Finding a Gospel Home

Finding a ChurchAs part of mov­ing cities there is always a lot of change which goes along with it. For many the prospect of a new city bears the stress of being away from fam­i­ly and friends, and the chal­lenge of find­ing new friends to be in com­mu­ni­ty with. However, for Gill and I, as we have no flesh and blood fam­i­ly in Adelaide the big­ger focus is on find­ing a new com­mu­ni­ty of believ­ers to be a part of, and to real­ly share life with.
In doing this move I have been chal­lenged sev­er­al times, by friends and by God, as to what I/we con­sid­er of most impor­tance in a church, and what aspects can be left by the way­side. As such I have just jot­ted some of these thoughts down, not nec­es­sar­i­ly in order of pri­or­i­ty, into this post.

1. Bible believing
First and fore­most is a sim­ple one, we were after a church which han­dled the bible well, one which treat­ed it seri­ous­ly as the word of God. Pretty sim­ple, right. Now I know that with­in this cat­e­go­ry there is a fair spec­trum of church­es, but if they get the basics right, its a good start.

2. Community focused
A big part of what we believe goes into a church is the com­mu­ni­ty. We are keen to get inte­grat­ed into a com­mu­ni­ty quick­ly so that we can keep on build­ing the com­mu­ni­ty and doing life togeth­er. It’s pret­ty impor­tant to us that we go to a church where com­mu­ni­ty is a focus, both for the build­ing up of believ­ers and as an avenue of wel­com­ing oth­ers into the Christian family.

3. Serving together
The job of liv­ing for Jesus is not just the job of those peo­ple who get paid to do it. The bible is pret­ty clear that in becom­ing Christians we are all to take up our cross and fol­low Him. We are keen to be a part of a com­mu­ni­ty that empha­sis­es the respon­si­bil­i­ty of all of us to serve togeth­er, not just paid peo­ple to do the major­i­ty of the serving.

4. Evangelistic
We believe that the church is one of the main tools God uses to spread the news of him­self around the place. So we’re keen to be a part of a church that is keen to reach out to the local com­mu­ni­ty to tell peo­ple about Jesus.

5. Messy
We are pret­ty aware that Christians are not per­fect. But some­times church­es like to look per­fect in order to attract peo­ple. We are keen to be a part of a church that is full of human beings who are hap­py to share life togeth­er even if that means not hav­ing the per­fect ser­vice lay­out, flashy music team and smiles on every­one’s face. It also means that we might be able to see how we can fit in a bit more easily.

We have been pleased to find a church in Melbourne that has all of these ele­ments and more. There are heaps of great church­es in Melbourne, but we have decid­ed to be a part of the com­mu­ni­ty at St Matthews in Prahran. It is a great com­mu­ni­ty of believ­ers and a place where we feel that we can be involved in the work that God is doing. We have enjoyed get­ting to know some of the mem­bers over the past few weeks and have already had a few invig­o­rat­ing dis­cus­sions with the min­is­ter Shane. This week we will be join­ing a gospel com­mu­ni­ty, which is a small­er group of peo­ple who meet togeth­er and aim to do life togeth­er. We are excit­ed about the way God is work­ing at St Matts and pray­ing that he will use us there.

What do you guys val­ue in church­es, and what would you be look­ing for in choos­ing? Pop your thoughts in the com­ments below.

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