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Lack of Enthusiasm

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  • Lack of Enthusiasm

    Its spring and the snow is finally receding. Going to church is now not a major project so I should be going. Instead I have absolutely no enthusiasm to go.

    You don't have to preach about it being a Christian responsibility to attend. I know that and its the only reason I'm bothering with this post. If I do go, its out obligation.

    I have lived in this town for about 25 years. In that time, I have attended for a year or more 4 churches. Of these 4 churches, 2 are now closed including the one my wife and I got married in. From what some friends have said, the 3rd church appears to have entered a rapid death spiral. The 4th (which actually the first I went to of the 4) is a PC(USA) church that I left when I ended up on the side of a church split.

    Most churches I have visited here do not present the Gospel. Moralistic Therapeutic Deism seems to be their doctrine.

    How do I get myself to go again?
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

    "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

  • #2
    Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
    Its spring and the snow is finally receding. Going to church is now not a major project so I should be going. Instead I have absolutely no enthusiasm to go.

    You don't have to preach about it being a Christian responsibility to attend. I know that and its the only reason I'm bothering with this post. If I do go, its out obligation.

    I have lived in this town for about 25 years. In that time, I have attended for a year or more 4 churches. Of these 4 churches, 2 are now closed including the one my wife and I got married in. From what some friends have said, the 3rd church appears to have entered a rapid death spiral. The 4th (which actually the first I went to of the 4) is a PC(USA) church that I left when I ended up on the side of a church split.

    Most churches I have visited here do not present the Gospel. Moralistic Therapeutic Deism seems to be their doctrine.

    How do I get myself to go again?
    Sounds like you need to start your own church...
    "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

    "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

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    • #3
      Look for a place you can SERVE. A place your talents, abilities and spiritual gifts can be put to use.
      "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

      Comment


      • #4
        What denominations have you visited/are available to visit? How far are you willing to travel? I know of people who drive for 2 hours to get to church.
        Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

        Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
        sigpic
        I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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        • #5
          Find one.

          "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


          "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

          My Personal Blog

          My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
            Sounds like you need to start your own church...
            No calling from God and no gifting from God to do so. I have too much respect for the office of pastor to start a church just because I think others are doing wrong.
            "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

            "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
              What denominations have you visited/are available to visit? How far are you willing to travel? I know of people who drive for 2 hours to get to church.
              The last church we were at was a PC(USA) looking to leave the denomination. My wife favors the non-denominational. I live in a large metropolitan area so if you name it, its represented here. Also means travel time is not really an issue. From my house you can get to most places in about 1/2 hour. If I was single, I would look into an Orthodox church (we have Greek, Russian, and Ukrainian here) but these are non-starters with my wife.

              My problem is this whole region is biased towards liberalism and the churches reflect that bias. I've been through trying to be conservative in a liberal (they would have said big tent) church and it doesn't work well.
              "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

              "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

              Comment


              • #8
                I grew up in an EFCA (Evangelical Free Church of America) church and am very pleased with them.

                If you are looking for a good church, you should find an Evangelical Free Church in your area.

                Here is a link to the national organization's "What We Believe" page.

                http://www.efca.org/explore/what-we-believe

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Premo316 View Post
                  I grew up in an EFCA (Evangelical Free Church of America) church and am very pleased with them.

                  If you are looking for a good church, you should find an Evangelical Free Church in your area.

                  Here is a link to the national organization's "What We Believe" page.

                  http://www.efca.org/explore/what-we-believe
                  Thank you. Looks like a possibility as there is a church in our town.
                  "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                  "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
                    The last church we were at was a PC(USA) looking to leave the denomination. My wife favors the non-denominational. I live in a large metropolitan area so if you name it, its represented here. Also means travel time is not really an issue. From my house you can get to most places in about 1/2 hour. If I was single, I would look into an Orthodox church (we have Greek, Russian, and Ukrainian here) but these are non-starters with my wife.

                    My problem is this whole region is biased towards liberalism and the churches reflect that bias. I've been through trying to be conservative in a liberal (they would have said big tent) church and it doesn't work well.
                    It sounds like you're in a tough spot. IMO non-denominational churches are more likely than others to be reflections of their communities because they don't have a strong organization to establish something counter to that. Fair warning that Orthodox can be liberals too.

                    Regarding the Evangelical Free Church: it's a very loose organizational structure, so you can have relatively wide variety between EF churches (though I knew some people in college who were from that tradition, and highly recommended it).
                    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                    Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                    sigpic
                    I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Have you tried visiting various churches? Which secondary distinctives if any are you particularly tied to or repelled by? That is a good way of narrowing it down to which prospective churches to visit. I for example would avoid Mainline churches unless I was specifically invited, and prefer a church open to charismatic expressions, even if they are not. A quick look at a website usually has a "we believe" section, even for non-denoms.

