Do you remember that old Sunday School rhyme where you lock your fingers together and make a fist before raising your first fingers together and saying “This is a church and here is the steeple. Open the doors and see all the people. Close the doors and hear them pray. Open the doors and they all walk away.”
I do, Alex does, but that’s because for our whole lives we’ve been involved in some way in the church. Alex’s parents involved him – mine, well Mom is a pastor so you can guess how involved we are even when my brother and I live outside the home. But lately Alex and I have, well we’ve had a problem.
This isn’t a topic I typically I speak about with anyone barring my mother. It has led me to fights with my hubby, frustration and confusion from friends, and flat-out anger with others. So…I just don’t talk about it.
Yet, here we are leading to the holiday season and Alex and I are STILL searching for a church. Our search has had us find pastors that are great, but lacking in additional service areas. Or service areas that are great but a lack-luster message. We’ve found churches that would be PERFECT…If we had kids. Or if we were older. Or we had the strident desire to jump out of airplanes.
Ok so not so much on that last one, but you get the idea.
Our issue seems to be a fairly common one and our biggest frustration has come from a variety of needs. You’ve got Alex who gets off of multiple days with very little sleep due to his work schedule having to wake up early on the first day he gets to sleep in. (Which I totally do not understand since you’d think 5 hours past normal wake up time would not still be considered “early” but I was always an early riser.) Then on top of that you have the holiday season so less attendance than normal some days, higher than normal others, and well…just confusion ‘round these parts to say the least. Last, we aren’t exactly in the screaming majority here. We don’t have children (yet…Ms Baby Fairy wherever you are..HINT HINT), we are in our 20’s, we’re married, and we’d like a church that has programs for us. Oh and we don’t live in a college town. At all. So…low demographic leads to “low” needs and so forth so on.
It’s a challenge.
Now then, having said all that – I am reaching out to you, my interweb friends, for advice. What is it you look for in a church and what is it you find most important? We want to find a church home, before our kids turn 18 preferably, but maybe we are approaching this the wrong way.