Monday, August 8, 2011

The perfect church

News flash to all those who have been told that there are no perfect churches. You can now rest assured that what you have been told is not true, and that there is indeedy at least one perfect church after all! I saw it with my own two eyeballs, and it is surely not a hoax, as they also have there own perfect website! Although I admit I am quite tempted, I will not be moving to Atlanta any time soon to join...lest they have to change their name!

Other than the aforementioned place of worship, my family and I have yet to find the perfect church. We have moved to three new cities in the last four years (seriously??? what were we thinking???), and searching for a new church home has been the most difficult part of our relocation every time.That, and a new hairdresser, more on that later!

At one point in our search Michael had become so frustrated by a particularly peculiar church service, that when we all piled into the family van afterward he announced that everyone was to find something positive to say about our experience, or they were to say nothing at all! 5 year old(at the time) ElizaJane piped in from the back seat, as I watched her much animated expression in my visor mirror. "Weeellllllll," she said with her usual perky smile, "It wasn't as long as the last one we tried, and their donuts were good!". Kudos for finding the good Liza, kudos all around!

Shopping for a church can be very complicated, and when you add to that mix several opinionated family members, you have a problem. We all have preconceived ideas in our heads about what church should look like, shaped by our childhoods, as well as our personal preferences. And, even though all those external stimuli should not in-fact really matter, let's be honest, they just do.

I know in my head, that when all is stripped away, and we stop comparing the length of the worship leaders hair, and whether any hymns are included along with modern day worship songs, all that really matters, is, "can I be used of God in this body of believers", and "will my unique gifts, and those of my families, be of benefit to the people who worship here."

Beyond that, which is truly the bottom line for Michael and I, it is hard not to consider all the other stuff that goes along with a new worship environment. We have visited over twenty churches combined in the midst of our three recent moves, and we have had a lot of interesting experiences. Some of those experiences have solidified the importance of some preferences in our minds, like do they stay true to the scriptures, and do they practise missions, both locally and globally. Other encounters have put questions in our minds as to the validity of our desires.

We have been in church services lately that have run the gamut from exciting concert like worship complete with flashing lights and jumping guitar players followed by sermons that have convicted as well as admonished, to sweet elderly blue hairs sweetly singing "I come to the garden alone", accompanying a sermon just as convicting although perhaps relayed in a slightly more sedate manner.

Who's to say if either is wrong, or more preferred by the Lord himself, as long as He is honored, and His name is being proclaimed? If I had my way, these two styles would unite, and somehow we would fall somewhere in the middle. That combo however is few and far between as providence would have it, and we are left with a choice to be made.

It is hard not to compare what we are experiencing with what we had found in our last "home town". Although it was not the perfect church,(as we know, there is only one of those) it was our church, and we had grown to love the people there in the short time we attended.

So, what is it you love about your church??



Sarah Belle said...

Expository teaching, the fellowship meal every sunday, all the children, that men actually talking for long periods of time to each other about what God is doin, the sweet fellowship, and the 2 hr drive is beautiful :-)!
<3 t

Kim said...

Amy, thank you for this blog post. The timing was perfect for me to read. You expressed exactly what John and I are going through now as we search for a new church home. It's encouraging to know that others are searching for that "middle ground" of worship services. Hope you find a church with the "perfect fit" for your family soon. Kim Krieger