Where? Why? What?

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Colossians 4:6)

So are you ready to give some answers? Where do you go to church? Why do you go there? What makes a good church? Why is it important that Christians go to church?

I’ve been trying to catch up on my online reading since I’ve been out of town pretty much for two weeks. While I was in Mexico, Shaun Groves wrote about this topic and got me thinking. If you asked me if I agree or disagree with him I’d have to say…yes. Without getting too into it I’ll just say that I wouldn’t consider myself radical but I can’t stand doing things for the sake of tradition without explanation or clear intention. If nothing else, Mr. Groves gave me a nice reminder to be aware and intentional about the different aspects of church. Don’t be intimidated by the length. For a blog entry it’s long but it’s still a quick and easy read. Please let me know what it makes you guys think. I’m in the mood to discuss.

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7 Responses to Where? Why? What?

  1. shaungroves says:

    Thanks for reading…and extending the conversation.

    -Shaun

  2. Casey L. says:

    i think he makes some good points, particularly in the sections titled “seeker serving” and “a place to serve.” i also like what he said under the heading of “slavery…”, particularly this quote:

    “Commitment trumps soccer practice, sleeping in, demanding my way.”

    if more people were to embrace that attitude in the church today, it would alleviate so many problems.

    now, if i were to add anything to the article about what to look for in a church, it would definitely be an emphasis on preaching, sound doctrine, and biblical leadership. the new testament repeatedly mentions these aspects as being central to the work of the church, and the emphasis is especially strong in the pastoral epistles. and maybe those things were implied (wishful thinking?), but i think that it is shortsighted to not include those aspects.

    overall, though, i think it was a good, thought-provoking article…

  3. bryangumpy says:

    I’m a little embarrassed to say that I didn’t even notice that that aspect was missing from the article. I guess for me it’s such a given that I didn’t look out for it. I couldn’t agree more that preaching, sound doctrine, and biblical leadership are things that are vital to having a God honoring church. When I had to find a new church a couple times in the past year or so those were the first conditions that needed to be met.

    I keep seeing a trend of polarized churches, however. I would love to see this addressed more. It seems that so many of the churches I come across lately have one or two aspects that they put extra emphasis on. Whether it be an emphasis on doctrine and theology without avenues to serve and put the knowledge to good use, an inappropriate emphasis on worship that ends up really being an emphasis on emotion or “experience”, or an emphasis on evangelism or service that never really provides any growth or discipleship for converts.

    I think that overemphasizing a normally good thing can be almost as bad as not having it at all.

  4. Casey L. says:

    Gumpy, I think you make a good point (about overemphasizing a normally good thing). Piper addressed this (sort of) in his second message at Resolved. The message was about unifying our motives in world missions. He explained that some people’s focus in missions is on spreading the glory of God among the nations, and this is a good thing to focus on. Others, though, focus on meeting the greatest need of the nations, and this is, of course, a good thing as well. Unfortunately, these people often find themselves at odds (as he explained has happened in his own church among mission groups or committees).

    He explained that we find a unity of motives in the gospel. The spread of the gospel among the nations is the most God-glorifying activity possible, and it is also the thing that meets the greatest need of mankind. So glorifying God through proper doctrine and meeting people’s needs as an act of service ultimately merge into one thing, if the gospel is always kept at the center. I thought that was a good way of explaining it, and it applies not only to world missions, but to local church ministry as well.

    It is too bad, though, that churches will at times get hung up on one thing or another to the exclusion of other good things. It doesn’t have to be this way. God-exalting doctrine and a high view of Scripture should never eliminate evangelism or service, but enhance them.

  5. bryangumpy says:

    I wholeheartedly agree.

  6. Jill says:

    I’d say Shaun Groves hit the nail on the head with his resounding cry ” here’s the mission, in case you forgot.” Without a sound mission providing direction, we wander in and around church aimlessly wasting time.

    I want to live on a cul-de-sac like his.

    And if a church is found, as he describes, sign me up!! I’m in whole heartedly – time, talent, and treasure! I yearn for comrades with this level of commitment. They excite and inspire me.

    Thanks for pointing out this blog. I’m going to take it to school for Wednesday’s “Lunch with the Lord.” and see what those kids think. ok?

  7. bryangumpy says:

    Great! I guess this qualifies under the category of “God stuff”.

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