What Should I look For When I go to Church?

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I have another excerpt to share with you. I hope you have been enjoying them.

Today’s excerpt is about how some people are religious nuts and actually harm the vision people see of Christianity.


God Wants Spiritual Fruit, Not Religious Nuts


Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.



You’ve seen them after football games, or after basketball games. They stand on the corners yelling that the world is a sinful place, and you had better repent. Although I’ve always admired their courage, it seems like the people around me think of them as religious nuts.

There are so many types of beliefs out there that claim to be Christian. There are those who believe we need to be baptized before we are a Christian. There are those who feel God will heal without doctors. There are some who will not allow their children to be part of Halloween, Fourth of July, birthdays and many other things. Some go to church on Sundays. Some go to church on Saturdays.

But the Bible’s bottom line is: What we need to believe in is that Jesus died for us and that the only way we are able to get to heaven is through Him. We need to let Him into our heart and be born again.

There are many beliefs that agree with that basic premise, but then they twist things around to fit their doctrine. Some come from the far left, and some come from the far right. Who is right—the far left, or the far right?

Again I am here to tell you that we have one goal for our souls: to believe that Christ died for us, and we need to accept Him into our hearts.

So, whether you’re from the far left or the far right, stop fighting over who is right and get on your knees to thank the only Savior we should be talking about. You do not need to be a religious nut to gain spiritual fruit.

            Left … Right … Left … Right … Left … Right

We’re marching to the wrong tune!

 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the roadthat leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and a few find it.

Matthew 7:13–14


You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

Romans 2:1


Further Adventures

I would like to suggest that you not go to church looking for a specific doctrinal stand. You’ll be overwhelmed when you find there are hundreds of different nuances to doctrine. Look instead at what is being taught. Is the Bible read during the service? Does the pastor preach from the Bible? Or does he have his own agenda? Some church leaders spend the whole service talking about current events and their views on them. That is not what God intended. He wants us to study His Word and not conform to this world’s standards in our daily living. If you find a Bible-teaching church, try it for awhile and see if it is a good fit for you.


Something to Ponder

Isn’t it funny how we are so quick to judge, but not eager to be judged?


Are you a Just a Church Goer, or an Actual Spiritual Member?

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The book “Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World, ” is on sale now at the bookstore on this site. In the stores it is $19.99, but here it is only $15.99, and the shipping is cut in half as well. A total savings of over $6.00. Just click on the “Bookstore,” tab at the top of this page to take a look.


Today’s excerpt is asks the question, ” Are you just a church goer, or are you you an actual spiritual member?” Many people come to church just to let others see they are going. They may not even bring a Bible. The spiritual members come to worship and praise.


Chapter 30


God Doesn’t Want Shares of Your Life;

He Wants Controlling Interest


And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28


I’m sure there are people in your church who make you wonder why they’re even there. They’re critical about everything—the music, the organist’s clothes, the length and wording of the prayers, the color of the rug, on and on ad nauseam. They gossip about others or sit through the service without listening to the sermon.

In The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren talks about these types of people. He says there are two types of people who go to church: the church attendees and the church members.1

The churchgoers come just to be able to say they go to church in order to impress their clients or neighbors—or as a promise to their mother. Often the churchgoers don’t even bring a Bible with them. Instead, they study the church bulletin the whole time, whisper to the person next to them or make out next week’s to-do list. They come only to show others they are going to church—and then they leave. You could ask them right afterward what the sermon was about, and they wouldn’t be able to tell you. They come in order to meet up and go out to lunch with someone from the church after the service is over.

“It is not what you show on Sunday that counts. It is what you show on Monday!”

The other type of church people are the spiritual members. They are members of the body of Christ. They are the ones who come humbly to church to truly worship God. They have their Bibles. They listen carefully to the sermon, taking notes to learn from it. They also are the ones who reach out to the “churchgoers,” to try to help them learn the true joy of learning about God.

