Last year, after a long time praying and considering the decision, I left my home Church. For the first time in my life I was without a Church.
I spent a long time thinking and praying about what kind of Church I wanted. There are all sorts of things that come to mind when I start making a list. It would need to be Bible focused, it would need good worship using modern songs, it would need to have active youth groups, it would need to be of a decent size and it wouldn’t hurt if their were some beautiful girls my age. None of these things is wrong or unbiblical (even the desire to meet attractive girls – God loves it when we fall in love)
I decided that while I was looking around for a Church that fit the bill I would go to my mum and Step-dad’s Church.
A few weeks back I noticed a banner advertising a Church (after I’d been praying about God leading me to a new Church) so last Sunday I decided to try that Church for the first time. It was a modern slick Church with good worship and an engaging pastor. I was welcomed thoroughly by several lovely people who took my details so the pastor could send me an email of welcome. It seemed to be the sort of thing I was looking for so I came away from the service confused at why I hadn’t really enjoyed it.
In the evening I decided I really wanted to go to my Church (this being the first time in almost nine months there that I’ve thought of it that way) Normally I don’t go in the evening so I wasn’t that sure what to expect for this service either but it felt so right to go.
The comparison was so obvious to me as I sat in that stripped back relaxed service in which we worshiped because we loved God, even continuing to worship after the service had technically ended. The other Church had been trying so hard to be great but it doesn’t matter how earnestly you pray over the ephemeral backing music or how many great programs you put on if God isn’t there. It is entirely possible to try so hard to meet with God that you can almost convince yourself you have but it never feels quite right. What is needed is to strip it back and just let God into your heart and your worship. Then you really have Church even if the building is a bit small and awkward and the congregation is somewhat grey of hair and it’s so uncool because it’s your parent’s Church.
As it turns out, I don’t want the Church I thought I wanted, I want the Church I thought was just a stopgap.
There’s a Church out there for everyone so if you’re having trouble finding one that you can call yours I pray that God will show you where you should be. (Even if like he did for me, he shows you that you’re already there)