... It took several years, but we finally did find a church home. We settled for a time in a church where we heard grace preached. But, we realized that we deeply needed and longed for community. To me, a community of believers is one where people encourage one another, folks support each other with acts of service when needed, check on one another, hold each other accountable, and love the people in the body of Christ. Last year, when we began attending the church we go to, I felt like I'd finally found a church family. I can't think of my church without being thankful for the body of believers there. Honestly, tears often come to my eyes because of how thankful I am. It is not perfect, but I know that I can turn for help there and I know that every family in my church is actively supporting other families in and outside of our church. I have found that it is our suffering and pain that helps us learn to love others best. And that is my heart--that no one would come to our church and not feel welcome. Being an outsider can make one bitter and hard hearted or it can help one trust God as one finds a new place to belong.
There are some pastors that feel they are simply to be preachers. They cannot be expected to be shepherds.I know this because two pastors said this directly to my husband and I. At one church, I asked an elder who I could ask for help while my husband was away for work and he didn't know. He told me he'd have to think about it. I was shocked to hear these things. We only live in a tiny corner of the world and I fear that there are other pastors and elders who feel this way. This belief deeply grieves me. As much as we value independence in our nation, accountability and wise counsel are critical.