What makes a good church?

How do you decide on a good church? I feel that we have a good Catholic Church, but my wife is an evangelical Christian and needs the community of believers that is difficult to find in the Catholic Church. Also, it is rare that a homily speaks to her as much as a sermon typically does.

We’re thinking of switching our 2nd church home. A place where we can help volunteer and help to disciple other Christian believers, ideally some of them will become Catholics.

She’s attended a church for 10 years for which I’ve attended six and it looks like it may have grown to a size where she’s not receiving the fellowship she really needs. She doesn’t have the joy of service in volunteering because they have increased over time what they expect - we’re both greeters.

I am a Knight and a lector. I’ve been a lector for 8 years. I’ve been a Knight for 7 years and a 4th degree Knight for 5-6 (just before or just after meeting her). Definitely thinking about training to be an EMHC.

How do I be the spiritual leader that she needs and meet her at the level she is? We’re both equally yoked but see things from different perspectives. She has a really healthy view of Catholicism, but cannot make the leap both from a fellowship perspective and from a philosophical perspective.

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if your wife is not Catholic then obviously she is going to have difficulty finding fellowship in the Catholic Church.

Has your Catholic Church no programs? No bible study? No women’s auxiliary for the KofC?

Has she gone through RCIA?

Have you looked at the Cursillo movement?

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Talk with a couple that has a Catholic and an evangelical denomination convert to the Catholic Church and ask them your questions. Get to know them. It is very likely that the convert had similar issues before converting. An evangelical sermon is more likely a 45-60 minute study of Scripture compared to a 10 minute Catholic homily. There are likely words that she is not familiar with that mean something else in the evangelical circles.

There will never ever be a perfect parish but there will be one that suits your family needs better.

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I have lots of Protestants friends. It seems a lot of them switch churches every 3-5 years or so. I have always thought this was rather telling. Always the same couple of issues, looking for better fellowship or looking for a better pastor who “speaks to them”. There are some notable excpetions,: Lutherans, Anglicans, and Assembly of God.
But typical evangelicals are always looking for something else.

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I’ve attended over 2,000 masses. I can count on one hand the number of times that a homily remotely approached even the worst sermon at a non-denominational church. But, that’s a different service (one often geared toward entertainment).

Maybe I misunderstood the question, and I apologize if so. Did not mean to offend anyone.

She likes the pastor. But I agree. Despite the church’s growth, there definitely was a lot of turnover and resentment with the combination of the two smaller campuses into a larger one.

Also having a pastor for 30 years, people were comfortable with that speaking style and even though many come for this new pastor, some of the older members do miss that person.

As a Catholic, it’s hard to see people go to church, including other Catholics, for the homily or Protestants for the sermon or for some other reason that a relationship with Jesus Christ.

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A circle of friends, social clubs and fraternal organizations are for those who desire human contact and shared activities.

A good Church is that which was founded by our Lord Jesus Christ and Who remains with us, in the Holy Eucharist, until the end of the age.

Best to keep it simple. The evil one loves complication.

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And distraction. That’s probably been my greatest sin: being distracted from praying to God every single day. Giving Him my priority since he poured out His life into me. I do love Him, but I struggle to show that I love Him if that makes sense (aka watching too much TV, wasting too much time on blogs/YouTube/game-playing, and not enough time in the word and not enough time silently with Him). And worse of all, committing the same sins over and over again when I’d like to have the purpose of amendment - aka the purpose of having that sin, confessing it, and sinning no more as Jesus taught us.

It feels like I’ve disobeyed my Father and continue to disobey him. I am a persumptious person, afraid of being legalistic, afraid to judge the sinner rather than the sin.

She can go to the church she’s going to - she just doesn’t feel like volunteering, hasn’t sought out fellowship, and really feels like her experience is different from other people’s experiences.

One of the things I love about the Catholic Church is that it’s important to lift up your suffering to Christ as a former of prayer and so that it’s not in vain.

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Seek silence. Find silence. Make silence. The Adoration Chapel comes immediately to mind. Even 15 minutes spent there are the best minutes of the day. As to distraction, consider:

http://blog.adw.org/2013/07/four-common-tactics-of-the-devil/

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Yes. I was going to say, that’s a tough nut to crack, answering “what makes a good church,” when you’ve got the Real Presence of Christ in One, and not in any others. Categorically different things.

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Hugs. I’m definitely going to read this!

If only I could get the Evangelical Church to see that, they’d have no members, lol.

They feel like they have a relationship with God, but their communion is merely a symbol. They’re dependent on a good sermon, good fellowship, and encouraging each other to have a relationship with God as His Real Presence isn’t there.

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You are part of a parish based on your geography.

Are you involved with groups in your parish, I see you are a Knight, do you and your wife attend the socials? Volunteer with your parish.

Work to become more involved with your fellow parishioners.

For Homilies, they are different than a 40 minute sermon at a non-Catholic church. The Catholic Church has fantastic speakers and teachers. Do you have a subscription to Formed.org? It is a place to begin, if your parish has Formed start a small group study in your home with some of the studies that are provided!

This is a good book https://www.amazon.com/Not-Being-Fed-Discovering-Satisfies/dp/1932645330

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I should add that the Real Presence is in the Orthodox Eucharist also, but it doesn’t sound like your Evangelical spouse would be up for Orthodoxy.

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Yes, I am involved in a Saturday morning’s men group and also have access to Formed.

The Catholic Church is about 25 minutes away from one city to another (actually in a different archdiocese). She absolutely loves the Deacon since he was our officiant as was her childhood pastor.

Usually attend a parish in the diocese ( There are two in mine) who offer both the OF and the EF. It’s a half hour ride but it is worth it. My local priest I had a heart to heart and asked him to offer the EF with one of the 6 priests in the diocese who really enjoy it, and he got very angry with me actually. It really turned me off. He seems to be very hostile about the EF which is weird. Interestingly I feel like it is the younger priests(under 60) who appreciate it. Priests in their 60s and 70s it seems like they have this hostileness to it which is strange. It probably isn’t across the board but that is my experience. Three of our seminarians are excited to learn it as well.

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Are you and your wife watching Formed series together?

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At the risk of offense, non-Eucharistic communities are, to a certain way of thinking, social organizations. They have meeting places, group leaders, dues to pay, peer support - everything that secular organizations do. Christian love may be there, but where is Christ?

Watch the TV preachers. Promises of help. Solutions to problems (our cross) instead of strength to bear that cross. Now, I grant that we absolutely need the Lord with us and He is, but He is not primarily marriage or investment counselor.

Primarily: He saves us from our sins.

Secondarily, we trust that we will be cared for in other life matters.

Bracing myself…

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He also puts people in our life that bring us closer to Him.

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