Sunday, April 17, 2011

church.

Let's talk about church shall we?

This isn't the post where I berate you if you don't go, or judge you for what you do or don't believe. It's the post where I put out there just how much my heart aches for my church. Where I tell you that the search for a new church in SC is beating me down.

And that I am bummed out.

Mr. P and I have been married almost six years. We both come from church families and both are very emphatic about raising our children in a church. However, we both come very different types of churches and both like different things about church. Being as that is the case, in the time we've been married, in the four cities we've lived in, we've found one church we both loved.

One.

In Myrtle Beach we didn't go to church. I honestly cannot even remember visiting a church the entire three months we lived there. Oops. In Missouri we tried lots of churches. Nada. Nothing meshed with both of us. We were close to picking one when we moved to Savannah. We were in Savannah for almost two years before we became members of a church. We were baptized in that church and decided to raise our children there.

It had everything. The preaching was stellar. The people were nice. We trusted who we dropped our child off with each Sunday. We liked our Sunday School class. We liked the music (even if our music minister made me laugh hysterically with his antics). It wasn't too big, wasn't too small. It had a great mix of people. It had people in jeans, but more people in dress clothes. It's sole purpose was to share the love of God and it got that message across.

Man.. I miss that church.

But we're not there anymore. Which is fine because I do believe that we are right where we're supposed to be, but is also frustrating because our home church left a huge whole to fill.

I'm from the mindset that a believer must go to church. Actually, that's not a mindset, that's the way it is. I'm not stating that to cause a ruckus but church is important. In order for one to maintain their personal walk with Christ, they need church. It's true. I feed off of church. It gives me what I need to get through the week. I need church. Of course every person has things about church that are important to them (obviously the most important is bringing people to Christ, I'm just going beyond that). To me, I need a preacher who preaches the Word. I need references to Scripture. I don't want things sugarcoated. I want a sermon that makes people uncomfortable. I want a Heaven/Hell sermon.

I want an invitation time. A time to reflect on what you just heard. A time to pray over the message and the coming week.

I need good music. I'm not a hymnal fan (sorry). While I don't mind singing the old hymn's, I also love a good praise and worship tune. Music gets me ready for worship. Music moves me outside of church, of course it would do the same within. I like tearing up when I feel the Spirit move me during a song.

I believe church is a more formal event. **This could step on toes so tread lightly** I loathe cutoff jeans, short shorts, t-shirts, flip flops, etc. at church. I will NOT be a person you see wearing any of the above to Sunday service (obviously I mean Sunday morning). When I was growing up, you put on your church clothes and got cleaned up for church. You wanted to look your best. It's a respect thing.

Now I realize that I'm of the old way of thinking on that one. That I will most definitely be outnumbered on that thought. I realize there are churches that pride themselves on being the kind of church that you don't have to dress up for. And that I FINE WITH ME. Say it again, it's fine with me, but I will not do it.

All that to say, we're having a hard time finding a church that meshes all of that into one. We've been attending a "mega church" out here and I love the preaching. I look past the fact that the preacher preaches in t-shirts and jeans (my stars!) because he is an amazing speaker. The music is awesome (although sometimes I feel like I'm at a concert with one girl on the mic all the time...), but, it is humongous. I guess I should've stated this with my want list, but I want a church with community. I want people to say "Hi, PI! when I walk by. To remember BG from infancy up and watch her grow. I want to know who I'm leaving her with on Sunday. That's not possible in this church. Seriously, it's humongous.

As I tried to get out of the parking lot this morning, I got cut off by a girl in a black car who then proceeded to flick her cigarette butt back at me as she glared back over her shoulder at me. That did it for me. As I thought about cutting her (on the main street duh, not in the church parking lot), I realized that wasn't home. That's not my church. Sigh...

So back to the grindstone. Back to trying out churches where some are too formal and some too informal. Back to a different church every Sunday morning. Back to finding one that we "mesh" with.

Anyone want to start a Home Church SC version please?!

8 comments:

Katie @ Loves of Life said...

