Friday, February 6, 2009

On finding a church

Well, we've been here two Sundays (not including our first morning here, which doesn't count) and we've tried two churches.

The first church we tried was a smallish church that most of Brad's friends went to when he lived here before. He tells me that nothing much has changed. The people were friendly, the music was old-school, and the pastor had a very meaty sermon. The things that appeal to me, in no particular order, are: a chance to get involved in a church choir, everyone knows everyone else, a challenging pastor, comfort. I really believe that we could go to this church, but I can't give up the idea of finding a church that has more to offer our kids and small groups for us, particularly a women's Bible study. So, if the comfortableness of a church resonates with me, is that enough to say that that's where God wants us?

So, we kept looking. Last week we went to a church that was a mini Willow Creek or Woodmen Valley Chapel. They had really nice children's programs including nurseries separated by age, something that I really appreciate. The music was contemporary and the pastor's sermon was also meaty, but a little different style than I'm used to. We're not totally crossing this church off our list (in fact, I'm planning to attend a women's Bible study there beginning at the end of this month) but we also didn't feel like the Holy Spirit was telling us that this was where we should be.

So, my question is, not so much what you look for in a church, but when you chose your church, how did you know it was "the one?" This is harder than getting married!

1 comment:

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Well, since you asked ;)

I think the most important thing to me is the preaching. Not is the pastor especially gifted, although that is a bonus. But *what* is he preaching. Is he preaching that Christ lived, was crucified, and was raised from the dead so that all who believe may be saved, and how does that impact my life today? Every single week? Or is he preaching fluff, or sermons that only appeal to a designated segment of the population, eg, 10 steps to a better marriage? And are my children being taught the same message, at a developmentally appropriate level?

I think if the pastor is concerned and passionate about the Word and its power to save sinners, the rest is gravy.

I think we as Americans tend to get very consumerist minded when we are church shopping - we even call it church "shopping". We look all over for the perfect church, when the bible makes it clear that it does not exist and will not till Christ returns. I don't think that is a good thing. I was very convicted of this by a pastor who said, "Ask not what your church can do for you, ask what you can do for your church."

And on that opinionated note, I will sign out :)