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.
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!