I consider my spiritual life to be somewhat eclectic. My search for God has led me down many paths. I was raised in the Episcopal church, however since that time, I have attended many churches, including Lutheran, Congregational, Methodist, Pentacostal, Evangelical and Catholic. I have also spent a significant amount of time researching religions other than Christianity…Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, and others. All of this in an effort to understand God.
Currently, I attend four churches. I like my local Methodist church because I am a personal friend of the pastor, and I enjoy his messages, which are always thoughtful and thought-provoking and I enjoy the traditional church choir. During the summer, I attend a catholic church because they hold their services outdoors. I also attend an Evangelical church because many of my friends attend that church, so it’s fun and social. But lately I have been drawn to a new Pentacostal church because I love the contemporary music, the hand-raising, the shouts of Amen during the sermon, and the pastor is incredibly charismatic, dynamic and he delivers a powerful message.
I suppose there is nothing inherently wrong with this approach, but it can be confusing at times, because each of the churches I attend focuses on different aspects of the Christian faith, causing me to question what I believe.
So how does one select a church home? Should we select the church that most closely mirrors what we already believe about God? Is the social atmosphere important? Should we choose because of the pastor rather than the church in general? Or is it just about where we feel most comfortable?
Maybe this has the makings for a new reality show, but instead of finding my mate from a bevy of pecs and biceps, I can jet-set around the world to exotic locations with pastors who are competing to win me over with doctrine and worship styles.
Ultimately this is about commitment. Making a commitment to any organization requires a sacrifice of our time, our service and our finances. There are expectations involved and by remaining a fringe member those expectations don’t exist. Perhaps, the question is not what the church can do for me, but rather what I can do for the church.