Brian and I try our best to go into a church without preconceived ideas or expectations but it’s harder than you might think!
Yesterday, we visited a church we’ve passed by hundreds of times but never felt it was quite “us”. However, our values have significantly changed in what we feel is most important when it comes to finding a church home. I think Brian will be addressing this in more detail in the near future.
Some positive aspects of the church we visited yesterday:
- Friendly people. The friendliest of all three churches we’ve visited.
- Baby Dedication/Emphasis on Children. Two little boys were dedicated. The pastor gave a 3-5 minute talk on the importance of having both godly parents and a strong church body to help them grow spiritually throughout their lives. Not only did he pray for each child, he went on to pray for each parent in very specific ways. Also, at one point in the service, a 7 year old girl came on stage with her mom and sang “His Favorite Name is Father.” Did I mention she was signing for the deaf while they sang? It was powerful. Children are valued at this church and it shows. There are TONS of families in attendance.
- The pastor’s talk was very good. He spoke on one chapter in the OT. It was thorough, though not the “deepest” teaching we’ve heard up to now, but this church is set up so that the deeper level teaching comes via other classes on Sunday mornings and other times throughout the week. Spiritual growth is not dependent on the pastor’s talk alone each week. How healthy would it be for us if we ate food once a week — and from only one food group? That’s not the way we were designed to function physically or spiritually.
- The offering basket. There looked to be just as many “first-time visitor” cards in the basket as there were tithing checks. Interesting.
- Most importantly, we know exactly where they stand when it comes their doctrine.
This is only our third “church search” during the many years we’ve lived in Simpsonville. It’s never a fun process and it’s certainly one we hope we won’t have to do again for many years, if ever. Thanks for your continued prayers!