Thursday, May 12, 2011

Inquiring Minds...

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?


  1. YES. imagine that print VERY, VERY large with VERY large exclamation marks. :) So email name of church please. :) Not that I really want to drive to Pasadena but I TOTALLY would for SUnday morning!

    IT is such a HUGE struggle. I sat in sunday school a few weeks ago and the SS teacher actually said --well he didnt say actually but he sure made it out to be the same. IF YOU DO NOT GO TO CHURCH every time it's doors are open- even for the early start (kids preschool not even a church thing they just rent the building) grad ceremony or for a youth gararge sale-- IF you do not 100% support the church in every things they do you are not being christian enough.

    can you find that biblical for me? REALLY! Yes, we need to fellowship with believers- biblical! BUT REALLY! I was SOOOO mad.

    Then Kate's bible teacher told her in Sunday school-- after she made a comment about revalations that it was wrong- when Kate told him that her mom has told her the teacher said well your mom is wrong. REALLY. Even if I am bilically wrong do you say that to a child. In that way? NO.

    okay I have ranted enough.... although I could go on and on.

    HOWEVER I was TONS more negative than you--- YOU did a great job with your post!

  2. Yes. Sadly, yes. And the more I talk about it, the more believers I find saddened and disillusioned. So very glad you found a good place!

  3. It has been our struggle for almost a year. We've seriously considered home church. We've visited all over the place. It's been a frustrating journey.

  4. Amen. Great job sharing this good news without bashing and the like. Yes, it's heartbreaking to watch your church slowly aligning with the world. Ours didn't slowly, there was a hard and fast take over by the liberals, so out we went.

    One can either find a new church, move to where there is a church, or start one. Being churchless isn't a biblical option. We just started a C.P.C., and while (after researching) I wouldn't start a Viola styled 'home church', we are only a few families thus far and so meet in our home for now. While the C.P.C. doesn't segregate, there may be bible classes in the future, but certainly those would not be segregated either.

    It's HARD to leave a church under any circumstances, but the peace and blessing of being in a place that fits . . . bliss!

    Praying your obligations are easily fulfilled and the transition is clean.

  5. We think about it, then push the thought away. And then we think about it. It's such a big, hard decision, not black and white. So glad you guys found a good place!! :)

  6. i haven't blogged about it, yet {although i think most people can figure it out by reading my blog}, but we haven't regularly 'attended church' in a little over 2 years. hope that doesn't mean you'll stop being my friend. ;)

  7. Thanks for sharing your story in such a gracious way, Brenda. I'm glad y'all found a good church.

  8. I will just say, YES!LucyT

  9. H-Mama--of course not!
    And I knew several of you struggled with this and it makes me sad. Why is it so hard?

  10. If we did not clearly and without a doubt believe that we ought to go to church, we would not be going. The churches we have been in were going down wrong and legalistic roads, and it was time to jump ship. Thankfully God lead us to another church after several frustrating months, and it's a church we really like.

  11. Thanks for sharing, Brenda!! My husband and I had this same struggle about 4 years ago. We were wondering "Why are we the only ones that see that these 'changes' are unbiblical, and wrong?" It was a hard decision, but praise the Lord, He directed us to the perfect church!! We go to a Family Integrated church as well, it's so refreshing (albeit sometimes difficult with my little 18month old guy) to have the children in church and Bible study with us, learning along with us, asking questions, and being fed! So happy for you and your family!

  12. Hi Brenda! I read your blog all the time but never comment and I wanted to say that I have spent much of my life in a church with no Sunday school, and it never hurt me a bit growing up! I'm glad you found a church that fits you. You are an encouragement to those of us out there who are looking for a good church and have yet to find one due to geography or doctrine or... :-)

  13. I totally understand how you feel and I'm glad you have found a solution. We aren't happy with some of the decisions and directions our church is going to make it "friendly" to all. At this point we don't have any good solutions except to pray about it and get through the summer.

  14. I may be out of line, but I think that every church should be "friendly" to ALL...isn't that the model that was given to us by Jesus himself? I will have to say that I left my church in the same sort of was an integrity issue within the executive leadership of our church. Church turned into a political soap box of sorts. I spent 10 years in that church. I have since found a wonderful church and God has revealed to me so many things during this time. He has shown me that we are to love everyone, without judgement. The church is there to edify the believer, but it is also there for the lost. If we don't make our churches "friendly" to everyone, with the lost in mind, then we are in the wrong mindset.

  15. Anon...of course churches should be friendly. I don't think anyone would disagree with that. But there have been a plethora of changes made to churches in the name of being seeker friendly. This can go too far. For example...If the needs of the saints are being completely overlooked or if the changes go so far as to be unbiblical. I have seen both and so you could say I'm not all that interested in churches that are bending over backwards to be friendly. Friendly is a smile, an introduction, a compliment, an explanation of what to expect in the church service, an invitation to lunch. It's not let's change the entire way we worship so that the lost will be comfortable. If I'm not mistaken, the lost should come in and be convicted.


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)