Home Church - a Perilous Search

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Home Church - a Perilous Search

Postby Foxen » Wed Sep 28, 2005 12:33 pm

Well, it's time to pick up and look for a new home church....

To be fair, I have not been attending the church that I considered my home church for some time now (like seven or eight months)...instead, I have been going to another church but have not really gotten involved there either. In finishing school, I just did not have the time nor energy to commit to a church, however, with what limited time I did have, I ran wild with several brothers and sisters from various churches in conducting mass mayhem and controlled chaos (running projects, events, etc.).

I was wondering, what ya'll look for in a home church. What are some qualities, or values, or characteristics that your current church has that you really appreciate, or that you are hoping for in your church? What makes a church a home church? What are our roles and responsibilities to our home church? What are your views on involvement with folks from other churches?

I know we're not suppose to really "church shop", but rather hear from God and be obedient to where ever he is calling us. But sometimes, I think God may speak through the "church shopping", and more so, doing a little research and seeking compatibility is wise...lest, I'd be married to the first girl I fell in love with at first sight (okay, not true, but you get what's I'm saying).

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Postby kaholo4Him » Sun Oct 02, 2005 8:56 pm

i don't think it's "church-shop"-ping that people have problems with, it's church-hopping --- not getting planted, but going from one church to another whenever you encounter something you don't like/agree with. i think church-hopping could be prevented in many cases if you did do your research & shopped around (prayerfully). the thinking goes - if you keep running away from your problems, you won't grow. theoretically, when you have a home church, you are recognized as part of the flock and can be cared for accordingly. you have a voice and can be involved & be an agent of change if there's something that (you think) needs to be done. if you are going through tough times, the church can support you. you're part of the family. with so many people coming in & out of the church doors, people can slip through the cracks --- making a church your home church lessens the possibility of that happening to you... your home church is where you would tithe (an important part of being a believer - your faith is reflected in your checkbook... if you are worshipping another god like chanel, prada, or sony, it will show... =P)

i'm a huge supporter of intra-church stuff (organized or not) - any time you can get a bunch of believers (working) together from different churches, it's an awesome thing...

i, too, am seriously considering (have been all year long >.<) finding a new home church. let's see... worship is a biggie for me - not so much a particular sound or style, but the heart behind the worship team. give me a decent sounding worship team with a true heart of worship over performance-driven professional musicians any day... i tend to like smaller congregations (less than 500). i'm not really into those 3point sermons, though it's pretty much what i've been fed lately - i used to love pastor tim carigon's sermons (hilo missionary church) - not usually topical and he would make the bible come alive - giving historical background and rather academic (yet not boring) sermons... i wanted a place where i could bring my non-christian friends and they would feel welcome & not weirded out and yet challenged to consider Jesus---heck, a place where I feel welcome, appreciated, and part of the family... a place with tradition, but not mired in the past(not willing to move forward) - open to using arts, creative media, music & dance as forms of worship... a place that does not shun those that may not be mainstream, rich & beautiful - the unlovely, the poor, the homeless, those with alternative lifestyles, etc.
... personally, i'm looking at churches with a heart for okinawa/japan and possibly with active japanese ministries - just because that's where my heart is at too. i LOVED my church in sodegaura (chiba, japan) - that's WAS my home church for a season.

last year, i had a 10-page journal entry about the qualities i wanted in a church and a prayer about where God was leading me... i'm still looking for that church - maybe i'm asking too much? (ha ha, just like my long list of b*friend qualities --- that's probably why i still haven't found him yet...)
*romans 15:13*
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Postby Foxen » Thu Oct 06, 2005 2:16 am

Well, the church search continues. I don't really feel that I'm church hopping right now..although I need to do a heart check...like, I'm not "hopping" per se, but, I also am not deeply rooting in any one particular church...although in a sense, I am rooting with Christian folk who are from different churches, and in some sense, I consider them my church...

Anyhow...in my pursuit of church, and more so, my pursuit of Christ, I think I have become very selfish concerning community. Partially, I am rebelling, and more so, I am hurt and wounded and probably have no patience at the moment to develop deep meaningful relationships...(at church, you meet about once a week, and only for a service...without more, and without risking more it's really hard to develop relationships). Selfishly, I want a church that wants me...and all that I bring. I think most churches already have programs...that they want people to be a part of. For me, I have the program, and I want to see if anyone in the church wants to jump aboard and run with what I have set up. Kinda backwards...and I wonder if this is common for Christians looking for a church?

