It is never a good idea to cut off a healthy part of the body, and we are members of the body of Christ, that is the Church (Colossians 1:24). Therefore, it has always been my aim to check out local churches and join one of them. Albeit temporarily. However, this is never as easy as it seems. Since we are only in England temporarily, we only have limited time to decide on what church to attend. Moreover, none of them seem to be quite perfect. So far I have looked at four different churches in the area, which have three different denominations. My final choice will be between the last two that I visited. I will keep them anonymous for now, so as to not give anyone any preconceptions should they visit the area. Let’s call them church A and church B – no, scratch that, we’ll call them Antioch and Bethsaida.
Both Antioch and Bethsaida have some good things going for them. They both preach the gospel and carry a love for God. They also have an equally nice atmosphere, pleasant people, and are welcoming to visitors. The music is to my personal taste – not exclusively two hundred years and older, but also not revolving solely about entertainment. Both of them also have students from the college attending
The thing that would set Antioch apart is that they have a solid forty-minute, verse-by-verse teaching. Bethsaida, on the other hand, has about a twenty minute teaching which focuses more on the applications that can be drawn from the text. However, Antioch’s pastor is leaving in December. (He is going to the USA to follow a course and acquire some practical skills he feels he is lacking.) There is also currently no full-time replacement from the elders for him. Which means that there might be some major changes happening soon; foremost in the preaching style, but possibly even in their doctrine. So I’m quite torn between Antioch and Bethsaida.
It seems that in the end one major part of the question would be: where can I serve the best? Both places have opportunities to serve. Although with my temporary presence it will be small things like sweeping the floor or helping with the coffee.
I have been praying about this choice for a while now and will continue to do so.
- Please pray for wisdom in choosing the right church.
- I still thank God for the blessing of being here, spending time in His Word, with like-minded people.