How to Find A Good Church?

So you are looking for a new church?  This is a common issue.  So what do you look for in a church? As a pastor I am always shocked or surprised about how Christians go about looking for a church.  Most of the time it is very self centered!  I am sure I could write a whole blog on reasons why people join a church.  Instead of looking at the negative side, I would like to focus on applicable ways to truly find a TRUE church in your area!

find a church

1.  You Must Plan

When looking for a job, a wife, a source of entertainment there is always a plan!  At your future job you may ask questions like how much money am I will to be paid minimum?  What hours would I be willing to work?  What are the benefits?  Is there are retirement program?  What is the insurance like?

These are all great questions to be asked.  And probably MUST be asked.  We would ask like questions in regards to our marriage  and entertainment choices. We would study things out before we jump into a situation we do not want to be in.  We make a diligent and disciplined effort to make sure we are making the right choice.

However, when it comes to make one of the MOST important choices of your life,we do not have a plan of action!  So here are a few thoughts on how to make a plan.

  • Know What You Believe
  • Write a Formal Written Plan
  • Make Sure You Know What the Non-Negotiables Are

Understanding these 3 points is really important to your success in finding a church.  Make sure you keep the MAIN things the MAIN thing.  Too often people make the main things the negotiable, and their own personal preferences the NON-negotiables!  These people are plaguing themselves with churches that will falter on the True teaching of God’s Word.  These churches often focus more on Man centered worship than Christ centered worship.

2.  You Must Use Tools

 

Talk to your neighbors or get on the internet!  These are VALUABLE resources and cannot be neglected.  If you talk to your neighbors and they do not have a church, it makes it a GREAT transition to share with them the Gospel.

The internet is such a valuable tool…that is if the church has a website.  You can often listen to sermons or music from their church, and get an overall feel of what they are like.  However, in some cases this should not be your final decision maker.  Often the websites are very basic in information.  You may be able to get a general idea of doctrine, but the overall atmosphere is something that can ONLY be understood through walking through the front door.

 

3.  You Must Be Diligent

Treat finding a church like you would finding a job.  This church is going to be your spiritual influence!  You need to make sure that you leave not stone left unturned.  At the same time, make sure that you do not just visit one week and make that your church!  Visit several churches, and visit them multiple times.

 

4.  Make it a TOP Priority

Choosing a True church is NOT a small thing.  And it is not necessarily easy!  We must understand what the purpose of church is!  It is for the strengthening of ourselves through the GENUINE preaching of the Gospel.  The Word of God is something that needs to be the center of the church.  If the Word of God is not being preaching, opened, or expounded than you are not going to be stretched like you should!
If you are more focused on programs than the preaching of the Word of God, you will end up in a church that is shallow and will not teach you to stretch yourself spiritually.  The goal of a Christian and going to church is too stretch themselves to be more like Christ. It is not a social gathering and it is NOT about entertainment.  Do not exchange TRUTH for entertainment.

 

 

For more information on Carbon Valley Bible Church please go to cvbiblechurch.com or call 303-736-9959

 

 

 

 

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Colorado Flood Victims: FEMA support running Out

It has now been a couple of weeks, but there are literally hundreds if not thousands of people still dealing with all of the issues. For those of us who have not been directly impacted with the floods in our own house, it is often that we forget. If you can help financially please do so here, if you cannot but are able to share this link, we ask that you do that. Thanks so much! http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-relieve-the-colorado-flood-victims/x/4596822

Molly Hendrickson

LYONS, Colo. – You’d never know it looking at the outside of her Lyons home, but Crysty McCain and her kids are running out of places to go.

“It’s unlivable.  They gave me $1,574 and when that’s gone, that’s it,” McCain said.

Their water has ecoli in it and their gas and electricity is still shut off.  The problem is all of the FEMA approved hotels in nearby Longmont are full.

“I even had one FEMA lady say on the phone, well you might have to live out of your car,” McCain said.

FEMA has allotted $30 million in housing assistance for flood victims.  Representatives told 7NEWS they’re continually working with counties to find more housing solutions but in the meantime evacuees with no place to go should stay in the shelters.

