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nazpaz

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Posted: 01/26/14 05:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As a retired pastor I've had a lot of fun visiting various congregations in our travels. I've just done a blog entry of my observations. Even if you haven't been in the habit of attending churches in the past, you may find that attending as a traveling RVer adds an enjoyable and important dimension to your life. You'll find my thoughts here: http://pastorscott.com/travel/church-hopping-observations/


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rv2go

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Posted: 01/26/14 05:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As fulltimers and moving every 2 or 3 weeks, we find it enjoyable and full feeling to visit all the different churches. We make about the same circuit each year and it may be a year between church visits. We find it amazing the Pastors and members that recognize us and welcome us back.


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campigloo

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Posted: 01/26/14 05:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Couldn't agree with you more. When we are on the road, we try to time Sunday am to be near a decent size town to find a church. We have a great time meeting new brothers and getting new styles of preaching. We also have found, the hard way, how helpful fellow Christians are when something goes wrong. When they find out you are Christian,(pretty easy), the assistance comes pouring in. We had a particularly good response in Steamboat Springs a couple of years ago. Truck developed minor problem on Friday, of course, and we were stuck until Monday. The campground had no water, shut off for the winter. We were running out. Asked if we could fill a few jugs from the church spigot. People came with all kinds of containers, even helped us fill them. Asked what else we needed. Also had a dinner on the grounds meal that couldn't be beat. Life is good!!!

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Posted: 01/26/14 06:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Interesting observations from an insider now looking in from the outside. Thanks for sharing. Maybe other pastors should visit churches unannounced and learn how it is to be a visitor in a new to them church. They might go home and change some of the ways they do things.


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fla-gypsy

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Posted: 01/26/14 06:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As a regular worshipper in a local church I found your observations very interesting. Thanks for sharing.


This member is not responsible for opinions that are inaccurate due to faulty information provided by the original poster. Use them at your own discretion.

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dalenoel

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Posted: 01/26/14 07:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As a lay minister I do the visits while on the road and our group, 6 rigs, usually discuss the differences and how we can get it improved at home to not make what we see as lacking in others.

Coming back in a couple of years we can then compare and usually things have changed but the overall impression is usually the same.


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revump

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Posted: 01/26/14 08:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We, too, are retired pastor (SBC) and wife. We try to attend SBC churches in our favorite towns. When on the road, we discover churches that we want to attend. Sometimes, we are disappointed. But, we try to encourage pastors in smaller churches.


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jmtandem

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Posted: 01/26/14 08:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is an excellent thread. There are 1.3 million Americans living in an RV. Most by choice and many in their 20's and 30's working from the RV, following the seasons, and earning money through the internet and other professions and jobs that are easily accomplished by not being in one place, going to one job location, and living in a stick and brick.

Most churches have traditionally catered to permanent full time church members and not transient full time RVers. Visitors were always welcome but they were not the mainstay of the church and everybody knew it. Maybe it is time for churches to re-think some of their basic instituational ways to make it easier for RVers to find the church, advertise that the church welcomes visitors with open arms and the visitor is not a commodity that is here today and gone tomorrow but treated the same as if they would be there forever, and make it easy for RVers to use the church, perhaps even having places to park on Sat night on church property. Many churches allow traveling bicycle riders to camp on the property, so expanding that to an RV that is self contained probably would not be a huge issue as long as local ordinances allow it. Maybe even have sermons that are motivational and inspirational and geared at least in part to visiting folks. It is a new frontier for churches to reach out to; a market that traditionally is not been all that church oriented, perhaps because some of the policies of the church. Of the 1.3 million Americans living in RV's, if only 10 percent went to church on a Sunday would be a huge amount of people. 130,000 people would fill most professional stadiums; some almost twice. This is a market the church should consider.

I am glad you as a pastor are seeing it from the other side and maybe you can be instrumental in beginning to effect change even if only on a small scale in the places you attend.

nazpaz

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Posted: 01/26/14 08:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I a bit overwhelmed by the responses to the blog entry - I posted the link on three forums I enjoy and in a few facebook groups and getting a ton of feedback.

One thing that is surprising to me is how many retired pastors are fulltimers. I wonder what the connection is? Interesting to say the least.

Also, I seem to have lots of church attending company! I knew that in part because of people I've met in campgrounds but the response confirms that.

And, I'm getting a lot of agreement about churches being unready for pure walk-ins. I agree that this is something more churches need to think about.

A couple of things:
1. We attended a terrific campground ministry in Virgina last summer. A minister from an area congregation led the services, but there were several seasonal residents at the park who took the services quite seriously. It felt like, and was, a small church in and of itself.

2. I agree that this is an area of ministry that churches within a reasonable distance of campgrounds needs to cultivate. We saw a lot of church names and addresses on campground bulletin boards but I really think more can be done to make RVers welcome (including the offer of overnight dry camping on the property).

Thanks everyone for the great replies.

jmtandem

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Posted: 01/26/14 09:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

I a bit overwhelmed by the responses to the blog entry - I posted the link on three forums I enjoy and in a few facebook groups and getting a ton of feedback.


I have been on RV.net for long enough to be a senior member and my sense is that many regular members are part of God's family. And many perhaps don't attend a church while on the road for some of the first time uncomfortableness reasons you cited.

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