by Sarah Reeves
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is but exhorting one another so much the more as you see the day approaching.
There is much teaching on the local church, and much doctrinal focus over the years has been placed on these teachings, but no amount of preaching or study can make someone understand the spiritual aspect of being a part of a church home. The spiritual aspect of a church home is just as ethereal as the spiritual aspect of an actual home. And never was I as aware of this as I am now that I do not have one.
When you’ve attended the same church for twenty eight years you can truly say it is your church home. But homes, like people, change, and now I find myself without this home. It is unsettling, and for the first time in my life I’ve become “A Visitor.” But I believe that life’s sad changes are only truly sad if we do not learn something from them to make us wiser and kinder. My new experiences as “A Visitor” have taught me some valuable lessons that I could not have learned any other way.
Be Friendly To Visitors
I was often taught this growing up in church, but never took it seriously, because I did not really know what visitors feel like. I now know that visitors in our churches can be feeling a host of emotions. I have felt awkward, sad, panicky, hopeful, and out of place as I enter new churches. When people speak to me, shake my hand, smile, or stop to talk to me for a moment it really does make me feel better.
Worship Comes in Many Packages
One of the comforting things I have learned during my weeks of visiting other churches, is the beauty of assembling. It is easy to assume while in our own church home bubble, that all churches are just like ours, or that all churches SHOULD be just like ours. The truth is that fundamental, KJV, Baptist churches can hold to doctrinal purity and still have really beautiful and interesting variations to their services and churches.
I’ve sat in churches so new that you can practically still smell the paint drying on the walls, and other churches that are pushing 100 years old. I’ve sat with congregations with so many babies and wiggly children in the service that they almost drown out the preacher, and I’ve sat in churches where every member could have been my grandparent! Churches with many Sunday school classes for different ages and walks of life and churches where Sunday school consist of just the handful that showed up sitting in a circle taking turns reading the precious Word of God together. I have heard graded choirs that left me stunned, and I’ve heard choirs of ten that have never had a voice lesson giving it their all. Preachers that hack and spit and turn purple in the face, and quiet preachers who cry and plead for sinners to come.
Much Reason To Hope
Regardless of the differences in these churches, there is also a beautiful consistency that fills my heart with hope and humbles me with thankfulness. Despite the differences from church to church, despite the quick spiral it seems that our society is taking in America, every single Sunday these Independent, Fundamental KJV believers and many more around our country are assembling. The KJV is still being read, little children are still memorizing verses in Sunday school and coloring pictures of the Red Sea parting, and “Just Over in the Glory Land” is ringing from rafters all over America.
Don’t be deceived into believing that it’s over for old time preaching, that the KJV is outdated, and that the only people still standing for God are the few within the four walls of your own church! There is still a remnant that have not “bowed the knee to Baal.” Every Sunday they are assembling just like you singing many of the same songs you are singing, reading the same Bible you are reading and worshiping the same God you are worshiping. It is hope inspiring to know we are not alone.
If you have a church home, thank God for it. Be a servant in it. Do not take it for granted, and pray for those searching for a church home today.
by Sarah Reeves
Article submitted to IndependentBaptist.com