For people like Bobby and Rene Young, that’s a short-term solution to a long-term problem.

“The rental assistance is not quite as much as what the landlords are asking for in most cases,” Young said.

The Youngs lost their home in the flood.  FEMA has given them $1,000 a month in rental assistance, but finding a month to month rental within that budget is proving to be a challenge.

“That seems a little rough,” Young said.

Just when the Young’s thought they’d begin settling down, like so many others in Lyons, they’re starting over.

“I feel grateful because I’m not homeless, but in the long term, we are,” Young said.

Crysty McCain and her kids have a house still, but don’t know how long it’ll be until they can call it a home again.

“They’re worried we’re never going to come back ever,” McCain said.

For more information on Carbon Valley Bible Church please go to cvbiblechurch.com or call 303-736-9959

Find our church on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Firestone-Baptist-Church/203757890870

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People Are Reaching Out, We need Your Help!

People are reaching out to us for help, would you consider giving? We have had a significant amount of displaced people from around the community. However, we can only help them a little. These financial gifts will be a great blessing to them.

Help Relieve the Colorado Flood Victims by Financially giving. All proceeds will go 100% to the victims! Click here for more details. ‪#‎Coloflood‬, ‪#‎longmontflood‬

http://www.firestonebaptist.com/floodfund.htm

Or

http://igg.me/at/coloradofloodvictims/x/4596822

If you cannot give financially please share this link.

 

Short Summary

Colorado emergency management officials have released an initial estimate that says the ongoing flooding has damaged or destroyed nearly 19,000 homes.

The Colorado Office of Emergency Management estimated Sunday on its website that 17,494 homes have been damaged and 1,502 destroyed.

In addition, 11,700 people have been evacuated and a total of 1,253 people are unaccounted for.

What We Need & What You Get

Our goal is to get $500,000.00 to go 100% to the victims of these Colorado floods.  These areas include Weld, Boulder, and Larimer Counties.

Firestone Baptist Church is located right in the heart of Weld County of which is central to Firestone, Frederick, Dacono, Longmont, and 30 minutes south of Loveland and 45 minutes east of Estes Park.  We believe that our community will greatly benefit from this fundraiser to help this flood victims.

The Impact

In Larimer County alone, the current impact area is estimated at 1,120 square miles. Another 760 are impacted in Boulder County and 385 in Jefferson County.

An estimated 35 bridges, 100 minor structures and 100 miles of road need repair in Boulder County. Emergency managers estimate $100-150 million in damage in that county.

Statewide, 26 shelters have taken in a population of 1,872 people. Nine counties and five cities have activated Emergency Operations Centers.

Saturday, President Barack Obama also declared a major disaster declaration specifically for Boulder County. That allows for federal assistance with temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners in their recovery.

Other Ways You Can Help

If you are not able to financially help we would love for you to share this with your friends, families, and businesses.

If you live in the area and were not effected by the floods and would like to help our church be a blessing and a ministry to the flood victims by helping them.

 

For more information on Carbon Valley Bible Church please go to cvbiblechurch.com or call 303-736-9959

Find our church on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Firestone-Baptist-Church/203757890870

 

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Help Relieve the Colorado Flood Victims.

DONATE

to the Colorado Flood Victims

Short Summary

Colorado emergency management officials have released an initial estimate that says the ongoing flooding has damaged or destroyed nearly 19,000 homes.

The Colorado Office of Emergency Management estimated Sunday on its website that 17,494 homes have been damaged and 1,502 destroyed.

In addition, 11,700 people have been evacuated and a total of 1,253 people are unaccounted for.

What We Need & What You Get

Our goal is to get $500,000.00 to go 100% to the victims of these Colorado floods.  These areas include Weld, Boulder, and Larimer Counties.

Firestone Baptist Church is located right in the heart of Weld County of which is central to Firestone, Frederick, Dacono, Longmont, and 30 minutes south of Loveland and 45 minutes east of Estes Park.  We believe that our community will greatly benefit from this fundraiser to help this flood victims.

The Impact

In Larimer County alone, the current impact area is estimated at 1,120 square miles. Another 760 are impacted in Boulder County and 385 in Jefferson County.

An estimated 35 bridges, 100 minor structures and 100 miles of road need repair in Boulder County. Emergency managers estimate $100-150 million in damage in that county.

Statewide, 26 shelters have taken in a population of 1,872 people. Nine counties and five cities have activated Emergency Operations Centers.

Saturday, President Barack Obama also declared a major disaster declaration specifically for Boulder County. That allows for federal assistance with temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners in their recovery.

Other Ways You Can Help

If you are not able to financially help we would love for you to share this with your friends, families, and businesses.

If you live in the area and were not effected by the floods and would like to help our church be a blessing and a ministry to the flood victims by helping them.

 

For more information on Carbon Valley Bible Church please go to cvbiblechurch.com or call 303-736-9959

Find our church on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Firestone-Baptist-Church/203757890870

Bible Preaching Church?

holding the bible

I know that this is sad, and really should not need to be said. But do you realize that there are a lot of churches out there that do not use the Bible.  What is sad, is that they call themselves a church.  The pastor no longer preaches, but rather gives a talk.  The congregation is no longer a congregation, but rather an audience.  The people are no longer expected to bring a Bible let alone actually open when.  The pastor no longer even opens the Bible, but rather just talks about life events that may have biblical principles.  The pastor is no longer looked as a pastor, nor should he be in these type of churches, but is looked at as a just another person.

We live in a Christian society that is doing everything possible to make church everything but a church.  The sad part is they are still calling it a church.  This is not a church at all and should not be called one.  This is not a place that is for the fellowship of Believers, but rather a hang out for like minded people.  This is no longer a call to holiness and repentance, but rather a social gathering to help others feel good.  This is no longer a place to understand right Theology, but now a place to hear about life stories and how to better live your life morally.

2 Timothy 4:1-5

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

This passage is pretty clear, that we should be expecting these types of churches to come into existence more and more.  God however, expects us to preach the Word. Where?  The church, inside of it, outside of it, everywhere, but specifically inside of it!  This passage is about the church.  A church should be a place that the Bible is not just talked about, but expounded on!  Not just highlighted, but expressed with detail.  Why?  Because it is for the betterment of the Believers.  This is for the shepherding of the Flock.  This is for showing those who follow Christ to look to be like Him.  This is also to protect the sheep from falling under false teaching.

False teaching is something that will penetrate our churches more and more as time moves on.  These people are there to follow after their own passions, and not to worship the True Christ.  If they were there to worship the True Christ, the Bible would be the center of that worship.  The Bible would be the focus of the church on Sunday as they learn to know Him better.

A church if it really is a church, is one that is focused on knowing God more and genuinely wanting to worship Him.  The Bible teaches us that Faith only can increase by the hearing of the Word of God. This is why it is crucial for this to be the center of our corporate worship.

I suppose the challenge would be to look at the church you go to.  Do they open the Word of God?  Do they reference the Word of God, or do they expound on the Word of God.  Do they preach from it, or do they just talk about life’s principles you may see in the Word of God?

For more information on Carbon Valley Bible Church please go to cvbiblechurch.com or call 303-736-9959

I Got Stuck in an Elevator Yesterday!

elevator-pitch

So there I was arriving at church yesterday getting ready to set up everything like every church planting pastor does.  I arrived about 45 minutes before anyone else arrived.  Just as usual I would load up my dolly and do some preparation downstairs, before taking the dolly in the elevator to finish all the preparations that we have upstairs.  Nothing out of the ordinary seemed strange or different.  I had done this hundreds of times before!  I was expecting anything to happen.  I would get in, push the button and about 10 seconds later arrive at the next floor and push the dolly out.

At the top of my now 8 second ascent, the elevator started vigorously jolting.  At this point in my life, I did no feel my life was in danger.  I did not feel that I had said my last goodbyes, or that I had seen my life flash before my eyes.  It was almost as though I was expecting at some point in my life to be trapped in an elevator.  After the jolting stopped, so did the elevator, however something different happened that had never happened before.  The door did not open.  So like anyone in this situation, I decided to try to open the door with my brute strength.  On my first attempt I realized that I was only about 2 feet away from the very top.  I supposed that was better than being stuck right in the middle of both levels.

