A new spiritual home, that is. For the past three months, ST and I have been searching for a new church.
The decision to leave our church did not come lightly. During our premarital counseling sessions, our good friend, pastor, and officiant, Wing, introduced the idea to us. For a while, I didn’t think much about it. I actually kind of dismissed it. However, over time, I began to understand why Pastor Wing brought it up. I’d attended this church for eleven years – it was my community, not ST’s. My ministry, my friends – me, me, me. After a year and a half of attending my church as a married couple, I knew we had to find a church for the both of us.
This was a difficult, sad, and lonely decision. But it was the right one.
After meeting and praying with our pastors, telling our friends, and Googling churches, we started our church search.
The good news is, there are many churches in NYC trying to live out God’s vision and mission. There are a few that could use a bit of work. I’m not going to review churches here – I’d just like to offer support and encouragement to anyone who is in the same position.
So where did we begin? Well, when I was in college, my small group leader gave me a trustworthy tip to understand the Spirit’s guidance – the Holy Spirit always points to Christ. One church we attended offered great practical advice for life – I actually still remember the sermon – but it wasn’t Christ-centered. So we moved on.
We’re looking for a community, not an organized program in a building. One church we attended was one of the unfriendliest places I’d ever visited despite having all the ingredients for a proper Sunday service. No one even spared us a second glance, much less a hello. That was an immediate turn-off. The service and worship was also difficult to follow.
Of course, we’re thinking about FB too. Always.
We know this will be a journey. Perhaps it will takes years, months, or weeks. We trust that God will lead us there in His way, in His time. As Oswald Chambers has reminded me time and time again – we are not made for moments of exaltation on the mountain top with Jesus. We are made for the valleys, the mundane, and the uninspired day-in and day-out. In this way our faith is strengthened and refined.