Monday, April 09, 2012

Is it too much to ask for some Jesus on Easter?


I was at church yesterday. I've been attending this church on and off for about nine years. It's a large non-denominational multicultural congregation. There were three campuses, five church services and if you still couldn't make it, the Sunday services streamed live on the internet. I went to new member class, joined what they called "life groups" and started doing some mentoring of the youth. My devotion to this church has waxed and waned as the head pastor's teeth got more white, hair got more shellacked and suits got more Italian. But Sunday was really the last straw for me.

Of course it was packed up, I expected that on Easter. And of course, there was a lot of "extracurricular" activity with singing and praise dancing and a children's program. Special offering, regular offering, outreach offering. Feeling impatient at one point, I glanced down at my watch. Over 45 minutes had passed and not a single word about Jesus rising? On Easter Sunday? If this was a news cast, isn't that the lead story?

It's enough that society has turned Easter into a bunny-hopping, chocolate eating, egg-hunting shoportunity?? I didn't expect that commercialization in my church.

It's not that I wanted to hear the same old, same old "He is Risen, get right or you won't be" sermon that many a pastor trots out for the occasion. But can we get some reference to King Jesus in the first hour of service? I can tell you where are the outreach programs are going to be this week and what we need to raise another $10 million for but you can't tell me anything about Jesus? When he finally got to preaching, it came across as very sterilized, commercial and stale. I went home and fired up the podcast of my former pastor in the Bay Area to get some kind of spiritual substance in.

I think sometimes when a church becomes very successful the focus becomes less about the kingdom of heaven and more about the kingdom of the church. Le Sigh. And now I have to find a new church home. As anyone who has ever gone hunting for one will attest, it's more than a notion. I think I'd like to go back to midsize for a little while. Not so small that they won't start service until you get there. But not so large that you can go three Sundays in a row and never see the same people twice. 

BougieLand, if you are a churchgoer - how did you find your church home? Is it too much to ask for a little Jesus on Easter Sunday? Thoughts, comments, insights?

77 comments:

Reads4Pleasure said...

As a black Lutheran, trying to find a church that gives me the right blend of Baptist choir singing & preaching with Lutheran structure & beliefs is more than a notion.  Had it growing up, went Baptist in college, found the perfect church post-college and then the congregation split.  I've bounced back & forth between the two congregations.  Half of the choir and my favorite pastor went to one church, the other half of the choir and the alley cat preacher they got from Mississippi (complete with gators) stayed at the old church.  I started to feel like I was piecing together a church bouncing between hoping to catch a good sermon here and great singing there.  For now, I attend Bedside Baptist where Joel Olsteen WAS my pastor until his homophobia jumped out.  I save on Easter, Mother's Day & Christmas outfits though.

Zaffa said...

WOW! I was there and totally agree. I just found one and guess where...next door to the house I grew up in. It was always ther, I just was thinking "big" and got lost. But now I am found. Happy hunting. ps...I love your blog!

EvolvingElle said...

This post right here is why I SWEAR you and I are related...but I digress...

I feel you on so many levels about the commecialization of churches now.  Growing up, I attended a small church that did good to get 100 people in on Sundays.  Everybody knew everybody, and half (more like three-quarters) of the congregation was related.  When I moved to Florida, I joined a church that my dad told me about (his lady friend was a member).  After visiting said church during school breaks, I joined when I graduated college and moved.  It was a "mega-church" (*cringe* I hate that word), but after joining ministries and becoming involved, I began to meet people and know my fellow parishioners.  I attended faithfully for the almost 5 years I lived in Jacksonville.

Fast forward 3 years to my living in the District...still searching for a church home, and not for a lack of trying.  Call me a snob, but I would prefer to attend a church in DC, but that hasn't happened.  And most of the churches I've visited are in MD. 
Ok, this has become way too long.  I'll just say I feel your pain.  And for any bougie folk in the DMV, I kindly welcome your suggestions.  And yes, I've probably been to the larger/popular churches you will want to mention, which I will refrain from doing on this here public space.  But feel free to e-mail me.  :)

thinklikeRiley said...

