04 December 2008

"Deep Rooted" Follow-Up 5: Am I hopping?

QUESTION:  How do I discern between finding a church where I can commit and church shopping to avoid the sanctifying effect of committed community?

M.M.  Honestly, I think this is an issue of internal motivation which has to be exposed by the Holy Spirit. Prayerfully ask the following questions to expose your motivations and get the advice of someone close.
  • Have I left my last church with unresolved conflict? Why?
  • Am I consistently critical of churches that I visit to the point where I am disobeying Philippians 4:8?
  • Have I visited so many churches and concluded that I cannot unite with them that I am beginning to believe that I will never find a church?
  • Do I find it hard to be open with my life? Have I ever made confession a consistent practice?
  • Do I have a problem with authority in other contexts?
  • Am I willing to separate over issues that are not clear in the Scripture? Have I in the past?
  • Have I spoken poorly of church leaders? 
  • Have I ever had a problem with commitment in relationships?
If you consider these things and you find that maybe your motivations are sinful, the next step is simple - repent. Draw near to God in confession and dependence. Find a local church. Commit to it. Let the God-ordained, grace-providing, Christ-exalting structures do their sanctifying work. Move from the slavery of "me" to the freedom of "we" and find yourself sharing the motivation of your Savior.
I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. (John 17:23 ESV)


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