When the church attendees come before God on judgment day, God will not ask them if they went to church. (He already knows everything you do.) He will ask them what they have done to deserve to be a part of His kingdom. What close encounters did they have with God? Did they totally worship Him not only on Sundays, but on Mondays also? They will try to convince God that they were very loyal, but He will say, “I do not know you; be gone!”

True members of a church reach out to those in need. They spend hours praying. They get into small groups to study the Bible. They help in the church by being an usher, singing in the choir, greeting at the door, etc. They also worship with the whole body when they are done serving. The members of a church are all part of one body, and we need to help the weaker parts of the body realize that if we lose even one finger from our body, we will suffer. We need the whole body being strong together.

I want to make sure you understand. I am not talking about a person who joins a church by having his or her name added to the membership list. I mean a member of the body of Christ.

I learned from one of the members of my Bible Study Fellowship group that a pastor of a church he knew had borrowed some money from one of the members and then never paid it back. The pastor tried to avoid the church member every Sunday so he wouldn’t have to talk to him about the money he owed the other member.

This member—even though he’s the pastor—isn’t a healthy functioning body member. Instead, he is one of the weaker parts of the body that needs help. Just joining a church “on paper” doesn’t make you a part of the body. All believers are part of the universal (transcending time and place) body of Christ and hopefully also healthy functioning members of a local body of believers called a “church.” It is too easy to “join a church” and then live off the title without ever being a part of the body of Christ.

We each need to decide if we’re going to be a church attendee/churchgoer/“pew sitter” or a true member of the body. If we are a part of the body of Christ, we will want to be in fellowship with other believers in a local church where we can be consistent in our worship of God and service to others. 

Each of us can become a prayer warrior, or be part of a Bible study group. We can help people find their seats or greet people at the door. Or we can just come humbly before God to worship each Sunday. After all, it is called a worship service.

Then we need to take God with us on Monday. Each day we can thank Him for His love. And we can look at others who might be simply “church attendees” and help them to grow into healthy functioning members.

It is often very difficult to approach the church attendees because they seem to resent anyone who challenges them. We need to convey to them that we love them enough to want them to take further steps in their live, to become a stronger part of the body. That may anger them at first, but they may thank us later when they become an integral part of the body and love God more than they ever dreamed possible.


For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10


Further Adventures

Take a “home inventory” of your own family. Are they all “members,” or is there one who is only a church attendee? If all families worked on having all their family becoming church members, there would be no need to have other church members try to help you. Even your children can be strong parts of the body of Christ by being examples to the other children in church. They can also get involved by being counselors at youth camps, singing in the youth choir, or helping in a Sunday school class.


Something to Ponder

Isn’t it funny that if you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything?

Remember: Never, ever, give up!


Why do we Need to go to Church?

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My  book, “Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World,” is available at the bookstore. Just click on the “Bookstore” tab at the top of this page to check it out.

This book reaches out to those who may be suffering from anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, self-doubt, hopelessness, or the many other usual suspects.

The book sells for $19.99 in the stores, but on this site it is only $15.99, and the shipping has been cut in half as well. A total savings of over $6.00.


I am sharing another excerpt from the book, “Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World.” This chapter discusses the question, “Why do we need to go to church?” I use quotes from Rick Warren, the author of “The Purpose Driven Life.” He shares many thoughts on why we need to go to church.



Go to Church; Avoid the Christmas Rush


Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:25


Why do we need to go to church? The purpose of going to church is about much more than just being a good Christian. Church attendance and involvement help you grow as a Christian.

Rick Warren’s book, “The Purpose Driven Life,” is a wonderful book that hit the world with a tremendous splash in 2002 and made the top of the best-selling lists for weeks on end. I highly recommend it because it will bless (and sometimes challenge) you a great deal.

I will be quoting him several times in this chapter to give you a feel for what it means to go to church. What he says has opened my eyes even more to the need for fellowship with others in your church home.