                      They say non-denominational churches are pretty much Baptists with cooler websites, so you could perhaps find a Baptist church, from what I know they are generally Reformed, and I assume you are because of the whole PC(USA) thing. There could be an Episcopal or Methodist church in your area that is more conservative than the denomination as a whole if you prefer Mainline churches. I know at least three TWebbers who post fairly regularly (myself included) are Assemblies of God members, I have consistently had positive experiences visiting A/G churches that are not my own when I find myself out of town on a Sunday maybe give it a try? Obviously, CP is right, when you find a church you can fit in, even if it's not like a glove, maybe a little too loose or tight, if you forgive the metaphor then you should get involved.
                      Last edited by Pentecost; 03-16-2015, 03:40 PM.
                      Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? -Galatians 3:5

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                      • #12
                        Just join a church using the LTG system:

                        https://www.cmaresources.org/article/ltg

                        The Life Transformation Group System

                        by Neil Cole

                        Posted on May 19th, 2009
                        The Life Transformation Group (LTG) system is a grassroots tool for growth. Through this simple system, the most essential elements of vital spiritual ministry are released to common Christians without the need for specialized training. It taps the disciple’s internal motivation and provides the support needed to grow in the essentials of a spiritual life. The LTG empowers the common Christian to do the uncommon work of reproductive disciple making.


                        A Life Transformation Group is made up of two to three people, all of the same gender, who meet weekly for personal accountability in the areas of their spiritual growth and development. A group should not grow beyond three but multiply into two groups of two rather than a single group of four. If a fourth person is added to the group, it is recommended that the group consider itself “pregnant” and ready to give birth to a second group. After the fourth person has demonstrated sufficient faithfulness to the group for two to three weeks, the group should multiply into two groups of two.

                        There is no curriculum or training needed for the LTG. A simple bookmark that stays in the participant’s Bible is all that is needed. The LTG accountability consists of three essential disciplines for personal spiritual growth⎯a steady diet of Scripture, confession of sin, and prayer for others who need Christ...

                        Read the rest of this excerpt about LTGs here (PDF)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by footwasher View Post
                          Just join a church using the LTG system:

                          https://www.cmaresources.org/article/ltg

                          The Life Transformation Group System

                          by Neil Cole

                          Posted on May 19th, 2009
                          The Life Transformation Group (LTG) system is a grassroots tool for growth. Through this simple system, the most essential elements of vital spiritual ministry are released to common Christians without the need for specialized training. It taps the disciple’s internal motivation and provides the support needed to grow in the essentials of a spiritual life. The LTG empowers the common Christian to do the uncommon work of reproductive disciple making.


                          A Life Transformation Group is made up of two to three people, all of the same gender, who meet weekly for personal accountability in the areas of their spiritual growth and development. A group should not grow beyond three but multiply into two groups of two rather than a single group of four. If a fourth person is added to the group, it is recommended that the group consider itself “pregnant” and ready to give birth to a second group. After the fourth person has demonstrated sufficient faithfulness to the group for two to three weeks, the group should multiply into two groups of two.

                          There is no curriculum or training needed for the LTG. A simple bookmark that stays in the participant’s Bible is all that is needed. The LTG accountability consists of three essential disciplines for personal spiritual growth⎯a steady diet of Scripture, confession of sin, and prayer for others who need Christ...

                          Read the rest of this excerpt about LTGs here (PDF)
                          Yes, it's always better to join small groups where people can pool their ignorance.
                          "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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                          • #14
                            http://cole-slaw.blogspot.in/

                            Quote
                            Later that evening something remarkable occurred. We all went out to dinner and went back to the host’s home for cake, coffee and conversation. He had two sons in their early twenties who joined us as well as one of their best friends. All three young men went to different universities and were part of different church ministries near their schools. Because of the holidays everyone was back together and enjoying this discussion with some “famous” Christian authors in comfy sofas around a fireplace.

                            As we were talking it became clear that all three of the young men were involved in Life Transformation Groups (LTGs) even though they were at different churches and universities. The boys had no idea that I had been the one who innovated the strategy many years ago. When they found out it was quite a surprise. I love it when that happens.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by footwasher View Post
                              http://cole-slaw.blogspot.in/

                              Quote
                              Later that evening something remarkable occurred. We all went out to dinner and went back to the host’s home for cake, coffee and conversation. He had two sons in their early twenties who joined us as well as one of their best friends. All three young men went to different universities and were part of different church ministries near their schools. Because of the holidays everyone was back together and enjoying this discussion with some “famous” Christian authors in comfy sofas around a fireplace.

                              As we were talking it became clear that all three of the young men were involved in Life Transformation Groups (LTGs) even though they were at different churches and universities. The boys had no idea that I had been the one who innovated the strategy many years ago. When they found out it was quite a surprise. I love it when that happens.
                              You had said....

                              Originally posted by footwasher View Post
                              Just join a church using the LTG system:
                              The fact that SOME people had a good experience with a LTG is a HORRIBLE reason to join a Church "using the LTG system". Lots of Churches glob onto the latest fad. It would be a whole lot better to look at the pastor and his beliefs, and the Church and their teachings / policies, etc....

                              Your "Just join a church using the LTG system:" is profoundly faulty advice.
                              "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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