My husband and I went through a really rough Church transition after being married. We just realized we needed to be separate from where my parents were, and we just weren't both passionate about that church we once called home. So, we started attending a home church in our city, with some amazing passion for reconciliation (across racial, cultural, economic lines). We spent a year in a home, outgrowing to capacity--and just last month started in our own building we're renting. I love it in every way. It's a lot of work, as me and my husband are both leaders in some ways and have responsibilities, but we really feel called there, to the vision of the church, and we adore our pastors and church family. I hope you guys come across something soon where you feel that fit. It's hard, I know it. We spent about 2.5 years in 'transition'. Hang in there. xo

Suze said...

I'm from the upstate and know what you are speaking of the wonderful "happy" medium and would love to give you some names if your open to that. If not thats okay! I'm going to guess your southern baptist, or willing to try a different denomination? I dont mean to pry at all , just wouldnt mind giving you some high recommendations for the "happy" medium that is so hard to come by these days with church! Hope hear from you!

Wendy said...

I am so sorry you're having a rough time! I think our church values line up quite well. I think I'm fairly "old school" when it comes to dressing up and placing a lot of value in going every weekend. When my husband and I were looking for a church home, it did take a while. I'll definitely be praying for you!

Kassie said...

I'm right there with you! I've bene here about a year and I feel like I've been to pretty much every church in town. It's pretty discouraging...

I think our values line up quite a bit. I 100% am with you on the "old school" values. I believe in church you are in His house, meeting Him--so why would you wear sweatpants and look like you haven't washed your hair in a week? It's about respect. You wouldn't meet the President looking that way, so why would you meet God like that? But that's me, and I know I'm in the super-minority there, especially here in CA!

I also am not a fan of the mega-churches, where the pastor is like a celebrity and you are one of thousands.

I hope you find yours! Thinking of you...

Jenny @ Practically Perfect... said...

I am so sorry :-( Reading your post about made me cry, because I have been there. I was raised to always dress up for church (no pants for us girls), but now we go to one where most people are very casual. Part of that is the NZ culture - people are just casual here. It can be really depressing when you're trying to find "the one". I gave up looking in Boston, and didn't even try in South Bend (not very good of me!). Are you sticking within 1 particular denomination or are you open for trying others? When we lived in Lafayette, IN, we actually found (after about 1 year of searching) that "our" church was a denomination that neither of us had attended.

I guess the most important thing is that the Bible is preached truthfully and that the Gospel isn't negotiated. But I know what you mean about having a community where you feel welcomed and included! That can be really hard to find, especially in a large church.

I'll be thinking of you guys and praying for you! Sending you some love!

~Ashlea~ said...

I am so happy to read something so honest and true! My family is part of an Independent fundamental Baptist church and I totally agree with most of what you said! It's true God loves you just the way you are and he doesn't care if you are in pants or a dress, but he sacrificed the ultimate thing for us by giving his only Son to die for our sins. The least we can do is actually show up to church first, and be respectful while we are there.
Our preacher stands on the KJV Bible and doesn't back down for anything! I love that! I do kind of like the old Hymnals myself but I agree that music can set the mood, but nothing replaced preaching of the word.

Church is so important to our family and I don't know how I would make it through the week without getting "fed" at each service. I know I would be not so easy to live with because I would be a mess!

Anyway, good luck on your search. I'm sure God will direct you where to go if you just seek him.

Lucy Marie said...

I agree with you - church is important. As believers, we need that fellowship and that connection. We also need to show God that we have TIME for him and that we're not too busy to take a few hours out of our week to attend worship. I'm sorry that you are struggling in this area - I really pray that your family will find a place to call home soon.

Louise said...

Hi there! I found your blog last week, not even sure how I found it ;-) I'm not exactly sure where you are in SC, but it appears you are close to Greenville. I live on the eastside of Greenville and attend a wonderful church that I think you would like, as it does fit most of your description! It is Brushy Creek Baptist, Taylors, SC website ~ http://brushycreek.org It is a large church, but does have a small community feel. My husband and I have raised 3 boys in this church, and we do sometimes still have their former SS teachers stop us in the halls and ask about them. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. You can contact me through my Etsy shop if you like. http://southerncheesestraws.etsy.com

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