Often I feel I’m a creature of habit. I don’t change things up too much. However, when I do, I feel guilty. Like I’m cheating. Especially if I like said new change. Recently I had my hair done at a new spot and I felt so guilty. Why, you ask? I have been going to the same girl for years now, but now and again I like to change it up and try someone new. I feel guilty because I’m afraid she’ll think I don’t like how she does my hair anymore. I feel guilty because I’m paying someone else. It just feels wrong to me. So, how do you think I felt when we tried a new church?
Since we moved, we’ve talked about how we should look into a new church. Even more so since we’ve had AJ. Not because we don’t love where we go, but the distance (about 30 minutes away) seems to have caused us to have a decline in attendance. We try to keep AJ scheduled for his naps and feedings so for about the first six months of his life, we weren’t attending due to his naps. Poor excuse, I know. Then either we were too exhausted from new parenthood or we were out-of-town. We love, and I mean love our church, the leaders and members. We’ve literally “started from the bottom now we’re here” with our church. We started going just a few months after the church had its official launch and since then it has moved twice! It’s been fun to see the growth. We used to participate in small groups and other community events, but since we moved, we haven’t attended anything other than an occasional Sunday. Thirty minutes doesn’t seem so long for one day a week, I’m aware. But, when it comes to any events outside Sunday, it’s hard for us to participate during the week and that’s a big deal for me. I find that most of our connections occurred during small groups or community events. For me, it’s been rough. I want to get to know more people in the church and broaden my faith. I feel like I’m missing out on the community. I don’t want to be a Sunday only church person. I want to continue my faith walk during the week, with other members of our church.
We’ve had many discussions on what we are looking for in a church. We aren’t going to go somewhere just because it’s closer to our home. It has to be the right fit. We have to connect, feel engaged during the sermon, feel welcomed and un-judged most importantly. We’ve taken the approach lately, that if we aren’t going to our church, we aren’t going at all. Whether that’s the right attitude to have, I’m not sure. I do have to say I’m thankful for podcasts though because that’s how I get my Jesus in some days.
So, a couple of weeks ago we checked out a church less than 10 minutes from our house. I found this church because our pastor liked the pastor of this church’s photo on Instagram. Some times social media is really helpful instead of a complete mind suck! I thought if our pastor likes this guy, we should definitely check it out. Mainly for the proximity, but it also worked well with AJ’s schedule. We enjoyed it, however, I find it a little difficult to fully engage holding a 9 month old for an hour. He’s not so down with being still for more than five minutes. So, if we check it out again, we are going to have to bite the bullet and put him in the kids area (which we’ve never done before and it’s in a completely different building). We enjoyed the service, but felt guilty for being there. Again, that cheating feeling. That feeling of guilt. Constantly comparing to our church. I’m sure pastor’s see this all of the time and are so not offended, but I can’t get my head around it.
We still have a few more options to check out based on my research. We’ve agreed that we have to give the new options a few tries before making our final decision. If the options we have don’t work out, we will be making that 30 minute drive and making it all work somehow.
Cheers to being Faithful =)