Church! And stuff

Brian knows a guy through triathlon, and is leasing our office from him. This guy goes to a church that seemed like it would be pretty cool. D also just so happened to make a good friend at football, and this friend goes to this church as well.  So, we were pretty excited to try it out on Sunday!

On Saturday, Brian was talking to his friend, and the friend mentioned that kids aren't allowed in church. Like, not babies, not any kids at all until they are in 6th grade.  We keep Ben with us still (for a lot of reasons: germs (no offense to the other babies!), Ben still breast feeds frequently, and quite frankly he usually does pretty well through the service, and when he doesn't I have no problem leaving with him to get him settled).  Anyway, I guess they have a "family room" where you can go sit with your kids if you want to, but otherwise kids aren't allowed in the main service.

So anyway.  That was a deal breaker for us right away. It just doesn't seem right to not allow them. I understand to some extent, but I feel like parents should be able to choose what is best for their family, and if that means their kids coming to the service with them then I think that should be OK.  I don't feel like people should be ostracized for wanting to have their kids with them, like they are second-class worshipers. And really there are SO many reasons you might want your kid to stay with you - if you have a sick kid and don't want them around other kids' germs, if you have a mature child that wants to go to "big church", if you have a baby, if your child has a behavior or medical need and needs to stay with you all the time, etc. etc.

So kind of off topic, but there's this song we used to sing at our old church which goes "We lift our hands in the sanctuary! We lift our hands to give You the glory!" and Brian tried singing it with "We lift our hands in the...Family Room!" Nope, just not the same. ;)  Really it's no skin off our backs since we didn't even go there but we were just amazed that that is accepted I guess.  Apparently it's a nationwide movement and kids aren't allowed at any of the churches.  Weird!

Anyway. So Saturday night we were scrambling to find a church! I found several online near us, but then when I looked at their Faith statement/purpose statement/whatever you want to call it they were simply awful. No mention of sin, grace, forgiveness, etc.  Seriously? And you are a Christian church? Some of them didn't even mention Jesus Christ.  It seemed like a lot of them were like "Come visit us, we will love each other and have a fun time! And don't wear a tie because ties aren't cool! But you can wear one if you want to, ha ha ha ha! See how cool we are?" No. You are not cool!

ANYWAY.  So I did find two churches that looked good, but neither of them were very close to us. Not a huge deal, but we live in a pretty big city so the drive could be kind of huge and when you think about going there possibly multiple times a week for church, youth group, Bible study or small group, all that adds up.

So Brian suggested looking up Master's Seminary and finding their graduates and seeing if there were any in the area. Master's Seminary is a pretty solid seminary in California (I think?) and John MacArthur teaches there, or something. I think. Ha. :)

Anyway! There was a church less than 2 miles away from our house! Woot!  So we looked it up, and it looked amazing.  Rock solid theology on their website, their statement of faith was literally 15 pages long.  It meets at an elementary school, which clued us in on the fact that it might not be very big. Also, they have life groups. There are two of them. Ha ha ha!

So we showed up, and weren't really surprised to see only 6 or 7 cars in the parking lot. There were maybe 30-40 people in the service. I really liked it though!  I didn't feel awkward, I didn't feel like a face in the crowd. It's such a small church that I feel like we could step in and find somewhere to serve and actually be needed and used. Everyone was nice. Families stay together for worship, then kids ages 3-6-ish are dismissed to go to Sunday school (IF you want them to go!) and they also had a nursery for babies and toddlers. So the 3 middles were able to sing with us and then go to class together (they said it was OK for Miss M to go even though she's not quite 3 yet). They had a really fun time!  Almost everyone there had young kids, the only other teenagers besides D belonged to another family that was visiting. So that kind of stinks, but he can always go to that other church with his friend.

They have meetings every 3 months where the church eats lunch together and they go over the budget and happenings and such. It just so happened we showed up on the day of the meeting, so we stayed and listened and also ate lunch (yay free lunch!).  They are just celebrating their first year of being a church, and their budget for the past year was $88 less than the giving for the year.  So they finished in the black!  And the amount of giving that they have is really pretty impressive given the size of the congregation.

Anyway I really liked it.  I'm never going to remember everyone's names. Brian wasn't 100% sold on it because the preaching wasn't as awesome as we are used to (it wasn't heretical or anything, just not delivered as nicely as we are used to). I'm pretty sure the pastor probably just began preaching pretty recently, so that for sure accounts for some of it. I think we are going to try going a few more times and see what happens.

Then Sunday night I played my first indoor soccer game in about 9 years. It was soooo much fun. I am slow, I mean wow I'm slow. And also a little rusty.  I'm probably one of the worst players on the team, which is kind of weird because on my old (girls) team I used to be one of the best players, definitely in the top 3. It was a co-ed team, the guys on both teams were very respectful (I'm used to getting pushed around a little bit when I play co-ed so it was nice not to experience that).  I am so sore, I can't even tell you. My back, butt, abs, everywhere I'm sore. It was a work out for sure! I'm went running today, I'm going to try to start running a few times a week and see if I can't get back into shape at least a little bit.  I had such a good time though and I am thankful to be on a team! Brian brought all the kids, and I'm pretty sure they were the only people in the audience so the entire crowd was cheering for me! ;)

Alright, longest update ever. I'll quit now. :)

Comments

  1. That no-kids-in-service would be a deal breaker for me, too. Interestingly, our church made a change to the Sunday schedule a while back because they wanted to prevent parents from having their kids in Sunday School but not a worship service. (Old schedule was two services back-to-back, with Sunday Schools run at the same time. Turned out, lots of families were dropping the kids at Sunday School, adults going to worship and then they all go home. Kids were hitting 6th grade having attended church for years and never once been to service! New schedule is a combined Sunday School hour between 2 services.) Hope you find your new church home soon!

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  2. That is so weird about the no kids thing. Why would any parent want their kid to be totally excluded from church until 6th grade. At which point it's not routine for said kid and that kid probably won't want to keep coming. How weird. I'm glad you found a good church close by. Ironically we have friends who JUST moved to CA to attend Master's there.

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  3. We actually opted out of children's church recently. We are very big into the idea that our kids do best when the expectations others have for them are consistent and followed through. Although Children's Church is wonderful it was a very chaotic environment for our boys. They are thriving in the adult worship service. We brought up our concerns, but they were dismissed with a "we know whats best attitude." We love the people so we just opted to pull the kids and keep them with us. No muss no fuss, but I can see that this is a societal shift in thinking. I get these vibes every "child-centered" venue I go to. Its a 'we know better what your children need than you do' kind of thinking. Anyway. Getting off my soapbox :)

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