Before you start any journey, you have to do some preparation. If you are taking the family on a long trip across the country, you will likely pack your bags in the car, and get a map or get directions on your GPS or phone. Maybe you will pack drinks and snacks, or go to the gas station to fill-up your car. If you have kids, you might stop by Redbox for a movie to watch on the long drive!
For this journey of finding your new church home, you also need to do some preparation. That preparation starts with “taking inventory” of where you are now in your life, and where you might be headed...
Start by watching Pete’s story - one man's journey of finding a church...
Now take a few minutes to reflect on the questions below as you prepare for your “Church Finder Journey”
1. Pete mentioned several crises that he had been going through just before he visited the church. He found some help from a counselor who advised him to “have a balance in your life” and that each person should have “3 pillars” including your body, your mind, and your spiritual pillar. Pete realized that in his life, the first 2 were broken, and the “spiritual pillar” did not even exist.
Have you had any recent crisis in your life, or any past crisis that are still affecting you? Do you think you have a “balanced life” to help you through life’s crisis times? How do you feel about the current state of your “balance” and the “pillars” in your life?
2. Pete talked about how he sat in the church parking lot in his car for 3 Sunday mornings before getting up the courage to walk into the church the third week. Do you feel that way about walking into a church for the first time? If yes, why do you think you feel that way?
3. Pete had a well thought-out process for finding a church. Part of his process was using ChurchFinder.com, and he said he was looking for a church with the best rating and “least amount of complaints”.
What is your “process” for finding a church? What are you looking for specifically as you are building your “shortlist” of churches to visit?
4. Pete talked about hearing the “story of Jesus” the first time he visited the church. He also watched the movie “The Passion of the Christ” and better understood why Jesus died on the cross.
What do you know about Jesus? What questions do you have about Jesus and about why He died on the cross?
Note: If you want to know more about Jesus, you can see the exact sermon that Pete heard at Preston Trail on the first day he visited the church - part of "God's Big Story" The video of that sermon is on-line here
If you have never seen the move The Passion of the Christ, you can find out more about the movie or buy it here.
5. The pastor talked about the radical change in Pete’s life, and asked the question: “What course are you on in your life?”
Do you think you are currently on the right course for your life? Or are some changes needed?
6. Church made a difference Pete’s life. In his own words…
“I’ve come to learn I’m never alone…I’m at peace almost everywhere I go, at work, with family, with friends. I now have a small group that I’m a part of that are the most wonderful people I’ve met – extremely supportive.”
Pete went on to say...
“My desire to go forward is to let folks know that it’s OK to get help, it’s OK to not have all the answers. I want to help people find and follow Jesus, because that was the answer for me, and I know if that message gets out there, that message will improve other people’s lives.”
Do you think that one year from now, you could have a story like Pete’s? Or if there was no limitation – if GOD intervenes - what changes do you think are possible in your life? Do you believe that church can make a difference in your life?