grandma and grandpa, me and my wife, my son and his family, my daughter when she visits my sister and her girls and others all go to church and out to eat together. We all get along and usually discuss the sermon. We often have felt a little like we are not great church people because we almost never join in all the activities that the church provides. We have concluded that is because we have most of your fellowship and spiritual discussions within the family. That seems kind of selfish but it is the truth.

After many years I found a pastor that really connects with me with his views and correct doctrine (IMO) and for that I am grateful as all the others did not have the touch for me that he does. He is very helpful because he has great faith in the Bible and is also a down to earth man. He is not a goody goody, no problems in life---- health and wealth preacher. He is down to earth and I have known of his since he was a boy. In fact his wife ran off and left him and his four children with him yet he is genuinely a joyful man. I do not know how he does it but he has proven for over 4 years that he is joyful. I think that man has been tested by fire! Here is a handsome, very fit man, that is 6 feet 2 inches tall and is a great communicator yet I have-not seen him with a woman after his wife left him many years ago.. Man o Man would I fail that test!!!

So back to your question of
Or should I push myself to go? Should I push my husband to go with me?

My recommendation would be for you to push yourself to go. You may not see the great value right now but as you pass your 30s-40s-50s etc. you will appreciate the security and strength that you can get from a true faith. Going to church is not the whole enchilada. There will be times that it is just you and God and there will be times of great stress in life, issues with your children, your marriage, and times of fear and times for forgiveness. That will mostly involve you and God but scriptures have always been a great help to me. I just do not know of any other book that I can get relief and spiritual joy from other than the Bible.

My father was given just 3-6 months to live last month and I know of no greater support than the word of God. It is a great comfort to know that your loved one will be in a place that was designed by a God that loves with a real and strong love that humans can only strive for. In crises and death who do you have to go to if not God?

I would only encourage your husband to go but not push.

Last edited by Mr Blunt; 06-28-2014 at 12:15 AM.
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