Deciding what to do with church can be a difficult thing.
I think everyone should sit down and think through what is highly valued and non-negotiable in their relationship with God and how they want to pursue that relationship.
And when it comes to church, I believe we should all decide how we’re going to connect with people to both influence them and influence ourselves to go forward in the direction we should be heading.
As a result of that conviction, I did something in 2011 that I wished I had done some 30 years prior. I mailed and e-mailed a letter to 32 churches that I thought would be possibilities to attend. I received responses from ten. Answers to these questions made it easy for me to decide if it was worth spending time visiting them because there was no way I had time to visit all of them to make a choice.
The following is the letter that I sent to them but I would recommend everyone come up with their own list that matches their convictions. Otherwise, you might wake up 10 years from now and discover that where you are attending does not support your convictions and then wonder why you are not any closer to where you thought you should be. Like it has been said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”.
The following is the letter I sent:
I am looking for a church that I can wholeheartedly support and attend. I realize that not all churches will share my passions and also realize that it is unrealistic to be able to visit all churches in the area. In order to narrow my list to just those which might be a good fit I am sending this out to many churches in the area. I would love to hear your responses to the following questions:
Did your church make available values voter guides (i.e. from Family Research Council or American Family Association) for the past election?
What options do you equip parents with concerning schools and Godly instruction for their children?
What parachurch organizations are you involved in and which, if any, do you encourage your people to be involved with?
What resources do you have or encourage people to use in essential areas such as parenting, marriage, youth, etc?
Have you hosted any conferences or encouraged your people to attend any (if so which ones)?
What is your church’s main passion/goal?
Questions I might add since I wrote the letter:
Do you have guest speakers on a regular basis or is the Sunday message primarily just from the pastor?
Do you think your pastor is courageous enough to have been one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence?