Spend any amount of time hanging out with Christians online, and the subject of church is bound to arise. And when it does, the majority opinion is always the same: there are no good churches left in the world. None. There is altogether too much ear tickling, flashing lights, and pounding music and not nearly enough preaching about the spreading of the gospel or repentance from sin. Up until about two years ago, I would have completely agreed. I had been to a few different churches over the years, but none of them was right for me. None of them made me feel like I was at home in a church. That is until I let God choose a church for me.
God Came For Me
When God came for me in my lukewarm state about eight years ago, I was going to a Greek Orthodox church. I had been baptized Greek Orthodox as a baby and attended from the time I was twelve to eighteen (when I moved in with my dad). As an adult, I bounced around to a Methodist church and a Nondenominational church. Finally, I came back to my Orthodox roots after my divorce. None of those churches ever made me feel like I was in the right place. None of them introduced me personally to God.
But one day God came for me. He let me know that I was not living for Him. I needed to get hot or He would spit me out. (See my testimony here.) So, I started reading the Bible every day. I searched the internet for messages on everything from getting closer to God to being delivered from curses (the generational kind and the kind caused by sin). After a while, I stopped going to the Orthodox church altogether.
Instead, for about five years, I was “unchurched.” I would just wake up on Sunday mornings and pray. I asked God what He wanted me to learn about and who He wanted me to hear from. I would get a sense about the topic and the person, and more often than not, the sermon would zero in on exactly what God seemed to have been trying to teach me all week. The pastors I chose from were usually David Wilkerson, Derek Prince, Paul Washer, Carter Conlon, Alistair Beg, and Leonard Ravenhill.
Then He Sent Me
Then one day, I was worshiping by myself to a song on YouTube with my hand raised. All of a sudden, I had a strong feeling that I wanted to worship with other people. “Pentecostal” popped into my mind, so I started looking for a church nearby. I had never even been to a Pentecostal church before and had no idea what to expect. Anyway, the closest one to my house was about eight minutes away. I made a plan to go that next weekend which was Resurrection Sunday.
When the day arrived, I got dressed and ready a little before 10 A.M. When I got to the church parking lot, I was amazed to see how full it was. I drove way out to the edge of the huge lot, and there “just happened” to be a man there who was getting something out of his truck. I asked him about services, and he said that the start time was different that Sunday because of the holiday.
Undaunted, I got my phone out again and did another search for Pentecostal churches in the area. There was another one about seven minutes away from there. I hoped I wasn’t going to be too late for the service, but I decided to go ahead and try it. Pulling up, I saw the sign that said services actually started at 10:30 A.M., so I was right on time. When I got inside, I was floored at the amount of love that met me. Women didn’t just shake hands, they hugged. There wasn’t a single person in the tiny congregation of about 30 people who didn’t come to greet me. I felt incredibly welcomed and right at home from the moment I arrived.
A Church Chosen Just For Me
Not only was the church filled with God’s love, it was filled with His Spirit as well. The pastor preached a message that was exactly like I had been used to hearing. It was one that spoke into my life in a personal way. The pastor let us know that he works hard to study and hear exactly what God wants him to preach for every service. He tailors each message for those who sit under his shepherding. He preaches the whole Bible, exhorts us to evangelize to reach the lost with the gospel, and admonishes us to be in repentance for sin. Even more, he loves us and prays for us daily, and we love him and his family and pray for them as well.
I have been at my church for over two years now. We sing hymns, pray at the altars, anoint the sick with oil, and worship God out loud with our hands raised. Now, not everyone has to have services exactly like this to have a true experience with God. I absolutely believe that God is no respecter of denominations, and His Spirit can be found in groups of believers with many different labels. But for me, and for the first time in my life, I feel like I am worshiping the way He built me to do. I feel at home in a church.
He Can Do the Same For You
My city has hundreds of churches in several Christian denominations. I probably never would have found the tiny little Pentecostal church on my own even if I had tried. Instead, I let God choose a church for me, and it is as about as close to perfect as I think we can get this side of heaven. If you don’t already have a church, or if your church doesn’t feel like home, ask God to find one that is right for you. Because contrary to popular belief, there ARE good churches out there today. And, God knows exactly where they are.
Interested in other testimonials? Check out A Testimony of Healing After a Prayer in Faith. Or, try The Cure for Depression: Jesus is My Medicine, my testimony about how God healed me of depression and anxiety. Please make sure to subscribe via email in the upper right hand corner. Also, check out my YouTube channel in which I read the blogs out loud. I also have recordings of our church services and a playlist of hymns from my church.