It’s been a LONG time since I was a church visitor. Even when we have “visited” churches, it is because we know someone there or something about the church. These days, we are trusting websites to tell us about churches and trusting the Lord to lead us to our new church family. (We should really rely more heavily on the latter, don’t you think?)
Last week, we dropped Micah’s mom off and just literally found a close church with a time that would work into our schedule. It was good, but not where we would call home.
This week, I searched many websites and came to Micah with three choices. We ended up in Temecula, CA (one hour away, which is how far everything is) at Sunridge Community Church. We took full advantage of the visitor parking spaces right in front! (I told Micah that we would take advantage of those until we joined someplace!) We chose this church based on the information we saw about their children’s ministry. You know, it’s totally different looking for a church when your children are in 4th and 2nd grade! You expect A LOT! We want them in a place where they hear the word of God and learn how to apply that to their lives. We want them to grow spiritually each time they are there, not just “have fun.” (Fun is important, and it would be awesome to find a place with both.) Anyway, Grace went to “Block 45” and Ben went to “2nd level”. Cute names, right?!
Micah and I went to service, and the pastor started with “If you are a visitor today, this is not a NORMAL service for us.” That is not what a visitor wants to hear. It’s almost like, “Man, we need to run to another church that is having a normal service so that we can really get good information to make our decision.” They were basically introducing each and every ministry/minister at their church, talking about what God had done this year, and what their plans are for the future. It was actually good for us to hear all of that, because now we have an idea of what they are about. We did not meet anyone, and no one really even commented about being a visitor when we dropped the kids off. Everyone seemed nice enough and we will probably visit again at some point. Visiting is hard, especially when you have expectations. The Lord will guide us, we know that without a doubt!
I have loved this verse since my sophmore year, when we were encouraged to memorize it at Lake Tomahawk youth camp. It’s one that is used LOTS, but it really is a promise that God gives to us and that we should treasure. I rest in this promise daily and as we search for a new church home.
Jeremiah 29:11-13: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
On another note, I had a “Sunday nap” today. When I was growing up in a Pastor’s home, Sunday was a very busy day, as you can well imagine. Somehow, my mom made Sundays really special. Lunch was ready when we walked in the door from church (usually a roast or chicken and rice). My sister and I would run and change our clothes, then go to the kitchen to set the table and fill the glasses while Mom finished lunch. By the time the table was ready, Dad would walk through the door and take off his coat. He would sit down and we would have lunch. After lunch, my sister and I would clear the table while mom cleaned everything else (yes, we were spoiled). After the kitchen was clean, it was time for sitting on the couch, reading the newspaper, watching football, doing homework, and DEFINITELY NAPPING!!!!! Those were the best naps ever! Mom would often have to wake me up for evening church.
Today, we got home around 1:45. I took one of those lovely, peaceful, uninterrupted naps!!!! Micah was awesome because he napped on the couch so that he could attend to any needs that the children had. They are getting pretty good at chilling with a movie these days though, so he got some good rest too. It was great! This helps us prepare for the week ahead. I am so thankful for rest!
Share and Enjoy