There are over thirty churches in my little town of 16,000 people. For those of you who don’t attend Sunday services, that’s a lot of churches. The problem is finding one that fits. Questions I mentally ask
- Are the people friendly?
- How’s the music? Upbeat, somber, old-school (hymnals)
- Is there a mix of young and old people?
- Did the pastor engage me?
- Did I have to stand too long?
- Was I called out as a first-time visitor and forced to stand? (A no-no for this introvert)
Beyond all the above, which sounds shallow, how did the church feel?
What was the vibe?
It’s an effort to find a new church in a new town. Some may ask, “Why bother?” I have several reasons why I like belonging to a group of people who attend the same church:
- It’s a great place to make friends when you’re new in town
- I love sitting in church next to my husband – I feel close to him when we hold hands during prayer
- Singing with other people who believe like I do is good for my soul
- A good sermon challenges me
- It’s Scriptural – Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 11:25
So far, the Great Church Search has yielded the following:
Church #1 – Good music, friendly people, comfy seats. The downside – two hour service.
Church #2 – Good music, comfy seats, reasonable service length. Preaching was okay.
Church #3 – Friendly people. Lengthy message. Slow music.
Church #4 – Upbeat music, friendly people, great sermon. Worth a second trip.
Lest you think I’m shallow, much prayer also goes into each Sunday. Where does God want us to go? Where can we serve? How can we help?
Have you ever found yourself in the same situation – having to hunt for a new church? It’s mentally and spiritually exhausting. We were so plugged in to our Sacramento church that every other place is a distant second. I miss my friends. I miss the banter between people who’ve known each other a long time. I miss the pastor’s sermons and the powerful music. I miss sharing my life with my small group of 12-15 people.
Guess I’ll keep looking. Four down, twenty-six to go.