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Featured What to say to a sister who attends multiple churches and small groups?

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by sccs, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Actually, attending a number of churches could be called "rotational grazing". :)
     
  2. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    How many times a month do all these churches get together and have combined services? Are the elders and pastors of these churches recognised as such in all the churches, and are the the preachers of each church invited to preach in all the others on a regular basis?

    If not, then they can agree all they like on doctrine, but any talk of true unity among them is just fooey!
     
  3. Archivist

    Archivist Senior Veteran Supporter

    +4,195
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    I see nothing wrong with what this young lady is doing. At some point she will probably find and join a church. Until then there is nothing wrong with visiting multiple churches, either attending services or Bible studies. And if she never finds a home church that certainly isn’t a problem for God.
     
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  4. eleos1954

    eleos1954 God is Love Supporter

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    she responded by saying that church is not just one building or one congregation (which I tend to agree with) but rather it is whenever 2 or more believers come together to pray

    she is correct.

    "What are your thoughts and how can I speak to this sister about this issue?"

    Seems to me all should be welcomed ... anyone at any time and not question their reason(s) nor their attendance record.

    she responded .... that's what she believes (her viewpoint) and should be respected.

    I don't understand why it is being made an "issue"?
     
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  5. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    I didn't actually answer this part of your post in my first response to you. Let me do so now. There's not much, really, you can do about this woman's behaviour. Pray for an opportunity to challenge her on her thinking and behavior. Not aggressively, of course, but just pointing out from Scripture the unbiblical way she is carrying on in refusing to settle into a particular church community. Questions rather than accusations often work well in highlighting faulty thinking and behaviour. Beyond this, there isn't much else you can do. God has to bring her 'round to a proper understanding of what it means to be "members one of another."
     
  6. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    I don't mean to be rude, but who made you the Final Arbiter of what constitutes "true unity" among the various denominations in my home city?
     
  7. Maria Billingsley

    Maria Billingsley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    She is a Christian that knows what it means to be in the Body of Christ. We are all one Body, not just a foot or an arm spread out among congregations, but one. She is more evolved in this matter and should probably not be reprimand. There is nothing that stops her scripturally from sharing the love of Christ among like minded brothers and sisters in her sphere of influence. I pray that she finds other mature Christians that see her walk as an example of what Christ's teaching supports,that He always intended for His Church to be , United.
    John 17
    20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

    Blessings
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  8. NW82

    NW82 Quote scripture or your argument is invalid.

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    You don't say anything, because there is nothing biblically wrong with it, unless of course the teaching is non biblical.
     
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  9. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    How is asking a series of questions makes me the Final Arbiter? I guess if you can't give a reasonable answer to the questions, then try to discredit the questioner. An honest answer, and quite acceptable would be, "I don't know".
     
  10. misput

    misput jimd

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    At 80 years old and a lifetime dedicated to trying to be pleasing to God, I think the lady may have chosen a good approach. Most churches/gatherings are so full of problems (people) (opinions) (intolerance) (cliques) (judgementalness) (lacking in love, grace and humbleness)etc. etc. that it is no wonder we are constantly in a state of dying and reforming.
     
  11. danielmears

    danielmears Member Supporter

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    My daughter attends a few churches at times. She has a hunger for the Word and listens to different pastors exhort on different topics. She also has friends who invite her to events at different churches. She loves the entire worship experience and the girl spoken of may as well. Eventually, they may only attend one local church but in the meantime you could learn about exciting ministeries going on if you talk to them, with love!
     
  12. danbuter

    danbuter Member Supporter

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    It's none of your business how many churches she attends. Why are you being so nosy?
     
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  13. JAYPT

    JAYPT Active Member

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    So I guess my question is why would you talk to her? When did it become about our track record of appearance at a church or a meeting?
     
  14. THE W

    THE W AFRIKANB0T

    +2,241
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    not sure how one can be under the authority of elders or truly use the talents, gifts, abilities, and resources to help a congregation if they're constantly bouncing around. no one can count on you for anything if you're going to be gone for weeks or months at a time. being a member of a congregation isn't just about meeting new people and attending social events. it's about submission to leadership as well as holding each other accountable.

    quite frankly, with the answer she gave you when asked about the issue, she would be less a part of the body of Christ and more of a religious social floater. the flaws of such a philosophy would become obvious if everyone did this, including elders.

    as far as what you can do about it, there isn't much you can do, which is an illustration of the problem of what she is doing as no one can hold her accountable for anything. much of what scripture requires of us as members of the congregation require us to be in community which involves meeting together and being together on a consistent basis.

    I do agree with those who say you should leave your door open, be welcoming, and invite her to whatever events or functions you may have. that would be the best way to get to know her better.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  15. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    Your questions assumed a standard - one apparently derived from yourself. As well, you didn't just ask questions; you also made a very confident assertion:

    "If not, then they can agree all they like on doctrine, but any talk of true unity among them is just fooey!"

    Sounds to me like you've made yourself judge, jury and executioner when it comes to what constitutes proper church unity. And so I ask again: Who made you the Final Arbiter concerning what is or isn't proper (or "true," to use your term) church unity?
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  16. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    Following are excerpts from an article I wrote for people considering membership at the church I attend that are, I think, pertinent to this thread:

    "In the Early Church described in Acts and in the letters of Paul, Peter and John, there was, in any particular locale, only one church. And so, if one wanted to be a properly-functioning member of the Church, the Body of Christ, one had to associate with one of these communities of the saints. There were no other options. If one lived in Ephesus and was part of the Ephesian church, leaving the church meant being completely cut-off from all Christian fellowship in Ephesus. There weren't dozens of other churches one could attend like there is today. Consequently, there was a natural strong involvement, born, in part, of a lack of options, that the first Christians had in their local body of fellow believers. There was also severe persecution of Christians that further pressed the earliest believers together. The effect of these factors upon New Testament followers of Christ was to unite them in very close-knit, highly-committed communities.