The first quote that almost made me laugh was, “The person that says, ‘I don’t need the church,’ is either arrogant or ignorant.”1 He lays it out as if it is not even up for discussion. I can’t agree more.

I was on the other side of the fence in my earlier Christian life. I went to church on a sporadic basis. During the football season, if my favorite team was playing during church time, I didn’t go to church. Football was a priority (read that “idol”!). As the years went by, I eventually didn’t go to church at all. I found “other things” that were more important. I still felt I was a good Christian because I was doing good things with my students and helping others when I could. I was doing good deeds for the people around me, and that seemed good enough.

What I didn’t realize was that I was also drifting away from God at a pace that was leading me to eternal death. I came back to reality when I hit rock bottom on March 31st, 2001, when I had my close encounter with God. It took words from God to wake me up, and realized that I needed to be with other Christians to remain strong.

I have said before that not all people who go to church are Christians. If you are looking for the perfect church made up only of Christians, I have some ocean-front property inArizonafor you. There is not a perfect church; in fact, there are no perfect Christians. Christians are not perfect; just forgiven. (Great bumper sticker!)  So don’t look around your church and judge the people going there.

Our mission (whether we accept it or not) is to grow ourselves and to help others grow. We are commanded to help one another to grow as Christians since we all belong to one body. If one part of the body is weak, other members rally to help it heal. This is true in the human body. If we break an arm, the other arm takes over some functions during the healing process. The church body needs to function in the same way, pitching in when another member is struggling.


From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Ephesians 4: 16


Rick Warren goes on further about our command to help other Christians in the church. He says, “We are commanded to love each other, pray for each other, encourage each other, admonish each other, greet each other, serve each other, teach each other, accept each other, honor each other, bear each other’s burdens, forgive each other, submit to each other, be devoted to each other, and many other mutual tasks.”2 These are important reasons we need to go to church. We will not get this kind of interaction and care watching football on Sunday.

Another bumper sticker says, “How about you come over to My house before the game on Sunday—God.” We can fit both in, but the body of Christ needs to be first.

Rick Warren also says, “Worship helps you focus on God; fellowship helps you face life’s problems; discipleship helps fortify your faith; ministry helps you find your talents; evangelism helps fulfill your mission. There is nothing else like the church.”3

There are people who are simply churchgoers, and there are people who are members of the church—I should say members of the body of Christ. Those who use their talents to help others are the members God desires. I was a churchgoer for many years until I realized that I needed more than just what I got by sitting in a pew on Sunday. There is commitment that takes more than just going to church. It is being a member of the body.

Being with others at church can also bring you much closer to God and His love. Stormie Omartian says in her book, The Prayer That Changes Everything, “The times I most sense God’s love for me is when I worship in a group of people gathering together for that purpose. An extremely powerful dynamic happens when people worship together. I’m not talking about just getting together to sing nice songs about God. I’m talking about worshiping God for who He is with all we have in us. There is nothing more healing, restoring, or life-changing. Once you sense God’s love through those times of corporate praise and worship, you won’t want to ever live without it.4

I have to agree with her statement. There have been so many times when I am in a group praying or worshiping that I can feel the warmth and love of God in the room. It’s something I hope all of you have felt, and if you haven’t, get with some of your closest Christians friends and have a love fest prayer session where you do nothing but praise God. Then you will understand.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

Colossians 3:16


Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Acts 2:46–47


Further Adventures

Start going to a Bible study if you haven’t already done so. I am always blessed when I am part of a Bible study. I not only make new friends, I also acquire prayer partners. And I get to be part of an in-depth Bible study of the topic under discussion.

I especially love the prayer time at the end. At one time, it was very difficult for me to pray out loud in a group, but from sharing in these small group settings, I found the assurance that no one in the room cared about how my prayers sounded. They are always more interested in what I say, listening carefully so they can follow through and pray for me.


Something to Ponder

Isn’t it funny how powerful a prayer grows when it’s shared with several people?

Remember: Never, ever, give up!