I feel you, Chele. I moved back to LA this year and tipped back up to the church I used to go to. It has gotten very flossy and glossy. Seemed like more of a fashion show than a place of worship. I'm hunting around myself. #Struggle4Jesus

NaturalGirl said...

It took me MONTHS to find a church home here in Austin, TX.  I visited SEVERAL churches, but nothing felt like home.  I SETTLED on a small, start-up church, but was NOT happy.  I too did not want to attend a small church that waited until I arrived to start, but I have since found a WONDERFUL church HOME (home being the operative word).  Even after I felt connected to  the church where I am now, I continued to visit, but found that I would be drawn back to my current church.  When you find the right place for you, you will know it.  S/O to GMZAustin (Great Mt. Zion) Pastor Gaylon Clark.

ClayJones said...

My pastor just retired. The kid (he's 25) who took over? Nah. I couldn't count on him to lead me round the block let alone onto glory. I'm searching in NOLA as well.

M Dot said...

Pastor Clark was once a junior pastor at my home church in Dallas. Great preacher and I've only heard good things since he went to Austin.

Cha Keziah said...

Poor Chele! Finding a good church is sooooo difficult! I feel your pain and I'll be praying for you. I'm in LA, and i LOVE my church. My pastors are on point, they have the "love" and "home" feeling, and are definitely multicultural. Oh, and they have no problem saying Jesus...a lot. We didn't get through the first song of worship without discussing the death/resurrection. All that said, finding the right church can be a burden. I would recommend visiting with friends, and asking for recommendations if the church isn't the right fit for you.

TrulyPC said...

Over the years I have found and left churches because of the disconnect between expecting to hear about Jesus or a sales pitch for too many things 
(like sending my pastor and his wife to Japan for vacation) which had nothing to do with the word.   I became very disillusioned and have been very absent over the last few years.  So I know the pain and I am on the search myself.

BB Waite said...

You know it hurt my spirit to leave the church of which you speak last year but when it feels like you're going to war and not to church?? Too political. I'm at Potter's House. I know you're not about that commute. I'm just saying...

Jasmin said...

I live in the Bay--is your old church AT Baptist?

It took me awhile to find a church, but I've settled on my current one for a few reasons:

1) The message is relevant. I need the pastor to make those Bible/modern world connections for me in an engaging way.

2) It's community-focused. My church is very connected to serving the local community, so there are lots of youth groups, scholarship funds, etc. The memorial services for the victims of the shooting at Oikos University were also held there.

3) It's unashamedly liberal. A few weeks ago the pastor's sermon focused on Limbaugh's assholery re: Sandra Fluke. There was also a hoodie Sunday for Trayvon Martin, and I was particularly proud wheb the church had a week of activities on AIDS and directly addressed the church's role in perpetuating secrecy and shame.

I should also mention that the members of the church have been very welcoming to me and my boyfriend, who's Jewish. We go to Temple as well, and I'm glad the leaders at both places have been open and accepting.

Thus ends my Oakland church PSA. :-)

Rob said...

22. Count them down. 22 churches before Amy and I found one we both agreed on and felt comfortable in. It's a little on the small side and a lot of the members are old enough to be our grandparents but they are serious about their Jesusifying up in there. (yes, Chele. I made up the word). Everybody is polite, they speak and mind their own. Sermons are succinct but Bible-based, offering only comes around once and the choir is on key. 

Trey Charles said...

I'm currently frequenting Mattress Methodist and checking out church you mentioned via internet. Yesterday was very whomp. whomp. Let me know where you land.

William Martin said...

Thanks for suggesting Windsor Village here in Houston. I don't get there that often but it's been great. 

TNDRHRT said...

