Don’t tell my husband I’m doing this instead of napping. I’m in the midst of night-training 2-year-old Olivia so we can totally ditch diapers, and I am Wiped Out. I wake her up three times a night to pee so she won’t wet the bed. Yes, it sounds insane, but it worked with George, so…fingers crossed (and prayers whispered)!
In case your Facebook feed isn’t full of pastels, eggs, and cute family photos, I thought I’d remind you that today is Easter. It’s such an exciting day of celebration for Christians, and I wish the rest of the world would realize it too.
This Easter, though, won’t go down as one of my favorites. We’ve been in South Carolina for a smidge over a month. While I’m thoroughly enjoying our new life up here, finding a church is hard. It’s hard, y’all. And I wish I were some sort of expert with a five-point presentation on successfully finding a new church home.
When we moved to Gainesville, Florida, we literally lived across the street from the church my brother attended while in college (go Gators!), so it was an easy choice. Apparently, we’re lazy and can’t be expected to leave the house more than five minutes prior to church starting.
But how do we find a new church in a new city in a new state full of new people? Ya got me.
I think the first hurdle we have to climb is to figure out our priorities. Every corner of South Carolina hosts a Baptist church, so there are many, many options. (We were told that if you want to find the highest point in a town, just look for the Baptist church). And if we decide to get brave and look beyond the safety of Baptist world, the options are endless.
So, priorities? Solid, Bible teaching that challenges and convicts. Reliable, loving kids’ program. Some kind of local and international outreach. Decent music. Welcoming people. People in our similar age/stage category. Nearby geographically.
OK, that’s a fairly long list. And each of those points varies depending if we’re talking about me or my husband. Olivia is happy as long as there’s a play kitchen in the nursery. George is never happy to be separated from us, but then hops down the hall waving a coloring sheet when we pick him up.
I’m not a fan of church hunting. I want to simply waltz into the church God has for us, feel a soul connection, and join the choir. I don’t want to spend every Sunday morning surrounded by strangers after dropping off my children with strangers. But, it’s only been a month. We’ve tried two churches. We may even call the first church our church home in the end. We’re just not certain, so we’re going to look around for awhile.
Wouldn’t it be (kind of) nice to be zoned for churches, like with public schools? Like, “Oh, you moved into that neighborhood and you’re a Baptist, so you’re zoned for Main Street Baptist.” Then again, it didn’t work out so well for the school system… But at least I’d know, “OK, here’s where we’re plugging in and serving, regardless of what is happening four miles down the road!”
Plus, how are we supposed to find a church? I can Google “Baptist church near me”, and reading Google reviews seems silly. If I post in a local Facebook group, most people are going to say they love their church. And everyone has different priorities and tastes. Most churches have terrible websites with broken links and little information, so they aren’t a true testament to the quality of the church itself. Thankfully, the same God who moved us to South Carolina knows exactly where we belong, but I can’t help feel some frustration in the process.
All right, whining complete. I’m supposed to be napping, after all. As a mom of two little ones, I’m “wasting” valuable alone time!
Happy Easter, y’all. Praise God that Jesus sacrificed it all and rose again for us. It doesn’t matter which building we worship in and how many unfamiliar faces we’re surrounded by. Jesus Christ (and his legacy) are the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Got any tips for us in our search for a new church?
Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness – Ms. Harkness wrote The All Souls Trilogy, which, frankly, I enjoyed. It was a bit on the too-witchcrafty line for me, but it felt like a grown-up Twilight (Is that a good selling point?). Well, this one is a fourth book about two other characters in the trilogy. Harkness writes well and keeps the academia, romance, and action interesting. If you like magic, vampires, witches, etc., I highly recommend this series.