{The Father of mercies and God of all comfort}

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Church Search

     When Ryan and I moved we discussed our church situation. Our home church, and an incredibly wonderful one at that, is about 40-45 minutes away. Which means we have to get up just as early to make it to church on time as we do on any given work day, not fun. We also have to bring the dog, because we're usually in Crosby much longer than a church service and Sunday school class and we can't leave him locked up in the apartment all alone for an entire 8 hours. So, our decision was to continue to go to our home church for one month and find a new church over here. Booo! Well, the first weekend I was sick, so we technically spent five more weeks at our home church. But I was sick again two weeks ago, so it made four weeks. I was teaching pre-k and kindergarten Sunday school during our contemporary service and we would go to our grown up Sunday school class during the traditional service, because Ryan was going to the contemporary service and I didn't want him to have to go to both. Not that a double dose of God's word is bad, we just need to fellowship also.

     Anyway, our last Sunday was last Sunday (?). I taught my Sunday school class and met Ryan in the late service to hear Robin preach one last time. Now granted neither the church or us are dying, but we won't be back to worship with the church probably until Christmas, so I needed to be in the service. Now, we're on the hunt for a new home church and not only does it kinda suck, it's scary. I am reluctant, but I am aware that this is what God wants. I'm excited about that, and a little nervous.

     We informally established guidelines for our church hunt and since I'm spending the day at home quite ill with a doctor's appointment coming up, I decided to search via Googlemaps for churches over here. I googled baptist churches within ten miles, but knew I wouldn't want to go that far. Well I got six pages, so that was promising. We already knew about a few churches from friends and family, so we added those to the list.

Criteria:
  1. The church has to have a website.
    • this may sound shallow, but hear me out. If the church has a website that means they are interested in reaching our generation somehow, they are progressive and this could imply they are interested in community as we are.
  2. The church has to have a contemporary worship service.
    • Hymns are great, but I find hymns are just not my worship style. They can be beautiful and full of truth, but I struggle to find depth and meaning in my worship with hymns. Contemporary worship fits me and Ryan better.
  3. The church's beliefs have to mirror ours and vice versa.
    • The church doesn't necessarily have to be a baptist church, but the mission statement of the church needs to declare Jesus and the gospel. We want the Bible and not a prosperity or "happy people" message. We will start with Baptist churches though.
  4. The church has to have Sunday school and Bible study groups that meet our lifestyle.
    • We want a Sunday school class full of young married people who can relate to where we are in our life and marriage. We would like to get involved in a Bible study group during the weeknights to build friendships and serve the church.
     These criteria are not in any particular order. If one church I googled didn't have one of these then they were axed from the list. This is our starting point and I'm confident that one of the churces on this list has to work. Some of them are large, medium, and even smaller. We'll pray about it and see where God wants us.

     As for the visitation process; we will choose one church, not sure how yet, go to their contemporary worship service, and possibly a Sunday school class and have a debriefing, then we'll hit up another church the next Sunday. I realize this will be a lengthy process, so we need to be patient and not become discouraged. There are so many options.

The compiled list:
  • West University Baptist Church
  • Houston's First Baptist Church
  • Tallowood Baptist Church
  • Crosspoint Church
  • Memorial Drive Baptist Church
  • Berachah Church
  • Ecclesia

1 comment:

Kelli said...

I've never looked for a church before, so I can't give any helpful advice. I will say, however, that I'm pretty impressed with the careful way you're approaching this big decision! I know we'll miss you guys, but I also know you'll find a GREAT new place to learn about and worship God. Keep us posted-we'll be praying for you!