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I don't really feel anything in my Church anymore (magnified by recent events with people at my Church), and I don't think I'm experiencing 'spiritual growth' at all. I still believe in God and all of that, it's just that the Church environment isn't helping me. I hear them talk of God's plan over and over again, but there is never any specification as to what this plan is. 'Walk the path' ... what path? What are you trying to say? Also, it seems that the preacher talks about leading a Godly life and appreciating the Lord and everybody listens, but then when they leave all is forgotten and they go back to getting drunk and watching football or whatever. People aren't active in the Church or do anything in reaction to the sermon ... it's as if Sundays are one big show and then it's back to normal (I am guilty of this too).

What is Church supposed to be? What are we supposed to do there? What is 'spiritual growth?' How should a Church help you develop spiritual growth?
 

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Hmm. Are you a member of a home-group? Home groups might also be known as small groups, beta groups or pastorates. If you're not a member of a home group, then that might explain why you don't feel particularly engaged in the church.

If you can't find a home group that suits you, could you look for an alternative church?
 

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Squizzy said:
Also, it seems that the preacher talks about leading a Godly life and appreciating the Lord and everybody listens, but then when they leave all is forgotten and they go back to getting drunk and watching football or whatever. People aren't active in the Church or do anything in reaction to the sermon ... it's as if Sundays are one big show and then it's back to normal (I am guilty of this too).
I remember feeling that way. There would be a great sermon and you would expect everybody to go out there all psyched up and ready to change their lives and really give everything to God, but you leave and you hear people talking about everyday things, and not seeming to have a spiritual reaction to what was said. It got confusing. Now, I am many times one of those people who leaves church after a good sermon, and immediately starts focusing on daily things. That seems so wrong to me, and I would like to change it. Also, concerning the way other people react to things, you can't see what is in someone's heart, and people might have a change of heart that can't really be seen from outside. But, I agree, I would like to know how to extend what happens Sunday to the rest of the week. I think daily prayer has a lot to do with it.
 

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Really GOOD questions Squizzy. As you've seen first hand, anyone can "play church" but truly following Christ goes much deeper than that. I believe God never intended for us to do this life on our own. We need people to pray with us and support us in our struggles and celebrate with us in our victories. We need others to encourage us to keep going and we need to be held accountable to each other as well. My pastors call our church a place where "we do life together". It's intended as a place where we can gather together as a "family" and pray and seek God's guidance for our lives, a place where we can belong, and feel valued and accepted, a place where we can sing praises to God together, a place where we can learn to get along with each other, and the one place we know we can go to when we've totally screwed up and know that our church family will still love and accept us and help us out of the hole we've gotten ourselves into. It should be a place where we can hear God's word taught and be able to apply it to our lives and our daily struggles. It should be a place that's constantly moving in the direction God intends. As Christians I don't think we ever "arrive". It's a process, a life-long process. The more we walk and talk with God the more we trust Him and we slowly start letting Him into those dark places in us so He can heal them and He can mold us into the person He intended us to be before the world got to us. The church leaders should be concerned about our spiritual growth and have programs and classes in place to help us in this area and they should help us discover the spiritual talents and gifts God has given each of us so we can use them to do with our lives what God has called us to. Christianity is about loving and serving others so a church should have opportunities for us to reach out and serve our community, local neighborhoods and other countries, not with the willful motive of making these people converts to our religion but just serving and loving others. God converts, not us. We are only called to be God's hands and feet and to show them the love Christ has for them.

I'm wondering...if you feel that you aren't getting these things at your church, maybe it's time to check out a few other churches till you find one that fits you. And if you feel your church is doing a good job but you just can't seem to connect, maybe you could make an appointment with the pastor or other leader and tell them the struggles you are having. My life got much better after I told my pastors about my SA.

I'll be praying for you :hug
 

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Squizzy, I asked an online pastor friend to address your questions. Here's his response...

What is Church supposed to be?

A place of safe refuge where people of like faith can join together in Praise and worship, in times of quiet reflection, in times of deep prayer and meditation, and in times of receiving encouragement and spiritual growth through the teaching or preaching of the Word. Also, it is a place of fellowship and bonding to each other in God and in life itself.

What are we supposed to do there?

Join together in Praise and worship, in times of quiet reflection, in times of deep prayer and meditation, and in times of receiving encouragement and spiritual growth through the teaching or preaching of the Word. We are to encourage one another in the church setting; to build each other up and provide support, help, even guidance, to those in need.

What is 'spiritual growth?'

It is what happens to a person when they continue to pursue excellence in the Lord. Salvation and the Baptism in the Holy Spirit are only a part of the whole. Throughout our lives we continue to develop as a Christian, growing more in knowledge, understanding, and in life in Him...all through the Spirit, which is our 'link,' as it were, to Him. So as we continue our pursuit of excellence in Him, we are growing spiritually.

How should a Church help you develop spiritual growth?

Several different ways: A New-Christian program, a Discipleship program, help-groups, and seminars or classes in developing one's self spiritually speaking. Also elders of the church are admonished in the Word to aid in the development of those who are younger, spiritually speaking.
 

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Although I think it's good for people with SA to get out of the house and share aspects of their life, I think a person's spirituality is too important to mess up. I don't agree with the way organized religion does things. I don't agree with the way they emphasize obedience over love or the generalizations they use.

I am Christian but I use my own mind and a bible that was translated from original texts (hebrew and aramic). It makes me feel better to study God's word when the text has not been translated from one language to another before it got to me. I pray that I will interpret the Word they way God thinks it best for me to interpret. I have faith that he will.

BTW I use the Good News Bible.
 
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