A Leap of Faith

While we were still in Abu Dhabi I began the arduous process of researching churches. I knew that it would be helpful to have a short list of contenders so that we could start visiting once we were settled. I really wasn't sure exactly what we were looking for in a new church home but I prayed that we would know it when we found it.

Our attendance in Abu Dhabi was sporadic and besides the Bible study I did, we never really got involved. I definitely wanted to change that. I desperately want to have a church home that we can become involved in and that Emerson can grow up in (at least while we are here.

I started by looking at non-denominational churches with a contemporary feel. I also tried to stay within 10 miles of our home because Jesse already commutes 40 miles round trip during the week. I thought it would be nice if the church had a good children's program and maybe even a women's Bible study. I've been to tiny churches and huge churches and I think I prefer something right in the middle.

Unfortunately finding what I was looking for is not quite as easy as it sounds. There weren't a lot of churches in our area that jumped out at me. It kind of reminds of me buying a house. When you are looking you love so many things about two different houses and you wish you could combine them. Most of the churches that I really loved are just too far away for a weekly commute. I even looked into some of the more traditional churches in our area and they are all quite small and don't really seem to offer much outside of the regular services on Sunday.

Last week I finally narrowed it down to two in our area that I wanted to visit. I shared them both with Jesse and we agreed on one to try first. I think the fact that the service didn't start until 10:45 was part of the appeal.  Or perhaps the fact that jeans flip flops are acceptable... Anyway, we decided it was a worth a try. 

When we arrived there were two ladies directing children to the proper rooms. I loved that they had a check in system for the kiddos. Apparently there weren't a lot of kids that day because they combined them all into two rooms with 0-2 being all in one room. Emerson went right in without a second look back at us and we headed to the sanctuary.

Everyone was incredibly welcoming and we definitely felt at ease. I liked the music (although it was way too loud for my taste) and I felt like the sermon was just what I needed to hear. The whole feel of the church was very contemporary and I'm still on the fence as to whether it was a bit too contemporary for me. I do know for sure that we liked it enough to go back and try it again. I have a feeling it's going to take several visits to decide if it's right the place for us.

If Emerson had a vote, I think she'd say we found just what we were looking for. When I went to pick her up she was the only toddler in the room and she was having a blast being the big girl. One of the teachers was doing a flannel board story with her and she was mesmerized. She didn't even see us come in and she was just grinning from ear to ear. It was so precious. Before we left the teacher told us that she had learned a memory verse and had earned a sticker for being able to say it. She repeated it for us and I was so impressed! I love that they worked with her and now she knows her very first memory verse, Matthew 28:20. Of course, I had to get a video:

We're looking forward to going back this week and trying it out again. I know this is not one of those things that you can rush into and it will probably take us some time to find the right fit for us.
I am quite certain that God has great plans for us as we search for a church that we can call home.

April said...

Glad you are looking for a church. Church family is so important when you are not near your real family. Not that you are looking for advice but all I would say is that you will never find a perfect church. The most important thing I look for in a church is are they worshiping in a way that agrees with what the Bible instructs. Then I would want to pick a church that my child feels engaged in.

~Dawn~ said...

It is such a tough process to find the 'right' fit in a church. We struggled for a few years, but are happy to have found one that is GREAT and so close to our home. It's such a huge relief.

Natalie said...

Glad you having some luck and hopefully you will find the one that is just right for you guys!

Emily said...

Oh I hope you do like this place and that it becomes home for you. It was so difficult for my family to find a church - but once we did, it's been amazing. Good luck to you!

Jessica @ Better Together and Forever said...

Great job Emerson!! She is just so adorable! :)

Rebekah said...

It can be so hard to find a church! The church we go to is 30 minutes away but we love it. It's a bit more contemporary than what we're used to but sometimes you just have to say okay, if this is the only thing we aren't big on, we can live with it. As long as the teaching is great than we're happy! I am hoping to be more involved in a church when we PCS this summer. Being farther away doesn't allow us to be involved except for Sunday services. Way to go Emerson!! That was too precious!

Mandy said...

I'm so happy that you guys are finally in a place where you can search out a church family that is just the right fit for your sweet family! Finding our church here has been the best thing for us!! Praying that God will lead you to the right church family and you will have a peace about it! Her video is just precious!

Emily Powell said...

We are apart of a church family but I still wish the church we joined had more of the church we left :/ Kind of a give and take. Good luck!

Emily | Babyberry said...

LOVE the photos... But I am totally in love with that video of sweet Emerson! :) How sweet! Best of luck finding a new church.

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