Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Challenging Myself to Church

Week after week I tell Brandon we're going to go to church, and week after week we find some reason not to. Honestly, it's become a vicious cycle. Now here we are, almost another year of marriage and parenthood under our belts, and our family still has no church home. 

After comforting my sister-in-law in some church-related relationship woes last week, I knew I needed to take my own words of encouragement and run with them.

So, I sat down and did actual research on churches in our area. My browser kept finding its way back to a specific church, a church Brandon and I seem to come back to often in conversation. The message shared on their website seemed to be a nice blend of both Brandon and my beliefs. 

I won't lie, though, I'm weary. A bit anxious, really. Each Saturday night I'm mentally prepared for us to head to church the next morning but when Sunday rolls around the idea of being the new family in the back, you know, the ones with a potentially screaming toddler. This thought irks me to the core, and I find myself backing out month after month. 

Well, no more

There's no better time than the beginning of our Lent season to challenge myself and my family to build on our relationship with God. Growing up, I often dedicated Lent to giving up Diet Coke. However, over the last few years I've taken this time to get back to God. 

And, this year, I'm going to see our family gets back to God, gets back to church and attempts to find a Christian community for us to join in our city. 

via
Have you ever been the new family at church? I'd so appreciate your thoughts and experiences shared in the comments!

12 comments:

  1. Such a short time ago, we were the new family at church and it was nervewracking, exciting and scary all at the same time. I'm not sure what your denomination is but my husband and I were both raised Catholic but never really felt like we fit in there. I didn't 'get' a lot of things and whenever I asked questions I was challenged to 'just believe' but I always felt like God was MORE than just believing. We got married, had a baby and then felt that same nudge to find a church home. We decided to go church shopping, set foot into the first one and never left. The same church kept coming back to us like you mention above. We filled out a visitors card and the pastor and pastor's wife reached out to us. Met with us for a discipleship class for 8+ weeks and taught us SO much! Our daughter now goes to the nursery they offer, she's made friends and loves it, we've made friends and LOVE it too! We were baptized and have really found a new family there. I wrote a lot about it on my blog if you're interested. It's truly been a life changing experience for us as a family. We've given our lives to the Lord and He is so good. I'll be praying for you and your family that God puts you in the right place. It's no coincidence that you're feeling the nudge to go to church!

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  2. Good luck with this!! Being the new family with the potentially screaming 1.5 year old has been keeping me from church also! Excuse after excuse has kept me from finding a church and then actually having Mackenzie baptized! I also need to stop with the excuses and be that new family.
    I hope this church welcomes you with open arms! And is everything your looking for!

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  3. I haven't been the new family at church, but I HAVE been the family with the screaming baby and/or toddler. Still am, often. Truthfully, we all are!

    Getting up and ready for church is exhausting and trying. Everything goes wrong. A year or so, while venting, an old lady at church asked me if I had ever considered that it's satan trying to do everything he can to keep us from coming. That thought hadn't ever crossed my mind before,
    but he would love that, wouldn't he? And now, with that thought in mind, it's a lot easier for me to push through and just GET THERE...even if I'm in yoga pants. Even if my kids are in pajamas. Even if we are grabbing breakfast at Starbucks on the way.

    Hang in there!

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  4. Oh, Erin! This make my heart so so happy! We never had to worry about church selection, but we LOVE our church. My FIL always says that he'd rather hear crying babies, screaming toddlers, etc. in church than to have no kids in it at all. I can't wait to hear how everything goes. Blessings to you and your family!

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  5. It's not easy finding a new church...and even with 2 kids...it's so hard to go! I have to motivate myself too and get my mind ready for it. I love to go but getting out the door in time and not having melt downs during....is a task! But well worth it :)

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  6. We aren't even the "new family" at church and my husband and I still struggle with this. Some Sunday mornings the idea of getting out of bed at 6 am, readying two small children, ourselves, the bag of diapers and snacks, and making the 20 minute drive to our home church in time for 8:30 mass is just too much. Sunday is a day of rest, right? I have a long way to go in this area, for sure! I pray you will find a welcoming church home that you and your husband can agree on. It's so important for our kids! Especially in today's crazy world. Wishing you many blessings!

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  7. Yay congratulations on your new "sacrifice" for Lent! We started going to the same church as my ILs, out of convenience initially - already knowing someone plugged in(and my FIL is one of the elders) but over time, it became our church too, not just "their church" because we got more involved - Aubrey attends the nursery while we're in service, I am in the midst of my 4th bible study, and my husband just started doing the men's one, and is also on the softball team. It seemed overwhelming at first to get us all ready and out the door at 7:40 (the 8am service fits best with Aubrey's schedule) but now it's 2nd nature. We have our routine, we love it, and it's just apart of what we do now.

    Can't wait to hear how it goes with your family!!!

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  8. I am so happy to hear this! I hope you find a church that is the perfect home for you and your family!
    ♥ Kyna

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  9. This is so my family right now.

    Alex and I had finally found what we thought would be our church home when I was pregnant with Kate. It was a bit far away (35 minutes) but, it felt like home thanks to the fact that our dear family friend (who happened to be the officiant at our wedding) was the pastor.

    Well, Kate was born, I didn't want to bring my newborn out, she was sick, on isolation, etc. And we just never made it back to church.

    I can't believe we still do not have an official church home here in Houston and I feel stuck. I long for that sense of community and long to worship with others. But with everything Will is about to go through it seems crazy to attempt to connect right before isolation starts again. Sigh.

    So no, you are not alone. I am right there with you! But, I'm certain that we will both have our church homes soon! Praying for your family!

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  10. I have been the new girl at church and I want to encourage you to persist- it took me 1-2 years to feel like it was 'home'. But the persistence was worth it- I now have a home church who feel like family.

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  11. We are the new family at church right now! We moved about nine months ago, and have tried maybe four different churches since then. We have FINALLY (as in, last two weeks), found The One. I completely agree with you about how hard it is. I keep likening church-hunting to dating. You visit for a Sunday--maybe you looked your best, maybe they were at their worst, maybe it was you, maybe it was them, maybe it just wasn't a good fit...IT IS HARD! And it takes a ton of time and effort even after you've found the church to get involved. We were actually really fortunate in that a church we had liked, but that was too big, opened a campus closer to where we live, so we are not the only new family on the block :).
    Hang in there! Just imagine how awesome it will be in a year when you can be worshiping at your "home" church, and look in the back and see the new family that used to be you :) That's what's keeping me going!

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  12. We've definitely been there. Start by visiting on a Sunday morning (and honestly, I'd drop the boy off in the nursery so that you can relax and enjoy the service). If you feel comfortable there after a few Sundays, start looking into other things they offer. We didn't become part of the family until I started going to a women's Bible study and got our son involved in the children's department. Seriously. That's the key! And Sunday School. Shop those as well!

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