On my second attempt I tried with all my might to open the door, but to no avail.  The apparently had some safety feature that only allowed it to open about 6 inches, either that or I was significantly weaker than I thought.  At this point I was unsure what to do.  Do I call 911?  It isn’t exactly an emergency!  Do I call the owner of the building we are renting?  I am not sure what he could really do anyway!  Do I call my wife?  Should I Let her have undo stress and let her worry about her beloved husband?

So I decided to pray and not freak out.  The funny thing is I was not scared even remotely. It was kind of one of those things, that I kind of just expected to happen at some time in my life. So I remained calm.  I then asked the Lord for wisdom as far as which direction to go.  I suppose it was a little uncomfortable in there as elevators are not meant to be long term stays.  The elevator was getting a little warm now as it was around 7 minutes into my thought process of what I was going to do.

Finally it hit me what I should do. I had already hit all the buttons on the panel.  Floor 1, floor 2, open door, close door, and cancel.  At last, I said I might as well push this button.  “In Emergency Push.”  So I did.  Immediately, I was drawn into a musical surround sound in the elevator of hold music!  I thought this was rather odd, but chose to wait.  Of course I had no choice.  As I was listening to the music just standing there, finally a voice!  “We thank you for your patience all of your service representatives are currently busy….”  I really did not feel like I had a choice but to be patient.

At this point I was thinking, I cannot wait for the congregation to come in the building.  This will be one for the memory books!  I will preach from the elevator.  Maybe the whole congregation can huddle around the hallway and I can preach through the door!  This was not ideal, but I figured, they came to hear preaching, they will get preaching.  Now it may be through the confusion of firefighters and EMT trying to rescue the poor trapped pastor, but I though well it could be worse.

At this point I started to think about a spiritual lesson, that kind of hit me square in the face.  The spiritual lesson was this…  How often we turn to God only when we have no where else to turn.  It is like there is a built in “spiritual button” that says, “In case of a life emergency push to access God.”  I often see myself doing just this.

Why do I need God to have an effect in my life, when I can do so many things myself.  I will call on God when I am at a last ditch effort.  “In Case of Emergency Push.”  How often have I seen this happen in my life!  I rely on my own strengths, and do not rely on God.  While I had time to think in the elevator, my mind was drawn to a passage of Scripture that we had been recently talking about in our Mid-Week Bible Study.  2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

God is not looking for strong people!  We already know who we are!  God is looking for weak people.  This is a little bit harder to find.  Why because weak people are not willing to admit their weaknesses!  This verse teaches us that God’s grace is sufficient, but only when we recognize that we need His strength.  This is what True grace is, God’s strength covering our weakness!

God does not want us to rely on Him just when we absolutely have no other option.  God did not give us a button only in case of emergencies.  Scripture teaches us to cast ALL of our cares on Him!  Everyone, even the ones we fill like we can handle ourselves.  He wants us to have absolute and complete dependency on Him.  God does not just want to be a part of our life when we want Him to be a part.  This is a common misconception of Christians and I believe as time moves on more and more Christians tend to have less of dependency on God.

As you probably have figured out by now, I am obviously no longer in the elevator.  After waiting and waiting through this endless music and voice prompts that said, “thank you for your patience” the elevator emergency call button service finally sent me to some type of voice mail.  I am certainly at this point, absolutely glad that this situation of me being stuck in a elevator was not a super emergency.  I was not exactly sure what to say on the voice mail.  “Hi, my name is Jason and I am stuck in an elevator.  Can you please get me out of here, I have to preach here in about 30 minutes!”

For some unknown reason, the elevator started sinking down to the first floor.  When the elevator stopped, nothing happened.  At this point I was somewhat relieved again to think, that was a whole lot better than the elevator just dropping to the first floor.  The door still closed, I was hoping well maybe something will just happen.  I hit the Emergency Call Button one more time, just to be reunited with the wonderful music.  This certainly put a whole new twist on elevator music! No matter who I looked at elevator music, I still do not like it!

