Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Church Shopping Saga *Concludes*

This post is one in a series about the adventure of finding a new church to attend after moving to a new town.  You can find the others with the label "Church Shopping".  

I haven't written about our "church shopping" experience since the end of July.  Around that time, we had narrowed down our choices from six to two, and attended those particular two a couple of times each.

And then one Sunday, at one of them, the topic was men and women, and the teaching pastor gave a fantastic sermon on the equality of men and women.  I think I had a big grin on my face through most of it, and I'm surprised my head didn't fall off from all the nodding in agreement I was doing, and I know he saw me because my kids like to sit as close to the front as possible.  While I have attended churches before that do not affirm women in leadership and I have still grown there, it was refreshing to hear this and realize that I am on equal footing here.  

While I still somewhat bristle at traditional church (I really do feel drawn to examples of "organic" church), I also see the benefits that come along with attending.  

To recap from the first post, the "qualifications" that we came up with were these:
  • Is the church led by Jesus?
  • Is it a place in which we can be fed?
  • Was there a good sermon?
  • Does it have good children's programs? 
  • Did we like the music?
  • Are there mission/service opportunities in which to participate?
  • Do they affirm women in leadership?
I really didn't anticipate finding one that I could say yes each and every one of these, but it seems that we have.  Now, no church is perfect, and I know that, and I will probably find things here too that annoy me, but in the couple of months that we have attended this church on a regular basis, I have felt so welcomed and affirmed by a variety of different people.  I sense a great desire from people to grow in faith and to love God and to love others.  

I haven't really felt excited about going to church in a long time; I've felt more like it's just a duty or an obligation--not something I actually have wanted to do.  And so this glimmer of excitement that I have feels new to me,   I don't know what it will bring, but I do know that God has led me here, I am at peace, and I am excited to see what is in store.

For what reasons have you chosen to attend the church you attend?  Do you tend to feel that going to church is more of an obligation or something you truly enjoy?  

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