Saturday, January 31, 2015

When a Hypocrite Searches for a Church | Part 1

Today I write to you from my sweet office...Welcome!

Hi My Dears, 
(Ok that sounded like a creepy old lady huh? I have never figured out how to greet you guys…Hi Friends…Good Morning Lovies…Dear Readers…Hey Y’all…They all fit and actually feel natural, but not quite right. Need to work on this.)

I am on a church-shopping quest. I might come home empty-handed, like the other day when I finally went to look for some new clothes after a few years of not buying much of anything. I found out that waiting too long could mess up your shopping abilities in a big way. I walked around the store asking myself who I am, who do I want to be and what does “too young and too old” mean anyway?

In my desire to attend church here in our new state and town I am discovering a few things about myself that are not pretty.

I am shallow.
I am selfish.
I am a snob, an age-snob. (I am at that awkward age; too young for the Seniors Group, but too old for the Young Mother’s Group. At least in my imagination I am too “young” for the Senior Group.)
I am a hypocrite.

The evidence of my shallow-ness appeared at the very beginning of my search for a church. Since I don’t like to drive the Texas freeways, the church must be within 10 miles of my home and easy to get to. This is not a problem here in Texas. There are actually 10 churches within 5 miles of my home…this is Texas. “There are churches on every corner”…is a statement that can almost be taken literally.

In the past, I never would have guessed that distance would have anything at all to do with the choice of a church. What a shallow measurement to use! Wait it gets worse.

I bookmarked a church that I found online because I was impressed with their beautiful website. The photos were multi-ethnic, multi-age and full of life and activity. The web content was up-to-date and friendly. My plan was to go check this church out. So I map-quested the address and could not figure out why it kept showing me a shopping center. Where’s the pretty place in the photos?

This is when I discovered that I am a hypocrite. I have complained about the emphasis on big church buildings and how so many congregations are being pressured to just keep the building maintained financially. I thought it was awful that such a large portion of a congregational offering went to keep the lights on.

But, when I saw that my bookmarked church was in a small storefront, squeezed between the local Safeway and Baskin Robbins, I deleted it. It’s hard enough to walk into a strange sanctuary as a visitor, no way would I be brave enough to walk into a dark and unknown glass door in the local strip mall. (And now I know how to recognize stock-photos!)

The hypocrite in me wants a nice big comfy building with lots of parking and easy access. I want to be able to slip in and out of the sanctuary without being noticed. I want to blend.

But I also want to be noticed.

My entire motivation for this church-quest is to find friends and community. Attend church to worship God, listen to challenging sermons and reach the lost? Those are the HONORABLE AND WORTHY reasons to go to church. But I just want people in my life. I want girlfriends to go to lunch with, laugh with and pray with. Church has always been my built-in friendship circle…all my life.

This is a brand new situation for me. And I am doing it alone because Hubs works every Sunday. Want to go with me?

Part 2 is HERE

5 Minutes for Faith

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  1. Pray! God will lead you. ;-) Maybe to the most unlikely place! A storefront, a mall, an old folks' home...a circus never know, but it will be wonderful. We know that!

    1. Hi Sandi, yep I'm talking to God about all of this. And trying to listen too. :)

  2. I would SO go with you!!! Too bad I'm in Colorado and you're in Texas, because after church we could go shopping for clothes! I'm having the same exact shopping challenge ... it's like I've been out of the loop so long I don't even know what I like!

    1. Oh Niki, that would be so great! I really have no clue what clothes to buy any more! Skinny jeans, straight jeans, slacks and no more jeans, tunics to cover my bumm?

    2. all of the above? :) I don't shop anymore. I tried. My husband wanted me to buy things for myself for Christmas because he knew better than to try. It was a futile attempt. It's not our fault. They just don't make decent clothes anymore. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Yes, pray about the church...God will lead you to the right one, but it may take some time. Be patient and let God do His thing!

  3. Oh, first off- great picture! LOVE the desk, Layla, the lack of clutter ...lovely.
    Next, this is great stuff. I am sensing your are onto something , you shallow, superficial, silly!

    lol. Great writing...keep going. Catching up to read #2.

    1. It is my reality right now, so it will have to be my writing material huh? Thanks!

  4. Susie: I was scared when I thought I would have to find a new church here where we have lived forever. Hubby was having issues that made him uncomfortable with our church at that time. One of my close friends said in a conversation, "We could go together." Within days we both made the choice to leave that church. Hubby and I and she visited a church where Hubby knew the pastor from the factory where they had worked. Each of us noticed things that we knew were not as we thought they should be, for us. We called another friend whose family had made the move a few months earlier and all three of us visited where they were attending. Allow God to lead you in this process. He will and you will be blessed.

    1. Thank you Celeste, it is a whole new season for me in so many ways. Thanks for the advice!


All comments are good comments!

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