Finally, after about 4 more minutes of me being now stuck on the first floor, the door magically opened.  I was not greeted by anyone, there was not great reuniting, just a story that I thought was rather funny as after I got out of being stuck in an elevator.  I suppose this situation taught me a few things, but the most important it taught me, was to always rely on God.  Don’t wait for the absolute emergency in your life, cast all of your care on Him…today.  No matter how much you think you can handle it, that is not the point.  The point is God is genuinely concerned for you, and all your weaknesses, needs, and even wants.

For more information on Carbon Valley Bible Church please go to cvbiblechurch.com or call 303-736-9959

Recycling the Church

recycling_logo1

Does the local church ever grow? Or does it just recycle its members?  Does one church have significant growth, while another has a significant exiting of the members? In other words do we really see a church leading new people to Christ outside of the church?  Do these people then come into the church and we see true genuine church growth?

Unfortunately, what we see a lot, is that one church is having issues, so the people jump from one church and jump to another church.  These people are then unhappy about that church in a few years  or months and then jump to another church.  Eventually they cycle all of the way around and head back to the church that they originally started at.

I suppose another word that we use for this, is church hopping!  So why do people church hop, and is there legitimate reasons to do so?  Here are a few reasons as to why people church hop.

  1. They do not feel welcome at the church they are at
  2. They are upset with someone at the church
  3. They do not feel that they can serve at their church
  4. They do not like the way the pastor preaches
  5. They do not like what the pastor preaches
  6. They do not like staying in one church too long
  7. They do not like building close relationships with other people
  8. The church is teaching and preaching erroneous doctrine
  9. They believe the grass is greener on the other side
  10. They do not like the __________ that the church does

These are some of the reasons that people make when church hopping.  Are some of them good reasons? Are most of them bad reasons?  Well undoubtedly there are some good and some bad.  But the biggest problem, is that people leave the church?  There are only a few of these reasons that people should leave that church and stay away from that church.  But I believe an even more disgusting aspect about all of this. It is that churches now advertise no longer in a sense for “new converts”, but they advertise to lure members away from another church.  It is almost as though other churches are waiting for something to blow up across town so that they have a mass influx of “new” church members.

There lies  the problem. Christians are no longer interested in reconciliation, they are more interested in running away from the problem.  It is much easier to just run away then face the issues face to face.  Christians make the excuse that they are a nobody in the church, so no one will listen to them.  They do not believe that they will have an impact to help that church get back on track.  So they leave.  This is erroneous thinking!  It is unbiblical thinking!  These people instead of trying to fix the problem, ONLY add to the problem.  They will make it worse, they will magnify it!

Unfortunately people think that these types of problems are solved at a business meeting, deacon meeting, or a board meeting.  Those are all superficial means.  True reconciliation means getting dirty.  See GOD loves to forgive!  And we are no more like Christ than when we forgive.  But forgiveness and reconciliation is hard.  And it means that we have to get passed our own pride and face the problem head on!

Now before we stop jumping all over these church hoppers, the rest of us must ask ourselves, WHY do they constantly feel the need to church hop?  I think this is also an important part of the church to understand how to genuinely minister to these people to help disciple and shepherd them.  Remember that a true church is a church that feeds the flock of GOD which is among them.  In other words, it is a church who genuinely wants to shepherd and disciple the people in the church.  They want to know them on an intimate level.  To stretch them and push them to Christ!  This true shepherding, will discourage people from running away from issues, but facing them head on.  This occurs because the genuine relationship has been established through discipleship, so that when problems come up, there is a more open spirit in the church about fixing the issues rather than walking past them.

The church is important. We must treat it with importance.  We must treat the people with importance.  God divinely ordained the church.  It is His church.  Therefore it is important for us to take care of the church and the people in it, even if they are more likely to church hop.  True growth does not happen because we constantly recycle members from one church to another, but take the people from within and stretch them towards Christ.  It happens because we reach out to the unconverted and lead them to Christ, then we bring them to the church.

For more information on Carbon Valley Bible Church please go to cvbiblechurch.com or call 303-736-9959