My husband and I love to travel through the Ozarks. We simply enjoy finding a county map, and driving those old dirt roads across the back of a mountain, down in a holler, and back up many hills, only to find ourselves lost, but content there for the time being.
That is how I would describe our current situation; "Lost but content".
Now, before anyone takes this out of content; our souls are not lost. Just our way. We have been looking for a church for a while now. But your talking about two very different people with different concepts of how a church should be. So many churches are divided over issues that would have never been considered a line of division, even 30 years ago. Many churches are catering to the commercial desires of their congregation with Starbucks available beside bookstores. And some churches are catering to a type of Christian, such as *Cowboy's*.
I don't think any of these churches are much of a fit for Scott and I. We don't fit the profile well.
The best fit for us is; a smaller congregation of balanced Christians and a Preacher who preaches the whole Word of God. I'm not coming to hear what I want to hear. I am there to hear about what is important for me to learn and accept, and lastly; practice. Sometimes this is an uncomfortable sermon, but needed none-the-less. I want fellowship with people who feel like family. But I also want to be accepted not only for who we are, but who we *were* before we knew Christ. We hope to be able to reach out to those who feel unreachable someday when the situation arises. But before we can get there, we have to find the right church.
So far here is the consensus between Scott and I:
Baptist: Problem with *just saying that prayer and then it's all good*... OSAS, not so sure of.
Evangelical Lutheran: We do not want to be members of a church that supports actively gay ministers.
Mennonite: Neither of us are comfortable with uniform dress, and do not see this as a biblical requirement. It is a bigger distraction for Scott, but it seems to create confusion for us as a couple. Additionally, we have the whole D&R business that puts me on pins and needles. But we love the fellowship.
AOG/Pentecostal: Neither of us see tongues as a requirement for salvation, or even something that should ever happen in church without an interpretation. We do like the groups conservative nature, and the fact that modesty is practiced.
Non-Denominational: Lack of structure and accountability. Many (not all) just sort of make up the rules as they grow. I prefer a doctrinal statement to be established.
Now, this is what we've investigated so far. I know at some point you just have to go and serve and let God deal with the details, and that's what we are doing so far. We have several churches in our area that we frequent. But it sometimes feels like we are not gaining a foothold spiritually and seem to only be treading water.
And like everyone else; we are limited to what is available in our area.
So, how did you and your spouse come to the agreement over which church to join?? How long did you search? What was your criteria?
I am open to any suggestions. I am also considering not covering at church, but only in personal prayer time. This is just something I'm kicking around. It seems that since I've started covering (13 years ago) that this puts a wedge between us and the congregation, unless of course I'm in an Anabaptist Church. I do not see it as a salvational issue, but more one of reverence and obediance. It is a desire of mine to cover...but in the end, I can't let that stand in the way of us worshipping as a couple.
And I want to add that we do have several nice congregations that we visit. We have no complaints, just trying to come to terms with the finer details that seem to keep us from commiting to just one church.
I'd like to hear some thoughts on this and others experiences. Seems we've all bee there at one time or another.