Finding a Church Home, part 2

(Follow-up to earlier post…)

I do not consider myself a consumer of church. I don’t go to be entertained. I am a worshipper, as I think Christ-followers are called to be. Yet finding a place to attend each Sunday has been difficult.

“Church shopping” is easier now than ever, as I can listen to local pastors’ sermons on their websites. I can hear the Worship Teams. I can read the local churches’ beliefs and mission statements, and see what they offer for discipleship and mission work. Still, we have to attend to really get the “feel” of the place. And that takes time – it’s not usually a one-visit kind of thing.

I’ve been doing a word study of “joy” from my Bible’s concordance. Not exhaustive, but many verses. I’ve been writing them out in my journal, as I seek to understand what joy should look like in my life. Yesterday, I had to stop with Psalm 42:4, NLT.

My heart is breaking
    as I remember how it used to be:
I walked among the crowds of worshipers,
    leading a great procession to the house of God,
singing for joy and giving thanks
    amid the sound of a great celebration!

It reminded me of Sundays in WI where we attended church.  How I miss being among friends at church, that “feeling connected” feeling.

The church we’re currently attending is more Pentecostal than anything we’ve ever been part of. This is a stretch, but I feel God growing me in seeing the work of the Holy Spirit in my life and others’ around me. The pastor is humble, and a good teacher. His sermons are soundly Biblical, he teaches from God’s Word, and there are lots of practical and spiritual applications to daily life. The women of the Connection Group I’m attending each Tuesday morning – while all are older than me – have been very welcoming and gracious.

I hate to admit this, but it’s the worship team where we’re stuck. That divisive, age-old issue of worship style. And actually, it’s not the style, it’s the sound. The music is at such a particular pitch and loud volume that it literally hurts our ears.

So what do we do? We like the size of the church, the people are friendly, and the sermons are solid. I may not enjoy singing every chorus through six times (no exaggeration), but I can pray when I don’t want to sing anymore. But what do we do about physical pain?

I’ve been praying that God will lead us to the local church where He wants us. Where we can worship Him fully, be fed spiritually, and serve Him faithfully. I’m just not sure if we’ve found it yet. 

Fellow Christ-followers, I welcome your insights and advice. Please.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”  ‭‭(Hebrews‬ ‭10:24-25‬, ‭NIV‬‬)

8 thoughts on “Finding a Church Home, part 2

  1. hlhivy January 23, 2018 / 8:30 am

    Peggy, we had similar concerns at our church. The worship team has changed over time- some are easier than others to sing along with, but we actually “seat shopped” within the church- until we found a place where the speakers seemed to blend best and were more comfortable to hear. We also have prayed that the worship team and the team leader would desire for their work to be received well by the congregation. Not long after – a new sound board appeared that helped blend tones even more. Worship is such an important part of church- I completely understand the desire to find a place that allows you to worship Him without having to work so hard to shut out the distractions of sound.

    Liked by 1 person

    • peggyricewi January 23, 2018 / 8:32 am

      Thanks for your thoughts! What a great idea to sit in different places around the sanctuary and see how the sound changes. And to pray these prayers – I’m gonna do that!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. theapplesinmyorchard January 15, 2018 / 11:31 am

    The other thing I wanted to comment on was that I could very much relate to your comment of not wanting to go to church to be entertained……I dislike that trend very much. Although, I love uplifting music and a sense of community, when it is “forced” or too much of a “production” I always find myself walking away unsatisfied. Time to worship, reflect and center oneself privately is important to me as a former church-goer. I found it less and less, until unfortunately, I stopped looking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • peggyricewi January 15, 2018 / 4:29 pm

      It’s hard to keep looking. I understand your frustration!

      Like

  3. Mary Bartos January 14, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Greetings,
    My mother brings ear plugs! No kidding. When she is to attend church with her grandchildren, she brings ear plugs. Then it does not hurt her ears. If she forgets, she gets a kleenx from the bathroom and wads it up in her ears. The each generation is content with the arrangement. We hope she lasts a long time and can hear us all that time. Just an idea!
    Blessings, Mary B

    Liked by 1 person

  4. theapplesinmyorchard January 14, 2018 / 9:46 pm

    I can imagine how difficult the place you find yourself is to be. You like some aspects of the church but not others. I have “church shopped” before – and, I did not enjoy it. But, after years of looking (in Wisconsin), I realized that what I was looking for was not to be found. I was looking for the church of my childhood, where I loved going. I do not think you will find the answers in what others tell you, however. Do you know if you are the only ones who feel this way about the music? If you are not the only ones who feel the way you do about the music, and everything else is as promising as it sounds, maybe the worship team can consider some softer, gentler hymns (suggested by a group of parishioners). Great post. I hope you receive some other responses.

    Liked by 1 person

    • peggyricewi January 15, 2018 / 8:24 am

      Not sure about how others feel. Good question. Maybe I’ll ask my small group ladies.

      Liked by 1 person

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