Changing Churches: A View from the Pew

Changing Churches describes, through the eyes of one couple the difficult
journey that “church switchers” travel—a journey often precipitated by
disruptive church changes. The book encourages Christ-like transformative
change in churches rather than man-devised makeovers.

76 % of “church switchers are mature Christians according to a Lifeway study.
I looked down on “switchers” until I became one. Then I learned how painful this
journey is. My book, Changing Churches will:

• Give pastors and leaders an empathic understanding of church switchers,
facilitating assimilation.
• Help church switchers grieve their painful journey and resolve historic baggage,
enabling them to fully engage in their new church.

• Broaden members understanding of church changes and the need for
prayerful change.

• Teach members how to winsomely witness, bringing friends into the church.

• Inspire members to serve in ministry and missions, building up the church.

Dottie Parish brings a seasoned counselor’s wise viewpoint and the soft heart of a child of God to her first book called Changing Churches: A View from the Pew.
A longtime resident of the greater Cincinnati area, Parish holds a Master of Social Work degree from Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University.

She has more than 30 years of professional experience as a counselor at two family service agencies as well as in private practice. Her experience included diagnosing and treating individuals representing a wide variety of problems, socioeconomic backgrounds, and ages as well as short and long term therapy. Her private practice included individual, marital and family therapy with special interest in helping couples resolve marital differences.

Dottie Parish is a wife, mother and grandmother and she loves Jesus and His Church. Her current devotion to God and His church stems from extreme misgivings about drifting away from God and church after graduate school. She and her husband lived for decades without faith. Their return to faith in 1990 begins the journey described in Changing Churches.
Blog: Dottie blogs on a variety of subjects at http://www.faithnotes-dottie.blogspot.com and on Marriage and Family issues on http://www.taberstruths.com.

Sometimes we need to honestly, and critically consider our church. My husband and I changed churches a little over a year ago. We must remember during this time and trial however to be patient and to wait on the Lord. Dottie says it so well:

“Readers who are struggling about leaving a church or finding another church should seek God’s will. He has a plan for you, too. Listen and follow him. Stay where you are unless he clearly leads you elsewhere.”

It can be a challenge to wait and to trust in Him but He will always answer. And sometimes our reasons for wanting a change are of no consequence really. I mean we have a church not far from our house that has a coffee shop – I mean who would not want to go there – I have a major coffee addiciton. I understand though that my desire for coffee can not override my desire for the Lord 🙂

It can be a tough message that convicts us and makes us want to run, rather than face truth. It can be a watered down message that makes us feel we are stagnant in the faith – we just need more than we can get where we are. It happens.

Ideally, the local church comforts and challenges us, supports and stretches us, touches us tenderly, and teaches us tenaciously. Ideally, the church guides us in gentleness and guards us in greatness, shows us his holiness and humbles us before him. Ideally, the church prepares us in prayer and prevents us from pride. It shows us our Savior and also our sin. The church focuses our eyes upward to Christ and outward to our needy world. (168)

This is a wonderful book of inspiration, guidance and such wisdom. I did enjoy reading it truly and it reminded me of many things I found so appealing in my old church. It confirmed for me what we need from our church (I struggle still with wanting to go back to “my” church, where it all began for me, where I was born again) Still – trusting in Him and His plan.

Let us not forget in all of this though “We are the church … We are the Bride….” We must remember ”where two or three are gathered in My Name.” Whenever we come together to praise God, study and read His word, exhort and pray and comfort, sing and dance, and remember Him and glorify and worship Him; there He is. May we do well also, to never forget that it is Jesus Christ that saves; not any person or building. (John 3:17; 10:9, Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:31, Romans 10:9,13).

We were made to worship Him – we are called to honour Him in ALL things and ALL times.

Blessed are those who feel that their church is just where they belong; blessed are those whose church preaches truth, and is spirit filled. For those lacking a spirit filled truth filled church, or just feeling as though you do not fit in; rest assured there is more for you! Just trust in Him and call on the name…..Jesus….

Acts 17:24, ”God…dwelleth not in temples made with hands;”

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