I attend Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, VA.  15 minutes is my commute from my home in NE DC.  I've been a member here for 11 years now.  I'm not a part of the new influx that arrived when Pastor Wesley became our pastor back in 2008.  Our church membership has grown from about 3000 to 6000 over the course of three years.  We even have a 6pm Saturday service of which I'm a fan!  Pastor Wesley is an amazing teacher and preacher.  We are not about a whole lot of pomp and circumstance.  The focus is always on HIM.  JESUS. 

If you haven't already come for a visit, I say come check us out.  www.alfredstreet.org 

I moved to DC in 1999.  I visited a few churches off and on for about 2 years.  I grew up in a United Methodist church and was looking for another UMC church home.  I visited Alfred Street with a friend and fell right at home.  It's Baptist, but it was unlike any of the Baptist churches I knew from home in MS.  Everyone was very friendly and I already knew a few people who attended.  In 2001, I joined and the rest is ASBC history!

OneChele said...

Way (way) back in the day, Kirbyjon Caldwell was my Youth Minister so I knew him to be brilliant.

CaliGirlED said...

Moving to Houston was not the beginning of my search for a new church home. I stopped going to the church I grew up in before I even left L.A. I was so done with "church folks" that I stopped going for about a year, listening to Joyce Meyers and T.D. Jakes from my couch. When I went back I started at a "mega" church intent on not knowing people. And when I moved to Houston I continued that quest. But then I started to have that longing again for some sense of connection. So I visited the church that I had passed several times and eventually moved around the corner from. The best thing I could have done! The first time Mya attended and the pastor was preaching, she said, "I like him he's funny!". I was glad to know that she was listening. It's a big church but not on the mega scale. When my dad passed, 11 months after I officially joined, the pastor, his wife, another minister and a couple of deacons called me while I was in L.A. My family was impressed.  We have definitely made a great connection here and I hope the same for you Chele!

NaturalGirl said...

I've never attended, but I've heard positve things about Bishop Lester Love in NOLA.  I think this is the church that Ledisi attended (attends) when she is in NOLA.  Bishop Love was at Essence a few years ago he was the host of the gospel segment on Sunday. I would probably visit if I were there.  I've added the link.  http://thecityoflove.com/bishop_love.html

Page Bartlett said...

Chele are you Baptist, Presby, AME?

OneChele said...

My fam started out AME Zion then moved to Methodist. I've been to Baptist, Catholic, Synagogue, Church of Christ, Non-Dem, I no longer classify.

GrownAzzMan said...

I feel lucky that I have been at my church for over 25 years. I would not know where to start looking for a new church home. I do agree that it is tough, especially in large churches, to stay on point about what we are all really there for. It can become about the mission and the institution real quick.

"I woke up this morning with my mind staying on Jesus..."

GrownAzzMan said...

I am Los Angeles born and raised. If you want a recommendation or two, holla!

CaliGirlED said...

Hey Doc! How have you been?

I went there for a few months a couple of years ago. I'm glad you're enjoying it.

Moni said...

The search for the church home is real! It took me almost a year after I moved to my current city (in Michigan) to find my current church home. I don't agree with all of the theology (it's Church of Christ, I prefer instruments) but the preaching is on point and biblical, the congregation is welcoming and the size is right for me (approx 250 on Sunday mornings).

Now I'm dealing with the SO church struggle.  He's apostolic and #icant with all the dancing and shouting and talking in tongues (no judgment, just not for me).  I'm open to finding an alternate church that works for both of us, but he's pretty involved in his church, so we'll see how it all works out...

Jennifer said...

The church struggle is real... trust your gut and move on if you don't feel Jesus in the room!  My cousin and her husband left a church after a similar Easter Sunday let down.  The Pastor did reference that it was Resurrection Sunday, but then his sermon was some dark and depressing scripture reference from Revelation - no joy, no celebration, nada.  People left somber and quiet.  I think my cousin is still church shopping now.

William Martin said...

 Hey! Six more months of this fellowship and then I get to have some semblance of a real life.

Jason P said...

These type of shenanigans are what sent me fleeing the church two years ago. I'm inching my way back but there's a lot of crazy out there.

Mo said...

I'm Catholic. Yes, I know. I know. Our services are typically 45 minutes, and not a whole lot of  church fund going on. Holy week in Catholic is about Jesus and more Jesus, talking about feet washing  cross veneration and the likes. But,  I understand the disdain most folks have with the church and I do not   fault them . Rule numero uno for  me: faith/religion is a personal thing. I do not trend those waters with  people.

CaliGirlED said...

 Lol, hey you're at the home stretch now! Awesome work you're doing!

Only1DivaC said...

*waves* Hey Dr. Martin! Glad to see you still alive over there.

nylse said...

you know any good churches in the SFV?  I'm not willing to travel that far on Sundays?  curious to hear your recommendations.

tishatweets said...

Chile...don't start me! LOL.

I went to my home church yesterday (went to AME Zion when I was little; this Church is Baptist and where I went from age 15 to an adult and was also baptized there) because one of my Godsons was being baptized.

Anyways....love the choir there. Looooooove the choir. They minister. Needed that. I love my Pastor (I still call him that even though he's technically not). But baybee let me tell you--there are some things that go on in the "Black Church" that I just canNOT with anymore. Was just talking about that with one of my girls this morning. When did it stop being about God/Jesus/the work of the Holy Spirit? Why do the announcements have to be 30 minutes long? Why is the building fund never done? Why does the Pastor need an Appreciation, an Anniversary, AND a special day? I could go on and on. And on.

On the flip side, the church I've been attending is non denominational, multi-ethnic, operating in all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, great children's ministry, etc. BUT.THE.MUSIC. Yes they are singing about my same Jesus but I'm really not here for a rock show.  I need what comes from Gospel music.

So.

I'm torn. Still searching. It feels very...ungood.

tishatweets said...

You ain't never lied. I heard tell of one pretty "popular" church in L.A. that teaches you how to speak in tongues.

I was undone.

tishatweets said...

And that's what it's all about--that connection. At my old church I was going through a particularly hard time as a young(er) adult and my Pastor came to my house and picked me up and said "Let's ride." LOL. And I rode around with him doing what he had to do while we talked. You can't get that at a mega church.

Andrea M said...

I'm not much on organized religion. I believe what I believe and keep it moving.

La said...

I have a long and sorted history with religion and church in particular. I grew up in the church, 1 of those we-go-six-days-a-week types. I was christened Catholic and went to mass and parochial school for a large part of childhood. Later, I converted at a southern Baptist church my mom had gone back to. To make a long, very personal story short, it was a MESS. Add that to the fact that around my teen years I started to realize that a lot of what was being preached at me didn’t jive with what I really believed (the subjugation of women, persecution of gays, repression of sexuality, the “prosperity gospel’ growing in popularity chief among them) by the time I hit Howard, I swore I’d never step foot inside another church. Now that I am older and less hard headed, I have found that I miss certain aspects of church, despite not being able to bring myself to attend services in either of the restrictive denominations of my youth. I found my current church after searching online for inclusive religions with strong community service focus. I like it, I feel peaceful there, despite still having to battle a deep seated mistrust of church in general. But even with that history, I still consider myself a Christian, and if I walked up in ANY church on Easter Sunday and could not find Jesus in an HOUR of service? I surely woulda hit them with the solitary church finger and exited to read my Bible at home in peace.

Londa said...

Man, this makes me thankful my church here in Atlanta. Multi-cultural, non-denominational. It may be similar in size to where you frequent; but it sounds like that's where the similarity ends. Jesus was all up in the place yesterday. 

The motto used to be (or maybe I made this up in my head) "for people who don't 'do' church". Anyway, Victory World Church - Norcross, GA. http://victoryatl.com/ Check it out...and yes, you can stream services. :-) 

E Morris said...

Totally agree faith and religion are personal. But I am Catholic too and my masses are 2 hours +.

blackprofessor said...

Churchgoer but don't have a current church home.  I haven't found one like I had in graduate school and oh how I miss that church.  The church struggle is real!

