One of the hardest things about moving to a smaller country town 12 years ago has been church. It has been my biggest struggle by far to be honest.
Being Pentecostal in my faith, I have found that very hard as we have two very conservative churches and one that is a mixture of very conservative people with some Pentecostal people and it is not often talked about.
It has been really hard for me personally as my wife got saved in a Pentecostal church and when we got married we attended a Pentecostal church for the first half of our marriage.
We got used to powerful prayer meetings, anointed sermons, people using their spiritual gifts in and out of church, prophetic words that spoke direct to your heart and amazing ministry times after the sermon. You constantly felt like God was moving in your midst.
For me, church and ministry work best when the Bible is preached and the Holy Spirit is allowed [and expected] to move. I believe that the Word of God and the Spirit of God make real and lasting change. Ministering and preaching without the Spirit being free to move feels like one arm is tied behind your back.
I can remember times in my Pentecostal church when I heard a sermon, and went forward for prayer afterwards, and God touched me in response to prayer. He was able to do more in 5-10 minutes than listening to 100 sermons!
When I was in this environment it felt like you were alive and God was always moving. Miracles and breakthroughs happened, rather than just watching them on YouTube! We experienced a number of amazing miracles as a family. It felt like you were constantly growing and moving forward in God.
Now don’t get me wrong, the churches are doing the best they can with what they know here in our region, but it could be so so much more if the Holy Spirit was invited in and allowed to move. Real and lasting change could take place in people’s lives.
So many times I have wanted to plant a Pentecostal church in our town. I have spoken to denominations, talked to friends, and prayed and prayed and prayed, but the time has just not felt right in God. I hope and pray that one day it does.
I desperately want to experience a church where God can and does move each week. One where people can move in the gifts of the Spirit and God is active in our midst.
So there you have it, my biggest struggle about moving to the country. By a long long way it has been church. Is has felt like a real dry and vast desert for me. Everything else has been good, but church has been the biggest disappointment by far.