DEAR REV. GRAHAM: We moved to a new city about a year ago, and we've about given up trying to find a church we like. I admit we're trying to find a church like the one we left behind, but we just don't feel comfortable with any we've visited. What would be wrong with just watching services on television? —M.W.
Dear M.W.: Church services on television have their place; at my age, it's often difficult for me to get to church, and whenever I can't attend, I'm grateful for the television ministry of a nearby church. I'm grateful, too, when its pastor visits me, as do others who encourage me by their faith.
But you can get to church — and I strongly urge you to take advantage of the opportunities God will give you there. No, you probably won't find a church exactly like the one you left behind — but that shouldn't keep you away. Ask God to lead you to a church where Christ is preached and the Bible is taught, and where you can have fellowship with other believers. Don't judge a church only by a single visit. In many churches, the weekly worship service is only the tip of the iceberg (so to speak); they have numerous other activities and Bible studies to help you grow in your faith.
The Bible says, "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another" (Hebrews 10:25). We need each other as Christians; God didn't intend for us to be isolated from other believers. Your children especially need the kind of friends they'll meet in a good church.
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Don't give up, and don't pre-judge a church after only one or two visits. Ask God to guide you, for He knows what is best.