So I mentioned something about our new church in my Weekend Trivia post on Sunday. Some of you were curious about that. Let me tell you, it's a good story.
You may not know, but we've been at our church for our whole lives. Yes, there was a 2 year period where we attended somewhere else (which was a very encouraging time in our lives and much needed), but soon came back "home" and that was 7 years ago. It's home. It's family. We love the people there.
However, our church no longer resembles the church we grew up in. So many changes have taken place over the last 15 years that it's hard to even remember how things used to be. If you were to compare the worship services of my childhood with the worship services of today, you would not see one single similarity. And it's been grating on us.
I'm not saying change is bad. I'm not upset because I prefer things to stay the same. It isn't that. But the changes have been coming rapid fire specifically in the last 5 years or so and some of them really caused us to stop. And study. And we realized at some point that we truly, biblically, did NOT agree with many of the changes.
That's a game changer folks. You want to put the song lyrics on a slide instead of using the hymnals (early 90s)? OK. I can hang with that. Small change.
You want to do things that God's Word says not to do (although I believe they do not think they are doing wrong)? No. Can't do that.
So that left us in a bad place. Loving the people there and still earnestly desiring to minister in that church....but having a horrible feeling in the pit of our stomach every Sunday morning. At first, in the name of unity, we hung on. Yes, we disagree but we can handle it in order to stay and minister and do good in that place. After all, WE aren't specifically doing the things we disagree with. But we are sitting there while they are done.
Sorry I'm not being more specific, but I'm really NOT about bashing our church. We love that church. I'm just trying to tell you our struggle we've been going through.
Here's what really got to us. We can handle it. S and I. We can sort out what's right and what's wrong and take the good and leave the bad. But we have 2 little girls sitting next to us who cannot. We realized that they are growing up seeing the very things we disagree with. And it is their normal. And we don't want that to be their normal.
Also, we are facing down Sweetheart entering 6th grade in August. Which, at our church, means you go to the youth group. Only we don't want our children in a youth group. We have many concerns about that. "Just keep her with you" wouldn't work either because our adult classes are not Bible classes but rather discussion groups and there isn't much learning in that setting. A lot of opinions, but not much truth. That's not a good setting for a 12 year old.
What to do?
We've lived in this town our whole lives. We've visited every church we would consider going to. We were out of options. And then one day I met a friend at the park.
As I was driving to the park, I passed a church I had never seen before. Hmm. I mentioned it to S and we looked it up online. It looked interesting. It looked very small.
We visited. We liked it.
Get this. The church we visited does not have Bible classes. I had heard of this kind of church before, but never been to one. Family Integrated churches do not have Bible classes either and it's for some of the same reasons. They believe the father...the parents...are to teach their children. Not hand them over to someone else to do it. That's one reason.
And we found that actually really refreshing. That means no youth group. No handing my 12 year old over to a youth minister for her spiritual training and Bible learning for 7 years. Just families coming together to worship. Together.
We have felt very welcome there. We have enjoyed visiting. We haven't placed membership yet as we still have some commitments at our old church. Soon. And before August (and the impending youth group decision) which was our very earnest prayer. God is good.
I hope I haven't sounded negative in this post. Some trendy things are just trendy and some trendy things are wrong. We came to that conclusion through study. It is not a decision we take lightly.
But we are very thankful for what appears to be the answer to "Lord, where do we go?"
And for those of you struggling with where to go to church, I encourage you to keep praying. I understand why so many families are deciding to home church. I really do. Anyone else struggling with this?