Sometimes God sends us on little detours in our walks, doesn’t He? That’s what my husband and I feel happened with our little foray into finding a new church home once we got settled in Texas (Gotta Get Out Of Here…). First off, there were churches everywhere! I guess that’s what comes with being in the Bible Belt.
But as we all know, just because there’s a lot of churches around, that doesn’t mean that they are all teaching and practicing the true, entire Word of God.
The first church we tried was about the size of our old church in Oregon, and as we entered we noticed a diversity of nationalities, which we really enjoyed, and the people we encountered seemed very pleasant.
Then the worship started – but unfortunately it wasn’t very worshipful. I guess it was the start of a “family” series, but we thought it just a little bizarre.
First a group of people came onto the stage and did a puppet skit which involved the whole congregation standing up, and sitting down – over and over and over again. Have to admit it got tiresome.
Then they did a song where everyone had to wave your arms all around.
And then they brought up 2 father-daughter combinations who competed with each other in a “contestant-type” game.
I’m sorry, was this supposed to be a worship service?
Finally the pastor came up and did some announcements. But I again got turned off because he chatted about church renovations they were doing, and stated he’d like everyone to contribute $100 to complete them – because that was the amount he and his wife were giving.
One week we attended a little church plant that was meeting in an elementary school. Might this be where you want us, Lord? We both felt there would probably be ample opportunities to plug in as they were so new. Hmmm…
Another week we chose a church that was meeting in an old building close to where we lived. The people were great, the worship was awesome, and the message was definitely right on target.
As the weeks passed we finally came to the point where we knew needed to make a decision. We finally decided on the church plant, as the pastor of that church kept contacting Gary wanting to get together to discuss making that our church home.
So we did, and everything appeared great … for awhile.
Unfortunately as we got more into leadership, the more we saw that things weren’t always on the up-and-up in that little church. As a matter of fact, there were a few things that definitely weren’t good.
The big turning point was when I got involved with the women’s ministry. One time me and another gal both felt the Spirit saying the same thing to both of us. As we continued to pray about it we knew that we needed to approach the pastor.
The pastor didn’t take it well at all. As a matter of fact it was like a bomb exploded. The next thing we knew Gary and I – as well as the other gal and her husband – were being threatened and were told to leave the church and to not speak to anyone we knew there ever again. Or else he was taking us to court.
Well suffice it to say we didn’t argue, but we did a lot of praying after that. Lord, did we mishear You about attending there in the first place?
Bottom line? It really didn’t matter. We needed to move on and learn from that experience.
We decided to try again the church that met in the old building close to our home – it was called Northplace. And this time almost immediately when we walked through the doors, both Gary and I felt “this is it.” And we are there to this day, and loving it.
And when Jeffrey came home to visit, he loved it as well. Especially when a sweet sister brought him a smoothie to sip on while in service!
Ah, God is so faithful – always.