Don't Let Negative Impressions Keep You from Church

Q: I quit going to church because all they did was ask for money. I guess churches need money like everyone else, but I don't think they should talk about it so much, do you? -- Mrs. J.H.

A: Yes, churches and other organizations need money to do their work -- but it shouldn't be their focus. The Apostle Paul wrote that one of the characteristics of a faithful pastor or other church leader is that they are "not a lover of money" (1 Timothy 3:3).

I'm sorry you had a negative impression of this church -- but that shouldn't keep you from becoming involved in another church. This church was the exception, not the rule; most churches in my experience simply let people know their needs, and then trust God to bring in the finances they'll require. Perhaps this church (like many today) was hard hit by the recent financial crisis, and its pastor may not have realized he was devoting so much time to the budget.

The deeper question, however, is this: What does God want to do in your life? The answer is that He wants you to grow in your faith and become more like Christ. He wants you to "put off your old self... and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness" (Ephesians 4:22,24). But how will this happen? One way is through your fellowship with other believers. You need the church -- and the church needs you.

Ask God to lead you to the church of His choice for you -- a place where you'll hear God's Word and can join other believers in prayer and worship. Don't be a solitary Christian, but thank God for giving you the opportunity to join with others in growing stronger in your faith.

Affectionately known as the "World's Preacher" for more than 60 years, the Rev. Billy Graham is one of the most influential and respected spiritual leaders of the 20th century. He has been a friend and spiritual advisor to ten American presidents and has preached the Gospel to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history - nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories - through various meetings. Hundreds of millions more have been reached through television, video, film, and webcasts. 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: