Traveling Thru Here

April 30, 2011

Church Hoping: How Do You Weed-Out Churches?

Colleen Fletcher

Today I was checking to see what churches are in the area where I’ve been offered a job. Feeling more Presbyterian than anything else of late, I came across this church: The Presbyterian Church at New Providence (“Christ Centered, People Focused”).

To evaluate a church by its website may betray a certain amount of presumption. Be that as it may, my normal protocol has me checking the “what we believe” portion of their site first, but briefly, to see there doctrine of scripture (if available). Then, immediately I check to see who their pastors and elders are. This is the process I went through as to The Presbyterian Church at New Providence. Here is what I found.

They affirm this about the Bible:

the Bible is the living Word of God. Through the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments God reveals himself to us. The entire Bible is God-breathed and God-inspired. The Scriptures are the norm and basis upon which we build our faith and live our lives.

And one of their pastors is named Colleen Fletcher.

With this juxtaposition — their doctrine of scripture against their practical ecclesiology — the revelation of this verse from 1 Timothy 2 persuades me to seek greener pastures elsewhere.

How do you weed out churches?



  1. Joseph,

    I’m a reader of and was a bit disturbed by some of your experiences in the PCA (not disturbed about you, but about some of the experiences that you have had – I am a PCA minister). Then, I saw this blog post and realized that you could potentially move to my neck of the woods. I am presently ministering ‘out of bounds’ (not as a pastor, but as a chaplain at a Christian retreat center); however, my family holds its membership at, and attends, Covenant Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Short Hills, NJ ( It’s a small ‘ordinary means of grace’ congregation. There are a couple of others around, but they are few and far between.

    Anyway, if you do end up moving to this are, come visit Covenant Presbyterian Church, or contact me and let me know if I can be of any help in finding a church home.

    In Christ,
    – Peter Dietsch (

    Comment by Peter — May 15, 2011 @ 8:15 AM

  2. Peter,

    Thank you for the recommendation. This is interesting because my job offer is actually for position in Short Hills! I don’t know where we’re going to be living yet. There are so many small towns around there. Most likely we won’t actually live in Short Hills as housing prices seem to be very high in that area. I was looking at Summit, Parsippany and all places in between. Do you have any recommendations for good areas with non-outrageous rent? We’re just starting out, so looking to save some money.

    Btw, does your church have Sunday evening worship?

    Comment by j.hansen — May 15, 2011 @ 5:02 PM

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