My wife and I have been visiting different churches in the past several months. We are in search of a place to call home. This isn’t an easy process for a traveling minister like me. I’m gone many weekends, so I can’t commit to certain duties at a local church, and I don’t feel as connected as those who are there every week.
But I need a place to belong, where I can hear God’s Word, be refreshed in worship and experience the support of a spiritual family. During our recent journey, we’ve visited all kinds of churches—Baptist and Bapticostal, charismatic and evangelical, denominational and non-denominational. We’ve been in black, white and blended churches; we’ve attended churches with older congregations as well as a church with lots of excited teens who crowd the altar every week.
What I’ve seen during our “spiritual tour” of Troup County, Georgia, has encouraged me so much. I’ve experienced God’s family in all of its diversity, with all of its quirks and warts and weaknesses. I’m certainly not looking for a “perfect” church. (And I know if there were such a thing, it wouldn’t remain perfect once I joined it.)
What thrills me is that, even though churches aren’t perfect, God has placed His special people everywhere. No matter where I go all over the United States, there are faithful congregations providing a witness of Jesus Christ. They are winning new converts, discipling new and seasoned believers, feeding the homeless, running women’s shelters, giving out lunches and bookbags at local schools, visiting nursing homes, evangelizing college campuses, caring for prisoners, providing counseling services and sending teams on foreign mission fields.
Many American churches today have big struggles. We can’t meet our budgets, we can’t recruit enough volunteers to care for kids, we want to grow but we watch people leave and never come back. Some of our leaders struggle with depression or burnout. And often our witness is tainted by our hypocrisy. Yet God still dwells in the midst of His flawed people, in good times and bad.
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SOURCE: Charisma News