Q: Recently we moved into a new neighborhood, and I suppose we ought to get involved in a local church, but I'm not sure it's worth the effort. After all, what difference does it make what church you join -- or if you join one at all? Our previous ones didn't do much for us. -- P.L.
A: I'm sorry you haven't had a positive church experience -- but I hope this won't keep you from seeking one in the future. Churches (like people) differ from each other, and I strongly encourage you to seek out the one that God has for you.
Have you ever asked yourself what your ideal church would be? In other words, what should you be looking for in a church? I don't know how you'd answer this; perhaps you want one that's friendly, or has an enjoyable worship service, or has activities for your children. Or perhaps you'll be looking for a church that's involved in service projects in your community.
These certainly may have their place -- but the most important question you need to ask is this: Will my family and I grow spiritually in this church? Will we learn from the Bible about God and His will for our lives? Will we draw closer to God, and will we discover what it means to be united with other believers? The Bible says, "Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom" (Colossians 3:16).
Perhaps your real problem, however, is that you've been content to leave God on the sidelines of your life. Don't leave Him there any longer, but ask Jesus Christ to come into your life today -- and He will. The Bible says, "Come near to God and he will come near to you" (James 4:8).
(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: www.billygraham.org.)(c)2018 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.