    In contrast to the deeply-united fellowship of believers we read of in Acts (Acts 2:44-47), modern believers in North America have an increasingly fluid attachment to the church(es) they attend. In nearly every city, town or village, there is a plurality of churches from which one may choose. In the very consumerist culture of North America, this creates in Christians a “buffet-style” attitude toward church allegiance: If a church doesn't quite suit a believer, it is a simple matter to move to another church down the road that does. And if that church does not satisfy, well, one can just move on to another, and another, and another. As one might expect, this creates a rather migratory species of Christian that tends to maintain tenuous fidelity to any and all communities of believers.

    Such light loyalty to any community of believers comes at a spiritual cost. God intends that there be a deep intimacy, a rich communion relationally and spiritually between believers (Jn. 13:34, 35; Ro. 12:5; 1 Pe. 1:22; 1 Jn. 1:7), that fosters holiness (2 Cor. 7:1; Ro. 6:19; 1 Thess. 3:13; 4:7), love, a thorough knowledge of, and commitment to, God's truth (Eph. 4:11-15), and a united and persistent effort by believers to fulfill the two great mandates God has set for the Church: Evangelism and the making of disciples (Mk. 16:15; Matt. 28:19). When Christians float about from church to church, never seriously committing themselves to a particular community of believers, none of these things is achieved with the same success or in the same measure as when Christians bind themselves to one another in a strongly-committed fellowship of believers."

    And from farther on in the article:

    "Paul the apostle wrote that “a little leaven leavens the whole lump.” (1 Cor. 5:6) That is, a little sin (leaven) in the life of an individual believer has a damaging effect spiritually upon the entire community of believers to which they belong. For this reason, accountability is extremely important for every local church body. ...accountability...assists the Church in being holy which is essential to fellowship with God, to obtaining His blessing, and to being properly useful to Him."
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  17. salt-n-light

    salt-n-light Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't see it as an issue per say. But if her goal is to make deep connections and participate in growing with people in terms of ministry, then her approach won't serve her too well, as there is a lack in consistency and commitment. Yes, we are all body of Christ, so we are all connected spiritually. But the point of assembling locally and finding I guess a "home church" is to grow with a congregation, learn and be acquainted with the leaders and teachers, form a strong fellowship and bond, and contribute to the ministry that both serve its attendees and local communities. If she's going more for the missionary route, then maybe her tactic is ok, but it still would be beneficial to have a home church to go back to for resource. So I am in agreement with you.

    I would not pitch it as if its a sin or a big issue, because its not. But I would make reason with her and flush out in casual conversation some of the cons of her approach of congregating. Basically, figure out what her end goal of going to multiple churches and have her see if it's a wise choice to bounce from church to church like that. Is she doing it just to make a point, or is she doing it to someone organize a bigger vision? Is she trying to merge them together somehow, or is it only to serve herself? How involved is she in there services, does she even want to be involve and serve, or is she looking to just make friends?

    But who knows, maybe she is able to make deep bonds, but at the same time, I do see deep connections being more likely with those who attend the same services consistently in comparison to those that only appear in certain activities.

    The only thing I would ask before you even approach her is how close are you with this sister? Are you close friends? Or is this someone you're just observing from afar. I wouldn't advise then to approach her if you two don't even have that much of a bond to freely talk about it. If youre only hearing it through the grapevine what she is doing, then im guessing that maybe it wouldn't be your place to confront her.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  18. MournfulWatcher

    MournfulWatcher In the beginning was the Word.

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    I hopped around for a while too until I settled into the right church. She may eventually find a place she prefers and stay there.
     
  19. Brotherly Spirit

    Brotherly Spirit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Neither perspective is wrong if it's about what's best for each person or specific church. The Lord has a plan for all of us and I don't believe it's the same. You don't know whether she's helped or hindered by seeking and serving God in the Church this way, so I wouldn't judge but try to understand. As for you and the other members, y'all also need to seek and serve the way that's best for Him. Is her schedule of commitment actively hindering y'all? Is she any help when there? As suggested, why can't each of you feeling the need for a personal connection approach her and get to know her not only there but possibly elsewhere?
     
  20. Mississippi_YaYa

    Mississippi_YaYa New Member

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    I would say just to talk directly to her about it. It is obvious that you desire for her to be a part of your group on a regular basis. Tell her that. Maybe she needs to hear it. I think there are some very important aspects of small groups that people seek. One is that she may be going to different groups that are having studies on topics or by authors that she finds interesting or uplifting. But the other thing is to produce that human bond and connection as a sister in Christ. Now there is nothing better than that. Tell her that you want her to have that with your group. I bet it will make the difference. Sometimes we all just need to know that we are truly invited to be a part of the group. As a woman who moved to a new state in middle age and had to start brand new at a new place, it can seem overwhelming to bond into those already long formed relationships within the church. Maybe she just needs to hear it. I really think its great that you are concerned about her. I wish you a long friendship and sisterhood in Christ together. :)
     
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