Angela said...

It is my observation that the downward spiral began when pastors learned how much money you could really make off the people when you make them feel comfortable instead of convicted. It hasn't seemed to be about Jesus for a long time now so it's no surprise to me that Easter is just another day in many fellowships.

Leon X said...

I stopped going to church mostly because the churches I attended primarily wanted me for my talent. At one church I sang in the adult and youth choirs. When they found out I played bass they wanted me to play for the adult choir. Outside of that no one interacted with me.

Missthg said...

boughtahundaishouldaboughtahonda!
boughtahundaishouldaboughtahonda!
boughtahundaishouldaboughtahonda!
and fall out!

Missthg said...

OneChele - It is never too much to ask for Jesus to be mentioned during a church service.   I picked my current church home because of two people - a friend I met online and she and I are like family now - and there was a woman there whose praise is so genuine that you know she believes wholeheartedly in the God she is praising.  I had to know that God.  I had to renew my relationship with God to find reach that level of unabashed, unadulterated praise.  Her praise was/is so high you can praise off of her praise!  Whoo!!  Imma shout right nah!  She has even drawn in my 16 year old who always has nothing to say - but if his praising auntie is  not there - he is truly disappointed and calls her to make sure she is all right.  I said all of that to say - while the churches may be be short on Jesus - do not give up on Jesus.  He will never give up on you. 

mickmicki said...

Church...*sigh*
I haven't been to church in three years.  I wasn't spirtually fulfilled at my church (non-denom and multi-cultural, and multi-economic - huh?  that's not a word?).   I liked going with my mother and aunt, but I wasn't comfortable.  The church slowly began to change in terms of direction and began to speak of exclusion and not inclusion.   

I also believe that there shouldn't be any "popular" people in church.  Every. single. time. I looked up we were taking offerings for folks that should have "done better."  How you gon' have a $1000 gas bill, when you are rocking a lace-front wig and eyelashes that look like butterfly wings AND your live in boyfriend is looking well-fed?  Really?  I'm supposed to give when you have clearly made poor choices?

I gave up on local offerings because...well, I don't know how to shout.  I cannot speak in tongues and I most certainly do not sit around and quote scripture.

So, I stopped going and landed in front of my laptop.

Guest said...

Sorry to go off topic:
Good luck on that.  My first position out of residency was significantly worse than residency itself, in terms of the hours and workload.  I quit after 14 months.  But my second position is great in terms of workload and hours.  Moral of the story: choose your first job after residency/fellowship wisely.

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

 *blink blink* I thought that was supposed to be a Gift of the Holy Spirit. How are you going to teach that like you're a Hallowed Rosetta Stone language software?

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

Out of sheer frustration, I gave up the hunt. So far, my spiritual nourishment comes from youversion.com. Yes, I know, it's sad, but finding a spiritual home shouldn't be like pulling teeth and extracting bone marrow.

tishatweets said...

Exaaaaaactly. How does that even LOOK? I was so confused. And dismayed.

SingLikeSassy said...

I went to church two weekends ago for the first time since September 2010 (that was for my Granny's funeral) and I may return. It is the closest I have come to a church like the one I grew up in.

SingLikeSassy said...

And oh yeah, it's just regular ol' Baptist. I went to a church in Nashville that was evangelical because I was invited and I loved the music ministry. One New Year's Eve service, everybody fell to their knees and started talking in tongues. I stood there looking around because, I didn't grow up in that kinda church (ONE woman shouted in our church. Her name was Peaches) and honestly, I didn't know what to do. I was like, "All these people heard the Lord and I didn't? Really?"

I like the plain old baptist church serviee

Stillwaters2013 said...

*sigh* It saddens me, but here in St. Louis, a large amount of the Black populace with your concerns have started going to White churches, making them now half/half (if not more), "mixed" churches. I'm now one of them. My new pastor may be a little geeky, the contemporary rock may not stir my soul as it did at my church on MLK, but I'm getting spiritual nourishment and growth. I get way wayy more out of the 1 hour (1 hour 15 mins tops) service at my "contemporary" church than I did from the THREE HOURS of pomp and circumstance at my old church. I feel you.

Oh, on to the point of this comment-I thought it being Easter and all special, that I'd go back and visit my old church. Big mistake. I was so impatient, and so suddenly aware of all the fluff and "extraness" we like to put into our services. For any BnBers in StL, I go to and recommend Church on the Rock. http://www.cotr.org/default2.asp

Penny said...

I really appreciate this post.  I moved to a different geographical area of the country more than a year ago, and still have not found a church.  (Okay, I haven't been trying that hard.)  Like others have mentioned, I don't appreciate the prosperity gospel doctrine, and I won't sit and listen to a minister condemn gay people as godforsaken and evil.  That last really deviates from "You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself," which is what I grew up hearing.  I skipped Easter service while visiting family because I've been to that church before,  and way too much ceremony  in the service for me-all before the sermon. 

As TishaTweets says, I just can no longer do the 30 minute announcements, pastor's birthday, anniversary, first lady's birthday, etc.  (That last really gets me-the First Lady is Michelle Obama.) I've visited churches in my new area, but this post tells me I just need to keep searching.  Thanks again for the post.

J B said...

 Welcome back!

GammasWorld said...

I had a dang essay written, then I realized I probably need to write that on my own blog (see Chele I l read and follow the rules LOL).  Let's just say I'm attending TV Tabernacle right now.   I'm more on the search for building my spiritual relationship with my God which may or may not mean an organized religion per se.   The struggle is real.  Good luck on your quest to find a church home. 

Earthangel172 said...

I attend Fallbrook Church in Houston.

 http://www.fallbrookchurch.org/

If you're ever in Houston, come worship with me. Don't meet me there, beat me there...Sorry I couldn't resist. LOL

GrownAzzMan said...

Not too familiar with churches in the valley.

tiffanyinhouston said...

It's very telling that so many of us are unchurched and disillusioned but still have a strong faith base. The "black" church is on fail right about now.

My husband is a PK and is so totally burned out on church right now...We went for the first time in a year a few weeks ago. When I got married I started going back to the church that both he and I grew up in but we aren't really thrilled with it. The church I attended as an adult had a major scandal that has decimated the congregation and the senior pastor spends more time in flight preaching elsewhere than at home preaching. And because of the scandal, my husband won't go there at all.

However, I find myself talking with God and referencing Him more in my general conversation than ever. My prayer game has fallen somewhat so I need to get back on that more, but we are still looking. I've probably attended every "major" black church in Houston at some point. I'm at a bit of a loss now.

The_A said...

It's a tough thing to be without a church where you can love and be loved. I remember what that was like & I hope you all find what you are looking for.
I found my church home when I finally saw the type of human being I was working to become sitting all around me. It is not about status, this is about loving, caring, funny & humble extended family who are changing their own little (or not so little ) corner of the world. My pastor is a wonderful pastor who holds each of us responsible for developing our own relationship with Christ and understanding of God's word. My church family is teaching me to be better even when they don't realize they are and I hope I am teaching others along the way as well. 

To me the mark of a great church is not the building, the denomination, the number of ministries, or even the current leadership, it's about the type of people that the ordinary congregant masses are and how they are growing spiritually. 

SassyJJ said...

 I'll be there next week!

CaliGirlED said...

I went to school in the SFV Jr. High thru some college. I have a few friends from school that still live out there, if you want me to inquire.

CaliGirlED said...

Yes it makes a big difference. But I will stress that we (as the member) have to do our part to connect as well. I began to get busy in the church but especially by attending bible study faithfully. I showed myself connectable and the leaders and membership welcomed my daughter and I with open arms.

CaliGirlED said...

"Hallowed Rosetta Stone language software"...DEAD!!!

CaliGirlED said...

mamasaymamasawmamacoosaw hoeshalabandashe!

CaliGirlED said...

 LMAO!!!

EvolvingElle said...

Thanks for the suggestion.  I have visited Alfred Street, and I have to admit, I kinda felt like it was on the verge of the "mega-church".  But it has been awhile since I've visited, so once my vacations in April are over, I will visit the first Sunday in May.  I actually know a few people who are members.

CaliGirlED said...

My first lady once said that people would come for "benevolence" and get mad because she would inquire about their situations. "She's all up in our business!", they would say. She felt like you asked me to be in your business when you came asking for the church's money for help, I need to know what you need help with and how we can counsel you on not getting into this type of fix again...I AGREE!

CaliGirlED said...

I have a friend and uncle who go there. They seem to really like it.

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

 "The church struggle is real... trust your gut and move on if you don't feel Jesus in the room!"

You ain't neva lied! My gut (or Discerning Spirit, if you will) got me out of a really hot mess church situation back when I was an actively searching college freshman. When I left the third church service in a row feeling depressed, I ran.

Earthangel172 said...

I love it! The service there is wonderful. I was searching for a church home for a number of years before I found Fallbrook Church. It has really changed my view about churches with large congregations.

SingLikeSassy said...

 When you ask for my money you automatically give me permission to be all up in your business. I'm not going to just GIVE you some money.

Marioned said...

I have been churchless for about 5 years for that very reason. My previous church got to be like yours too much of the other stuff. You would  spend 3 plus hours before you got to the word.   I am however attending a meg-church for the first time in the DMV area that keeps everything under 1.5 hours.  Just some good spiritual singing by the choir,   praise and then the word.  All the other stuff is available but at your own time.  I have yet to join because sometimes the Pastor's sermon can be a bit to light.  It does stream  live online which is good and ofters several services on Sunday.    I realize that all that they offer is at a cost and it is big business, but  I appreciate the succinct service.  Which actually makes me consider the other  options which is my preference.

Angela said...

I often listen to John MacArthur, Pastor of Grace to You church in Sun Valley, California. He breaks down the word so you can't fail to understand it. He does not take scriptures out  of context and spiritualize them; instead, he tells you exactly what each and every scripture meant at the time it was spoken to the people it was spoken to. You can listen to much of his audio (for free) at gty.org.  

In Houston, Saiko Woods is Pastor of a (presently) home-based church but he, too, is faithful to the teaching of the unadulterated word. You can listen to some of his sermons at  http://www.hiswordhisway.org/.

Cyn said...

Pastor Wesley preaches out in my area of So. Cal for our annual revival and I love him.  He's awesome.

Cyn said...

Awesome post.  I'm moving to Houston at the end of the month, I'll definitely check out the churches mentioned.

no comment said...

Speaking/Praying in tongues is not about hearing from God. I do not speak in tongues but I always wanted the gift of interpretation. There is a lady who use to interpret what was said but I don't know what happened to her. 

I attend The Ray of Hope Christian Church - Decatur, GA 

I also watch Greater Travelers Rest on line/TV - Love the Pastor 

QueenDBW said...

The church struggle is REAL. We recently moved back to Atlanta from NC - where we didn't fin a church home in five years!!! I have a fundamental problem with going to a church and none speaks to you!! Er um can we get summadat brotherly love, please?

Lil background, hubby and I were raised in different faiths, so when he got saved, we found a church we both liked (I was raised Baptist, he Muslim). The church we attended (and are still members of) is Mt. Paran. It's a large church, Church of God, but I have never heard the pastor say anything that he didn't get straight from the Bible! And he

One Chele said...

Oh, Chele I feel your pain about searching for a church home. I felt a fish without water when I moved to Austin for two years. I was so ecstatic to move back to Dallas so I could start attending my church home that I grew up in. I honestly don't know what I will do if I ever have to move from Dallas again. Finding a good church home is right up there with finding a good hair stylist and OB/GYN. Everybody claims to be a preacher but only a few can pastor...And yes there is a difference people!!

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