If you are not already well acquainted with the seven churches we will be discussing, please read Revelation Chapter 2 and 3.
SO I CONSIDER MY CHOICES. I would like Ephesus but they have lost their enthusiasm. Pergamos looks pretty good, but no, I guess not; too much sin there. Thyratira accomplishes a lot, but they have a false prophetess who is giving lots of trouble. I wouldn’t want to go to Sardis; they are mostly dead there. Now Philadelphia is an excellent selection, but they don’t have much strength, hardly any political clout; they mostly go on faith. Jesus was impressed with Smyrna; guess Peter would have liked them too (I Peter 4:12-19). Looks like they were warm, loving, and patient but they were so poor and they sure had trouble. Maybe Laoedicea is the place to go; they are pretty powerful, up and coming, rich and exciting. Looks like Laodicea is the place to be!
IN ACTUAL PRACTICE what do we consider? Where family and friends go, what kind of status in the community, how much involvement is expected of them, or how much they can be involved, what the facilities are like, how long is the sermon, is the preacher entertaining, what is the singing like, is it hard to park, how many offerings do they take, will my kids be happy, do I have to dress up, and is it close to home?
WHAT ARE OTHER OPTIONS for making a choice? How about how active is the rotating door, are manifestations of the Spirit in evidence, what follow up is available for people who receive Christ, do people get saved here, does this church pray for healing, in fact, do they pray, do they love the outsider, how much concern for those who drop out, do my kids make commitment as well as have fun, is this a place for me to give as well as receive, how much use is made of all this wood and stone, what effort is made for reaching outside the walls? Oh, yes, and how loud is the music, and are the songs sing-able?
I get to the nitty-gritty tomorrow. It is rather long and involved, but those of you who are serious about what God wants in his churches will find it helpful.