Sunday, November 11, 2012

Church Hunting

Looking for a church is a lot like online dating. Think about it: You start off with a list of requirements. With dating, it’s often things like, “Must be within 5 years of my age; must have similar political views; must like the same hobbies as me; must live within 20 miles of me; must be gainfully employed; etc.” With a church, it’s things like, “Must be within 10 miles of my house; must have theologically sound preaching; must be one of these three denominations; must have a good music program; must have children the same age as my kids; etc.” If you find someone whose profile seems to meet those basic requirements, you meet them to see if that profile description really fits. With a church, you go to a service and listen to the sermon and the choir, you check out the nursery and the Sunday School programs, and you chat with the people in the congregation. In both cases, you eagerly wait to see if you feel that magic “click.”

And there’s no predicting that “click” in either situation. Sometimes things look perfect on paper but there’s just no chemistry in person. Sometimes things don’t look that great on paper but you try a “courtesy date” and you end up feeling a connection when you’re face to face. Sometimes it takes a few meetings before you’re really certain of whether it’s a good fit or not. And sometimes, you just have a really solid feeling of “rightness” on that very first meeting.

When I met my husband, I knew right away that he was the right one for me. Five years later, there’s never been a moment of doubt in my mind. This morning, our family attended a church that gave me that same feeling of “rightness.” As with my husband, I’m not committing myself to anything until we’ve had a few more dates and we delve a bit deeper into what we think and believe, this church and I. But I’m really hoping that five years down the road, I’ll still be with this church, without a doubt in my mind that it’s the right one for our family.

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