church shopping and hopping

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When Rory and I lived in Montana we started attending a tiny Methodist church of earnest believers. The preaching was great, the community was warm and loving and the music left a lot of be desired. A lot. So much that on the way home from church I regularly let Rory know how hard it is to worship when the songs were sung like that. I let Rory know the songs I would have chosen instead. I let Rory know a lot of things.

Finally Rory told me I should get up there and lead the music myself. He said it sounded like I knew how to do it best.

A funny thing happened though. That guy leading the music, the one I had many opinions about...he reached out to us. In big ways. He always came to say hello after service. He and his wife invited us to their house for supper. Turns out he lived on the area ywam base and told us we should come for the weekly community worship. That guy, the one who I was so very quick to critique, became our friend.

Humble pie. Take a big bite, Becca.

I had a little transformation. Once I knew the heart behind that microphone I was endeared to this guy for trying. No one else was volunteering to lead the music. He was trying his best. He was brave. He was singing for an audience of one and leading us to do the same.

Since moving to our new place Rory and I have visited four area churches. And we've critiqued each one on the drive home. Because clearly we had arrived each Sunday morning to be catered to.

Finding a church is tricky stuff. Or it can be. A husband and wife come with their own church backgrounds, their own idea of what a fulfilling Sunday morning should feel like. Rory and I have talked about how there are four main components that make a church feel like a possible church home for us: the preaching, the music, the people and the children's programming. And if any of those are sub par then we might just take our church consumer selves and find a place that meets our every single need.

Well, good luck with that.

Today we stayed after service for an introduction to a church we've frequented since moving here. And they made a good clarification. God wants our commitment to the work of his kingdom. He doesn't want us to be consumers. He wants us to contribute.

Obviously I knew that. But I wasn't living it. Suddenly I saw the church for what I can bring to that place. Not with any huge ideas to change anything...but I realized what I have to contribute. I have a mouth. I can welcome people and introduce myself to a stranger. I have kids. I can sign up to work in the nursery once a month so the steady help in there can get into the service themselves. I have gifts. I can help.

I can contribute.

So we are parking our shopping cart. There certainly is a season to look around and find a good fit. And we took our time looking around. But then there is also a time to park it. To enter in. We have found a good group of people serving Jesus and striving to share His good news to the world and we're going to join in. We're done looking for a church. Now we're going to be the church.


Joy @ Sea said...

Wow. That was powerful! You two are very well equipped to contribute to the work of the ministry. That one thought is what so many believers are missing - be the church!

Mary Jago said...

That is exactly right Becca - we need to look at the heart of those serving in any way - not at the quality (or what we think is quality) But we go to church to be the church and to worship God - not to be entertained or catered to - good blog woman!! bless you!!

Becca Groves said...

Dad Groves,
Thanks so much for your kind words. I love it when you comment.

Aunt Louie! You got through!!! Hooray!!! So glad you were able to leave a comment!