Some dear friends of our family are missionaries in Asia. Primarily through the husband/father’s work of teaching English in a local university, they are able to share the gospel in creative and profound ways. Several other people from the U.S. and other countries also are teachers in the same geographic region. These other people might be Baptist or Lutheran, Pentecostal or some other Christian group. Our friends gather together with these folks because having “church” with the locals would be seen as an illegal act. So the foreigners gather for worship, the Word and fellowship each Sunday.
One statement from my friend about these gatherings struck me. He said, “We don’t really have a choice about who we worship with.” In other words, the people who God happens to bring to minister the gospel in that region are the ones with whom they gather.
What a strange idea that is to us in our country. For Americans, options are the ultimate good. We want choices about everything – food, entertainment, education, government, where to live, and even what church to attend. And the more options there are, the better we like it.
Yet, if we really believe that God is in control, then perhaps picking our place of worship based on our own likes and dislikes – our own comfort – might not be best. Think about it. God uses situation and circumstances – oftentimes uncomfortable situations and circumstances – to cause us to mature in Him. So running away from such things is likely not a good idea.
I’ll let you draw your own conclusions for your life. I just wanted to make you think.