Now that my family and I have made visits to 4 churches it’s time for us to narrow our search. What are we looking for in a church? To what leadership will we entrust our spiritual care?
First, let me say that each of the four churches we’ve looked at are great churches. Each is unique, with it’s own strengths and weaknesses. Each has it’s own style and personality. We could become part of any of them and do just fine. But, in the end, we want to be more than “just fine.” A church needs to fit our personalities and needs if we are to excel in our spiritual growth. More than just a place to attend, we need a place where we can serve.
Honestly, though, it’s tempting to find a place to hide. My spirit is dinged up a bit right now so staking out the corner of some pew sounds pretty good to me. Sit’n and soak’n might be just what The Doctor ordered. Yet, I know that will never work in the long run. We NEED to be involved. We NEED to contribute.
With that in mind, two churches have risen to the surface: Yorktown Baptist and Oso Creek Fellowship. The other churches are great churches, but we fear that it will be too easy for us to slip into the crowd and disappear. . . permanently.
Yorktown is filled with the most unknowns for us. Based on one visit, we like their music (which is INCREDIBLY important to us). But we need more information. It appears they participate in several mission trips each year (which is great) and I like that they have a full-time youth minister (this is becoming more important to us since our oldest daughter will be more and more involved with a youth group). At this point, my wife probably puts Yorktown in first place for our future church home.
For me, however, Oso Creek, is in first place. I absolutely love the ministry philosophy John has developed within the congregation. As I wrote in an earlier post, the Sunday morning service does not focus on attracting non-Christians. Instead, the church literally goes to where non-Christians are. Members regularly serve the community. At times, they “cancel” Sunday morning services so the whole church can serve others. I’m sure some other churches would not approve of such a thing, but I can easily imagine Jesus skipping synagogue to help the needy.
While no church would say this about themselves, many behave as if the heart of being a Christian is attending Sunday worship, joining a small group, and giving money to maintain the building and programs of the institution. I’ve been dangerously close to thinking and teaching this. But I’m learning that church is so much more. I think John Bradshaw and Oso Creek Fellowship already know this.
Where will we end up? I’m not sure. We’re praying and looking deeper for now.