Church Hunting

I left my former unhealthy church seven years ago. Since then I’ve been a part of several churches, but in the last four years none ever really felt completely like home. Close, but not quite. Three moves, two more than 100 miles, hasn’t helped.

There is no reason why a person needs to go to church, but for me, it would be good to connect and learn with other believers in a face to face environment, and traditionally that means church. I’ve been to many in my current area, but none was a good fit. On Sunday I hit an all time low–I didn’t go to one I’d planned to because it seemed to be some spin off of shepherding, missed another, went by two others and inquired about classes only to be pushed toward service, questioned about my walk with God, and told it was dangerous to look things up that were being preached about. Hmmm.

I finally went to another, but I’d lost interest. That afternoon someone recommended one that was having a new members’ class that night. I went, just to find out. And loved it. For the first time in years I’ve been listening to sermons… and not getting bored or irritated with the number of stories and urban legends slipped in, not tired of the politics pushed… the sermons are focused on the Bible and seem based on good study. For the first time in a long time, I’m looking forward to the next service.

And I’m scared. I’m scared that I’m too excited, too happy. That something will be wrong, and that by being happy and excited I’ll miss it, because once many years ago I was happy and excited about finding a church, missed something, and ended up in a UPC for 19 years, committed to something but not to the right thing.

It’s a weird place to be, scared and excited and happy and not feeling that any of those is right, knowing that I should be free to feel happy without being scared, angry that it’s because of my past church experiences that I am so hesitant to be happy without being concerned today.

The difference this time is that I’m going into things, even if I’m happy and excited, with both eyes open. I’m checking things out, looking into what they teach, and identifying concerns. I’m not, as in the past, trying to prove to myself that they’re right, or looking for anything that shows what they teach, but am making a strong attempt to see them for what they are and understand their beliefs and perspectives while maintaining my own.

Whether I will join or not, I don’t know. I doubt it. I’m not looking for something to join at this point. Instead I’m looking for people to connect with, and that’s a very different thing. And it’s possible, just possible, that I’ve found that much.

I can be happy about that.


About thrugracealone

I'm a country girl raised city. I prefer open windows to AC, love a good thunderstorm, and enjoy hearing the owls and seeing lightning bugs. A bit old-fashioned, maybe, I can recognize many trees by name, resent elms and weeds, wish for a large garden and canning skills, and hope someday to downsize and get a few acres in the country. I am blessed with a terrific church, a good job, a sturdy house, two cats and a yard full of strawberries and mulberries in the right season. Some of my other favorite things to do are spoiling nieces and nephews, reading, swimming, biking, long walks, and blogging, of course. One of my favorite stories is creation. My abbreviated version goes like this: 1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2Now the earth wasa formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters... And God moved... And God said... And it was very good. If God can speak to darkness, to an earth without form and void, and make something like this that we see everyday, and make it very good (and it was even better before the Fall!), He will surely make something wonderful out of the dark, void situations I sometimes find myself in. He has, and it's been very good. Two top posts: Can a Person Lose their Salvation? Baptism!

Posted on February 14, 2017, in Christianity. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I’m stuck in a place where all the churches are just the wrong kind for me and there’s not a lot of selection. I keep on thinking I need to go back, but after the trouble we’ve had, it just seems like you can’t trust any of them to be a place you can belong to. Just when you think you’re fitting in, they move the goalposts on you.

    • Yeah that’s kind of how I’ve felt too. Or they are more of a social club…and not about things that I’m socially interested in. I’ve tried to find a small group instead, but it’s hard to break into one since they’re directly attached to churches.

      • Getting into a small group was notoriously difficult for me as well. It was like there they were, this group of people who had met together for years and they view their circle as complete, nothing missing. So when I show up and have no clue how to fit in, I found myself just sitting there silently trying to pretend I was invisible because clearly they didn’t want me there anyway.

      • That makes sense. Maybe that was why I couldn’t find a group like that. I went to one in Kansas for awhile, but I was one of the first to go, so I was already in that circle there. But then the circle broke up–two of us moved away, someone else felt led to another ministry… I haven’t found a group like that since, but I haven’t been one of the first again, either. That does make it very hard, sitting on the outside.

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