Looking for OUR church

Something we’re learning in marriage is that we need to make things OURs. It might be his or my way of doing something…but we need to find OUR way of doing it. Even if it most closely resembles his way. The point isn’t that OUR thing needs to be different from anything in the past but rather that OUR thing is decided upon together in mutual agreement.

When we had gotten married and I first moved to Edmonton, we went through this process in finding a church to call home for a while. Skywalker was previously attending a large, multicultural and vibrant church. It was exactly what he needed in terms of community and ministry in that period of life. But with me in the picture, he couldn’t say it’s what WE needed. So we shared what we value in a church community and then we visited a few before settling on one that we BOTH felt drawn to.

When I had first moved to Vancouver I found a fantastic place of worship. It was the perfect setting for where I was in life. I loved the tight community, the simplicity and the sound teaching. But now that we’re here TOGETHER, I cannot assume it’s the place Skywalker feels right at home in. It might be the place but until we decide on it together, it’s not. So we’re searching.

And we’re trying to not be consumeristic about it…”What’s in it for US?” “Does it have the programs WE like?” “Does it meet all OUR needs?” “Does it suit OUR tastes?” Me me me me. That said, it is important to find a place where WE feel comfortable and where WE can see ourselves serving. It takes a fair bit of self checking to make sure we aren’t sliding into a shopping experience but are instead, really letting the Holy Spirit lead. We are searching and we are praying.

4 responses

  1. I can relate to this as HB and I have spent the latter half of this year searching for a new church home. It was challenging as while we valued a lot of the same things in a church, we valued them things to different degrees. I really liked this one church that was very small, simple, and tight knit with a strong emphasis on community outreach. HB found this church a bit too in-your-face and wanted a place where he could sit back and observe/absorb for a bit before jumping in with both feet. He really like this one big church that had a really strong men’s program and lots of fellowship connecting opportunities. We both agreed that we wanted to go some place that was right for BOTH of us and so we kept searching. About 10 churches later, we still hadn’t found THE ONE and we were starting to wonder if maybe we were setting our expectations too high. We went back to our old options and tried to argue the merits of each person’s preferred church saying things like, “Don’t you think community service is important? Don’t you want to push yourself out of your comfort zone and be a church that is truly embraces the great commission?” Or “I don’t believe in serving to the detriment of relationships and we’ve always been so busy at our previous churches. Can’t we go someplace where we can have a bit of anonymity and for now just focus on getting refreshed and reoriented?”

    In the end, we decided to not settle and keep searching and we have recently found “THE ONE”. This church didn’t fit in either of the boxed notions we had for what we were looking for in a church, but we both knew instantly after the first service that this was going to be our new home. We were both blown away by the atmosphere and culture of the church. It’s not the perfect church for everyone, but we knew IN OUR SPIRITS that it was the right one for us. I think it’s kinda like trying to find the right mate. Sometimes you don’t even know what you’re looking for until you find it and when you find it, your heart is leaping with joy and you feel at peace with your decision.

    I think you’re totally right that we can’t be consumeristic about finding a church. It’s not about ticking a bunch of criteria off a list, but following where the Holy Spirit leads. When you find that church that your spirit connects with, that is the one and you know it in your heart.

    Good luck!

    • Thanks for sharing your journey! I TOTALLY agree it’s gotta be Spirit-led at the end. I think that’s what I’m waiting for too….keeping on praying. God bless in your new church home. I know SEFree will miss your leadership and example.

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