It’s become a regular refrain from our oldest son. Sometimes he asks me. Sometimes he asks his daddy. On Easter Sunday, when we went to my parents’ church, he had a very serious conversation with my own father about how his mommy and daddy were still looking for a new church. I have a very heavy heart and a bit of parental guilt that we haven’t found one we like yet, but the truth remains: We haven’t found one we like yet.
My husband and I started attending our previous church shortly after moving to our current city when my husband got on the fire department. Our oldest son was three months old. As he has grown and his brother joined our family, the church was part of our life -- and not just on Sundays. We had a core group of people that we loved and loved us and it was great.
Until it wasn’t.
I won’t go into great specifics, but the church we were attending no longer is an environment in which I want to raise our sons. I heard things in Bible studies and in random conversations that hurt my heart -- not just for myself, though some of it was personal, but for our small city. Sadly, conversations and undertones started to be less isolated events and more of a running current. Other things continued to happen and my husband and I made the decision to look for a new place to worship.
Except we can’t find one.
And we’re apparently getting heat from our five year old since we’re not doing it fast enough. So much heat that I actually considered returning to our previous church just so our oldest could get his fill. I considered just taking him to Sunday School and sitting outside his classroom. I considered all sorts of stuff. But I don’t want him (or his brother!) in that building. While I have tried to explain it in an age appropriate manner, all he knows is that he wants to go to church, to sing fun songs and be with children his age on Sunday mornings. I want that for him too, for his brother... heck, I want it for us.
And so we keep hunting, searching, seeking. It’s unfortunate that the summer season is knocking on our door as we travel most weekends in the summer, thus making regular church attendance and/or new church searching rather difficult. The only good thing about that is that we attend various churches on our travels, so at least our sons will get their church fix.
I kind of want an experience like Wendy at A Southern Accent. It would make it easier to know which was right and which was... not.
You may remember last year how I discussed our search for a new church. I needed something new, something that was good for all three members of my family, a place that would appeal to all of us.
Last year I visited two new churches, didn't really get that feeling I was looking for. I wanted to feel like I was the girl ready to "Say Yes to the Dress" - that this was "the one".
Sunday, Mike, Walker and I piled into the car to visit another "new church". I had been talking to Walker about this place all week, and he was excited about going. I was nervous about how Mike would react. He gets picky about church and always has an opinion.
It was an experience like no other.
We do. BUT looking for a new church. Kind-of. We actually are church planters at heart... and since we have not found what feels right, we have started a group that meets in our home 2 Sundays a month. A couple of other families... the older kids prepare a little something for the younger kids to learn, and we adults either discuss Bible passages or... book discussion... It is actually a very meaningful and precious time for our families to connect and grow.
Godsygirl wrote a great post here on BlogHer last year about finding a new church. It has some great points, but considering we are looking at all of those things, I’m not sure it gives me new hope about finding a home for our family in a timely manner.
I have faith (...obviously!) that this will work out in the end. I don’t know if it will be at the speed which our son prefers or even at the speed which I prefer. I don’t know where we’ll end up and what our worship experience will look or feel like. I do know that we’re hopeful. Impatient maybe, but hopeful.
Have you ever searched for a new church for your family? How was your experience? Did you involve your children in the process? What things did you look for? Do you have any tips? Can I come to your church? My kids are noisy, but they love God.
Photo Credit: Our sons in a church program last year. As you can see, he's serious business about church.
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