Anyhow...what I am really hating and frustrated with right now is that...there is a church that wants me...for me and all that I bring. It's a New Hype offshoot...one that swallowed up my first church. For some there, it's a miracle and answer to prayers that I'm there. For me, it's a return to purgatory or hell...God is so cruel.

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Postby kaholo4Him » Sat Oct 08, 2005 9:19 pm

umm... i didn't mean to imply that i thought YOU were church hopping (i hope it didn't come across that way). i do think what you're doing is cool - it is SO ironic that the offshoot church is one of the places you're considering... God has a wonderful sense of humor ;P personally, i think that if there is forgiveness & healing, & true ho'oponopono for your whole nh situation, it would be a HUGE setback for the enemy. it's already a miracle you're even CONSIDERING going there. if you're cool with the leadership there, you should go for it. maybe things will be different this time around...
*romans 15:13*
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Postby Foxen » Sun Oct 09, 2005 2:42 am

Wait wait wait...err, I am not "going there" per se...although I am on their youth leadership team. How ironic is that? I'm training their leadership team, making sure they are getting stuff out of it, and that they are healthy...and providing ideas, games, and big events for them...for now.

So yeah, I go to everything BESIDES service...hahaha. This really sucks in a way y'know? But...whatever.

On another note, I know you weren't implying that I was church hopping. C'mon, I know you better than that! Instead, I was just doing some self-reflection based off your comment...trying to see if I was church hopping, because in some sense, maybe I am. I dunno.

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An interesting and encouraging church hunting success story

Postby rapturos » Thu Nov 10, 2005 2:23 am

Okay, so here's a kind of neat church hunting story ... the Reverend Art Blajos (a former mexican mafia assassin but now an international evangelist) is laying hands on a friend of mine down in Ala Moana recently (in front of a Jamba Juice, no less) and a young man comes along and says you must be christians because I saw you praying. So we get to talking and he mentions that he is in between churches but looking for a new church so I mention my own church Calvary Chapel and Ralph Moore's Kaneohe Hope Chapel, and on a Holy Ghost whim I say maybe you ought to try Pastor Waxer Tipton's "One Love" ministry up in Kaimuki High School at 9:30AM Sunday's. He calls me back the other day and says he went up there and he loves Waxer and the whole crew up there and he is fitting right in. Hallelujah! I have to tell you, though, Waxer is a wild one. I mean, like he takes chances, you know. I few years back Waxer let us invite the Reverend Tom Papania (another former mafia member but from the Gambino family in New York) to give his testimony where Waxer had his former church up in the hills of Molokai (it's still there with Waxer's old crew). It was chancy because at the time there was a cloud hanging over Tom's ministry with someone questioning the authenticity of his testimony. Today Tom and his former accuser have been reconciled and even have plans to minister together some time. But, at the time of Tom's visit to the islands, a lot of people were not willing to take a chance on him. But not Waxer, he spoke to Tom personally and was convinced he was genuine and I recall someone trying to dissuade Waxer after that but Waxer held to his view that you're innocent until proven guilty. Hallelujah! And there's Reverend Art Blajos' own visit to Waxer's church recently where Art was able to give his testimony. One of the people who was with us forgot their purse at the church so Waxer reminded us to come back to pick it up. So we pull into the parking lot and there's Waxer pulling this big white trailer behind his pickup truck. He tells us it's his "church-in-a-box" where he keeps all the church gear in between weekends. And I remember Reverend Art remarking when he saw that, that God was going to prosper that man. I know God already has. We knew Waxer years ago when he first came to Molokai. As I recall, he was only supposed to be there for a year or two, like on a sabbatical or something. He had already invited some young surfer kids into his beach house where he was trying to minister to them. A few years later, I recall it was on the eve of Y2K, we got to visit him at a small baptist church that I think they were borrowing for an outreach. And by the time we were trying to bring Tom Papania to Molokai, Waxer's church had grown to like 30 or 40 people. This may sound like pure whimsy to some, but I liken Waxer to Father Damien who himself came to Hawaii looking for that one particular thing that he knew God had called him to do. They say that when Father Damien first became aware of the scope of the devastation at Kalaupapa he praised God for finding him his one true ministry. So maybe it's not so much a search for a church but a ministry, a personal calling, yes, maybe even a vision. I understand that the "Tip of the Spear" movie is going to start showing here in January. Surely Jim Elliot was another who looked out towards eternity and heard that distant trumpet calling. We should all be so lucky.
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