I work pretty hard during the week. Monday through Thursday I go to class from Noon until 6. Then I work, at an unnamed burger place, from 7 til 1. However I have Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays off. That is really nice. On my off days I enjoy: doing a whole lot of nothing. I’ll sit around, browse the internet, hang with friends, play Halo, and, just recently, church.
My Freshman year I never went to church. I don’t think I ever even visited one on a Sunday morning. And I was fine with that. Part of me thought that I should at least try to find a church, but my heart was in it. I wanted one simply because it was the Christian thing to do, not because I really wanted to be involved with a church. I went to Cru. I attended a few other campus ministry meetings when convenient. I thought that a more than adequate substitute for a church family.
But then I went home for summer.
Boy, did my view change. My parents dragged me along to their church. They even made me go to (gasp) Sunday School! A whole hour(ish) early to wake up on a Sunday morning made for sleeping. However, I fell in love with that church. I loved the youth group. It advanced to the point of me going every Sunday morning (even once on one hour of sleep), every Wednesday night, and every Sunday night. It was unbelievably hard to leave that church.
My first couple weeks back here I, once again, didn’t seek out a church. I think I was just hit with complacency and laziness, along with some peer pressure. My roommates didn’t go to church, why should I? But then I started remembering the relationship I had with my church back home and how much I missed it. So I started looking for a close match. I learned that I enjoy small churches. I think the most important part of a church is community. If you are a person who can find that within a big church, great! I can’t. I’m not social. Going to a small church, people are basically forced to deal with me and I with them. There is no hiding, which is really easy at a big church. I’m forced to make friendships.
So this morning I went to a smallish church. I went by myself, which was really difficult for me, but it was also that important to me. To put it into perspective: I don’t even like going to Wal-mart by myself. I’m not sure if this church was a good fit for me, I’ll have to go back once or twice to see. I just know that I loved actually proactively advancing my search for a church community. Even though I wasn’t entirely comfortable, nothing is better than coming together and worshiping God with fellow believers. I have just felt better today, happier, that I went to church.
So how to find a church? I really can’t answer this for you. So many variable are involved. Know what you like and what will help you grow and mature as a Christian. Big? Small? Lots of small groups? Rock band? Choir? Doesn’t matter. Whatever preaches Biblical truth and helps you grow. However, I heard once last year that people have a skewed perspective when choosing a church. When visiting a church we often ask: “what can this church do for me?” Really we should ask how we can serve that church. What God can use us to do there. Church is about serving. Its about loving each other and your community. How can you do that if you are so focused on how the church can serve you?
So I just encourage you to find a church. It doesn’t have to be your parents church. You don’t even have to know anyone there. Just go. Be proactive.