I’m sharing our family’s search for community and connection in our new city of Asheville, NC. Each week I plan to talk about one of the areas where we’re working to cultivate relationships. This week I’m talking about our second month of searching for a new church home. You can read last week’s post about getting to know our neighbors or previous posts about finding friends and part one of the church search.
We went to the big church this morning since it’s close to the house. I pre-registered the kids online last night so that they’d be in the system for check-in this morning. The whole thing was a bit overwhelming. We went to the early service and it was packed by the end of the music. It felt like we were at a concert. The band was very professional and large. I had a lot of thoughts run through my head. “This place is too big. They don’t need me or my abilities. The other church (that we visited last week) wasn’t as perfect but it made me feel like they welcome everyone to use their abilities in the church. It’s a willingness and desire to serve that matter, not perfection.” The music and message were both very good but it felt like I could be invisible there and that’s not helpful when you’re trying to create community. Kaitlyn also thought it was too big. J’s happy as long as he’s in a class with other kids. I didn’t think it would be “the one” but wanted to do my due diligence. We’ll see where we go next week.
We went back to Adam’s old church today. There still wasn’t a ton of people at first service. We didn’t talk to anyone today. There were only four kids total in the kids’ room. I guess all of the families come to later service? I enjoyed the message of all of us having a part to play in the church.
After the service we talked some about the other churches we’ve visited and the pros and cons of each. If we want a place for the kids to enjoy and possibly have friends outside of church, week one and three churches are the best possibilities. Nothing has felt awesome enough that we are ready to commit. And we don’t have to make a permanent decision. We can go for a semester to one and, if it’s not a good fit, try another. We won’t really know if we can find community at a church until we begin to attempt to connect (i.e. a small group). We know at least one of our neighbors goes to the big church. As well as R1 and her family. We’ll see.
We went back to the big church today. It’s close and we’d find people our age which are two plusses. We saw one of Adam’s coworkers and family and sat next to them in service. The message was about a controversial issue in the Christian community. Adam and I talked quite a bit this afternoon. Neither of us seems to feel like we can commit to the church because of our conflicting thoughts on issues that are important to us. Plus we have some issues with other churches associated with this particular denomination. So I don’t know where we’ll go next.
I conducted some online research about area churches and then emailed Adam a list of other potential churches since we aren’t over the moon about any we’ve already visited. We talked about it this evening We were hoping to find a good fit with a Methodist church because we like the traditions around Easter and Christmas and don’t usually find that in non-denominational churches but I think we’re going to branch out and see what they’re like here. We can always come back to one we’ve already visited if nothing seems to fit better.
We visited a new church today. It’s a relatively new non-denominational church. It meets in a school so we wonder whether they’ll move further away eventually. I guess we can ask. There was a kids’ program and quite a few people in our demographic. Adam recognized someone in service. It felt comfortable, kind of like our old church. The kids said they liked it. We met the head pastor and he was nice. Their small groups are starting up. We’ll see how we feel mid-week.
We visited a new church today. We had liked last week’s church but I wanted to visit this one just so we’d know what it was like. I like to be thorough. It was a small church. A woman came over and said hi and we realized that we had seen and talked to her when we were house hunting in June and then again when we were up here in July waiting to move into our house. She was nice and I talked a bit with her after service. She’s relatively new to the area too. Kaitlyn said someone from her class at school was in the kids’ program. We all agreed that we liked the church last week better.
It feels like we’re getting closer to finding a home church. How long did it take you to find your current church?