The world is such a smaller place when you have contacts that can plug you in. Case in point:
I’ve got a whole lineup of churches to try out sooner or later, based largely on other people’s recommendations or mutual contacts in the area. A couple I’ve found on my own.
- Centennial Covenant – Right across the street from my apartment. Ggreat little church, I love the size. Great people, intimate setting, passionate people.
- Foothills Bible – A couple that was instrumental in starting my previous church in Dallas back in the 70s attends here. The pastor is very authentic. At one point he started to break down on stage at the enormity of the Katrina tragedy. For some reason, that naked display of emotion always has affected me. It helps convince me that the guy is human like the rest of us. Here’s a quote from today’s sermon: “Church problems breed church cynics.” Wow, yep, that’s me!
- Jubilee Fellowship – this is Neighbor Brian’s church; still haven’t been there with him.
- Denver First Church of the Nazarene – the church that my Mom’s CO friend goes to. Haven’t met up with her in person yet, but contacted by email.
- Cherry Hills Community – haven’t been there yet, but I plan to eventually. After seeing the building in person a few weeks ago, it’s actually a little big for my taste.
Ah, yes, so many choices which is a good thing.
Kenneth Copeland had a wise thing to say about which church you choose to attend. God does call you to a place and service in building the House of God and each congregation has a calling. If you are called to be a plumber and are attending a church full of carpenters you will not feel right nor will you feel like you are doing God’s will for your life. That is nothing against that church; you just need to be in a church that shares your vision/calling. It is a wise pastor who recognizes this and does not guilt people into staying at his church when God has called them to another. Mary’s paraphrase.
There is nothing more tiring than church hunting. I’ll be praying for you, Rob.
to be taken tongue-in-cheek: the other side of that quote could be-“and church cynics breed church problems”!!!!! ❗
I wish you well in choosing a church, its never an easy task and I’m glad you have a number to visit and choose from. 😀
I must say that I take exception to Mr. Copeland’s comments (as paraphrased by Mary above). I think that much of the problems with the modern church is that we have a bunch of splintered groups who have like talents. The result, is a cliquish bunch of people who sit around agreeing all the time rather than being refined (a process which often comes through dealing with conflict).
We need churches with carpenters, with teachers, with administrators, healers, etc. However, especially in our affluent culture, we do not have to cooperate to survive. So, divisions occur over more minor things. Wrong doctrines creep in easier and the church becomes weaker and more fragmented.
Proverbs 27:17: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another”.
I have always had a hard time with this verse as typically, we don’t see high iron content in blades anymore. Neither do we typically use steel to sharpen steel. Normally, we use a grindstone, a hone, a diamond stone, etc — something which produces an edge much sooner.
With steel rubbing against steel, a number of things occur:
2) A slight work hardening of the edge
3) A very refined finished edge.
So, looking at the verse in the context of discipleship / church, I see the following at work:
1) Friction: forces us to deal with people with whom we might not normally associate. In the process of dealing with, praying with, and growing with them, our rough edges are rounded off.
2) Work hardening: Once an edge has been established like this, it tends to retain is cutting ability longer.
3) The finished result is an extremely sharp and smooth cutting surface.
So, regardless of whether or not the author had wide knowledge of metallurgical processes, the concept remains that through friction and often the chafing action of trials, we are further sanctified and thus become more useful in God’s kingdom.
So, while I do agree that a good church is hard to find, I think that too much emphasis is placed on feeling comfortable and accepted rather than challenged — I think one needs a bit of both.
I will be praying for you as you search for a church.
I have to go to a church that challenges me in my every day life.
I don’t think I have ever gone to a church that didn’t challenge me in some way.
Grindstones, hones and diamonds are for blades with a very poor edge on them. They are for putting a rough edge on a blade.
Don’t forget that this verse is from a time where you either had a rock or another blade to sharpen on. You would use a rock for putting on a rough edge and steel for putting on the finishing touches.
Maybe we interpret that verse differently. To me, iron sharpening iron is not a violent rough process. That has already happened. Iron sharpening iron, in a spiritual sense, is two men/women sitting down to a great study in which the two learn from the word and from each other’s experiences.
To me, this verse is talking about simple discipleship.
Thanks for commenting and I hope you become a regular around here!
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