How far is too far to travel to a church?

Discussion in 'Ecclesiology' started by Philip A, Nov 7, 2006.

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  1. Philip A

    Philip A Puritan Board Sophomore

    When a brother is in a situation where there isn't a Reformed church nearby, how far is too far for him to travel to go to one? Can he legitimately go to a distant church when he lives so far away that he can't be very involved in the life of the church, show hospitality to the brethren, etc.?

    How far do you all travel to go to your church?
  2. jaybird0827

    jaybird0827 PuritanBoard Honor Roll

    For 4 years we drove 125 miles one way from Pennsylvania, across Maryland, and into northern Virginia. We did that twice, sometimes three times a month. On the in-between Sundays we attended a local "reformed" (the quote unquote is mine). Trust me, the greater hardship for us was the local scenario, despite the weariness we felt from 5+ hours of driving.

    We have relocated where we are now in order to be local to our current congregation, meeting 9 miles from our home. Much better.
  3. BJClark

    BJClark Puritan Board Doctor


    I travel about 5 minutes....I could walk to church if I wanted too...

    However, in the past I have driven 20 miles, and other times I have driven 50, not that far really, but it was certainly worth the drive.

    I have some friends who drive 2 hours to get to church, they come up from a little town down state, not that their aren't any churches in their area, they moved down there from here, but they were involved in various ministries and weren't willing to just leave it behind, so they make the drive. They drive up the night before visit with friends and go to church the next morning.

    Personally, I think I would look for something closer if at all possible, so that I can fellowship with folks locally.
  4. Blue Tick

    Blue Tick Puritan Board Graduate

    My wife and I currently drive 50 minutes to church. I enjoy the drive it helps prepare me for worship. Currently we are in Tacoma, we travel to Olympia for worship. The downside is that it is hard to get close to people when you are far away. We are moving back to Salt Lake City in 2 weeks which will be much closer to our church home.
  5. matt01

    matt01 Puritan Board Senior

    I was driving close to 3 hours each way for a time. It certainly hampers the worship of God, as well as fellowship. I would probably attend a closer church, as long as I could do so in good conscience. This is what we do in our current situation. There is a Reformed church in Minneapolis, but we can not handle driving 2.5 hours each way, so we attend a local Reformed congregation.
  6. SRoper

    SRoper Puritan Board Senior

    I drive about ten minutes.
  7. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    I drive less than 10 minutes now but in the past have drive 20-25 minutes to attend other churches before I began regularly attending the OPC I am a member of now.

    There are many areas with no Reformed or even Reformed leaning church nearby. I think this is particularly true in many rural areas. Another possibility for someone in that situation is to try to find out if there are perhaps any other like-minded believers in the area that they could have a Bible study with that could possibly evolve into a church plant. For instance, I believe that every OPC Presbytery has a Regional Home Missionary that may be aware of possible interest in certain areas and I'm guessing that other Reformed denominations may function similarly.
  8. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    I drive 4 min.

    A better question is how many churches do you drive past?
  9. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    Plenty of bad ones to get to one I can worship in with a clear conscience. About 17 minutes.
  10. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    I guess I should have qualified that a bit. What I was refering to was the practice of some (not just reformed folks) who seem to never find a pure enough church.
  11. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    Well, yes, there are those types to be sure.
  12. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

    My family consistently seems to average 20 minutes (NJ and NC).

    The Church is called to go out, so ideally there should be a church within reasonable distance, preferable one in every town (Titus 1:5).

    I think 20-30 minutes time is about as far as one should be expected to travel. Being that many of the churches are still being put into order, and elders have yet to be appointed in every town as directed, we, as sheep looking for food, are forced to go out and find churches that baptize and teach. In these cases, some may have to treat the situation as the Old Testament Jews did for traveling to Jerusalem. Make the long trip and spend the night and Lord’s Day with friends.
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