Thursday, June 17, 2010

Church Shopping

We have now been gone from our church for six months - how the time has flown! I miss it dreadfully, but am doing my best not to think about it too much and to focus on the future.

Anyhow, when we first left, we automatically started attending the church where I have done women's ministries for many years, and we thought we'd end up there. However, over the past few months, we decided that we wanted to start looking again. There were numerous reasons, a big one of which was that DH couldn't stand the militant Calvinism. Our former church was also Calvinist, but in a gentler, background sort of way so that people of many beliefs in the Calvinist/Arminian spectrum could attend comfortably. Not so this church! They are more along the lines of: "Thank you for attending this morning! You were elected to be here. Please greet one another and then join us in reciting the Doctrines of Grace. The non-elect may leave before the sermon."

Okay, it wasn't that bad - but they are overtly, obviously, constantly Calvinist, and DH couldn't take it anymore! We're both in the middle on the spectrum, so militant Calvinism isn't really for us. There were other factors too, so we decided to start looking.

So far, we've seen three churches:

(1) Large (~800) Baptist church. My first time ever in a Baptist church. Great pipe organ, choir, orchestra, and we also found some friends of ours there. The downside: A choir director who feels the need to give speeches before every song (and since they only sang 1-2 verse of each hymn, it meant that worship was mostly speeches!), and a bit too formal for me. Having spent most of my Christian life in California-surfer-type churches, the suit-and-tie atmosphere was a bit intimidating. But we might try it again.

(2) Moderate-sized (~150) Presbyterian church. My first time ever in a Presbyterian church! Good, solid theology - no complaints there. Downside - possibly a bit dull, and the music was very basic.

(3) Large (1000+) ultra-modern mini-megachurch. Modern music, ultra-casual dress, etc.

My conclusions?

First of all, I'm not a fan of church shopping with kids. Without kids, it was kind of fun. With kids, it's much more difficult, in knowing that constantly flopping from church to church is unsettling for the kidlets - esp. since our eldest DS is going through a rather puzzling "But I don't wanna go to church!" phase. So beside dealing with that, we're also dealing with trying to find something that suits both us, as adults, and our kids. We can't go to a church that DS hates and dreads, no matter how much we like it.

We've decided to camp at church #3 for a few weeks to see how it goes - for us and for DS. We liked it a lot, with a couple of reservations, so we're going to see if it's a keeper or not. If not, we'll hit the road again.

Have a great night, all!


  1. Honestly when you first landed at EVBC I was perplexed. And I thought to myself "Joe's not gonna like their ultra-Calvinism." We have several friends who left there for the same reason. Which church is #3?

  2. We spent a couple years looking for a church - no fun! Finally found a pretty good one, but it took moving out of state before we found a perfect fit. I will be praying for you as you look.

  3. wow, stephanie I found your blog.
    I wanted to say that with my second pregnancy I had that sickness so bad also from 16 weeks on. he is austistic now with numerous other problems.
    And guess what? My 21 year old daughter whom lives with her boyfriend and his Rich parents is pregnant. Yikes. I have mixed emotions but, children are a Blessing from God.
    I am glad I found your blog and happy church hunting.

  4. sandalloons44 - Thanks for reading! So sorry to hear that you dealt with bad morning sickness issues. My name, though, is Diana - so you might be looking for another blogger? Thanks for commenting!

  5. Ugh, I know how hard that can be. I'd invite you to our church (West Greenway Bible), but I imagine Glendale is a little farther than you want to drive!! My husband may have some suggestions for you- I'll run it by him and see what he says.
    Good luck!

  6. Laura - That would be great! I would love any church name suggestions. :)


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