Visited another church…

Went to a different church. It had tons of people, ministries, programs. Only the greeters (w/ tags identifying them as such) said hi. One greeter introduced the pastor to us. We were ignored by all others at the church. One of our kids said the people looked hollow. Another said it seemed like a community gathering, but where the people were not wanting to. When it was time to greet (you know, when the pastor says to stand up and say hello to those around you), it was perfunctory. I watched our daughter try to greet another girl who had come over to greet the people behind us; she tried repeatedly and finally stuck her hand in the girl’s face to shake hands.  One my sons was ignored when he tried to introduce himself to an adult. There was praise music, basketball teams for kids, Awana club for kids, men’s ministries, women’s ministries, a dinner every Wednesday night, creative movement ministry, discipleship classes, mom’s ministries, young adults ministry, youth ministry football, soccer, emergency care, etc. It has every ministry to members you could want. Everything seemed very profeessionally done. The pastor said the church was a daughter church of another church where he had pastored, that the mother church had voted on whether to plant the church and only had 2 no votes and they had provided 1/2 million dollars and 170 people for the church plant 7 years ago and they now had 700 people attending.

I’m sure they used all the right church growth strategies. But it felt empty. Everyone in the family disliked it, and wanted to go to the little country church we’ve been visiting. So we very conspicuously left the service. The head greeter wanted to know what they could have done differently and we just wanted to leave. How do you explain to someone you dont know the multitude of feelings and impressions everyone had? The best we could do was say the we had been praying for God’s guidance as to what church He wanted us to attend, and coming to this church had confirmed it for us.

So we left & went to Kirk Baptist Church – a tiny little country church not too far from our home, with few children, few ministries, a style of music the parents dont really love, but good preaching, lots of loving people who dont seem fake, where the kids want to attend.

I find it amazing the kids really want to attend this church. I asked them why, and they like being treated like young adults instead of like babies or ignored. One said he was connected to God through the music (the singing is not the best, but its heart-felt). Another said the hymns had a message, where regular praise music praises God. One said hymns stick in your head more. My musician son said that contempoary is layered (I think its the many instruments) and thick, but often annoying – he prefers the simplicity of the hymns with the piano and/or organ. My youngest son said it seems like at other churches, the pastor is speaking to everyone, but at this church the pastor is speaking directly to him. Another son said the preacher at this little church is the best preacher he has ever heard. They dont care that there are not many kids, and dont care (or actually like) that the music is hymns. And they can actually talk about the sermon afterwards. Yes, after going to another church, I think we have confirmation that thus little country church is where God wants us.

[Edit: When we made it to the little church, we were welcomed with open arms and tons of smiles. That evening, we went back. The worship minister approached me and said the pastor had called in sick and asked if I would present the message. I (and others) feel that is further confirmation that God wants us at this church – especially since I feel we should go to church to minister, not be ministered to.]

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2 Responses

  1. Confirmation is always a blessed thing

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