Question:

I am in search of a church home, and have visited several. The last church I joined was more focused on supporting its Christian school than on evangelism, or even Sunday school and joyful singing, and it really bogged me down. That said, when I sense something out of place about a congregation, it turns me off and makes me not want to go anymore. I'd really like to find a congregation whose members have actually read their Bibles, and are interested in learning, but lately, I've noticed a trend in the churches of Christ, that reminds me of the year I spent in a denomination, and makes me question what other things may leave me unsettled after I've invested a significant amount of time attending services.

Long story short, is it unreasonable for me to become agitated during "Baby Dedication" ceremonies during worship service? Obviously, there is no scriptural justification for it, but I also recognize that there is no scriptural justification for reading the announcements during worship. I love babies and families, and know that it is a very special time for those that have been blessed with a child, but why are so many congregations now taking time out of worship to remind everyone who has had a baby in the past year? Didn't they announce it or print it in the church bulletin when the child was born? And, if I am being unreasonable, and that is acceptable, why aren't the newlyweds and the graduates given a ceremony annually to recognize them?

Really, after several years of feeling like I waste my time by going to church, and attending pointless Bible studies, I really wonder why I bother at all anymore. I've never attended a non-institutional church, but I really feel like if I tried it, I might not leave church so aggravated each week. Are you aware of a listing of such congregations? I wouldn't even know where to look.


Answer:

There are several directories. This pages as a list of links: Congregations of the Churches of Christ The Interactive Bible one is probably the best one.

I don't blame you for getting disgusted with the behavior in some churches. It is one of the things the brethren warned about when the liberal elements broke away from the conservative groups --though they now rewrite history and say it was the other way around. When you found your beliefs upon the concept that silence means approval, you have nothing to stop you from sliding down the slippery slope that leads to denominationalism. A number of congregations have demonstrated this is recent years.

Announcements exist in most congregations for organizational purposes. They remind people who is doing what during the service and gives a list of the things we will be praying for. It is a part of "Let all things be done decently and in order" (I Corinthians 14:40). Thus, the announcements are not additions; they are a way of fulfilling the command to have an orderly service.