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Sunday Services or maybe not... HELP!

Went we left San Diego, we left behind an amazing Church. After years of looking, we finally found a home where Jesus was King! I love that Church and the people who reside inside it as well. The Pastor is passionate and teaching (un-politically correct), sound Bible doctrine. The music was joyful and my children had a place to go that taught them in a fun, uplifting manner that they actually retained! Imagine my dismay when the Lord began to convict our hearts to move cross country to Tennessee.

I had hoped that we would be able to find a new church; especially excited because we were moving into the Bible belt. "Surely," I thought "if there is anyplace to find a new Church, it would be there." I had faith and hope, in the trip, in the well being, in the decision from the blue to move to somewhere I had never even driven though. In all things, I have not been disappointed, except one.

The Church. I must say I was surprised to find that, while there are SO many Churches out here, they are all nearly cookie cutter versions of themselves, with only minor differences. *sigh*

We have tried out 5 or 6 Churches so far and asked about dozens of others. It is frustrating and heartbreaking that not a single one is the one we need. There are about 20 more Churches somewhat locally that we could try but honestly, I am growing tired of it. I grow weary of mustering the courage to go in somewhere new, to find our way to wherever we need to be, to meet wonderful people, and then find that it will, once again, not work for us.

So, what is it that leaves us without a Church home yet? Well, old fashioned services predominate out here; while that is good for some, it is not for us. Everyone sings hymns to a organ or piano, most with dry disinterest. They all sit still in sober quiet pews, reciting the occasional scripture or passage from the hymnals. The services are dry and chaste, the congregation's passion is nowhere to be found. The children do not have a place to be except with the parent; making the parent and the child miserable trying to keep quiet and in place. Some Churches have a lighter announcement session, some have a more passionate Pastor, some have better music, but we have yet to find a home.

One MAJOR Issue for me is the Children. My children are very young. In my opinion, it is not joyful, productive or good for them to have to sit quiet and still for over an hour, listening to the drull of prose they do not fully understand, and mostly have no attention span or interest in listening to in the first place. It is stressful and distracting to the parent. Every single church out here so far have NO children's ministry for services! NONE. NOT ONE.

Our Churches back home had children's ministry for all sessions; even super small churches. Larger congregations offered more but in all of them there was learning, and my children loved going to Church. Our services were alight with love. Love of the Lord and for each other. People openly praised the Lord out loud, the Pastor joked and talked with the congregation, His passion obvious. The congregation sang to a live stage performance of music ministry workers; singing songs of praise from modern sources as well as slightly updated, more musical versions of hymns. Services often lead me to tears from sheer joy sometimes, or humble realizations of my own failings in accordance to scripture. You always left feeling connected, learned, and passionate. I have yet to find a Church here that resembles this construct.

We did find ONE church that had close to what we are looking for; they were kind, their music was more passionate, the services were more modern. However, most of the service topics were not living. The fire was not there. Scripture has mostly been mild and they, again, had nowhere for the Children to learn and grow.

So what's a girl to do? I have turned to the internet. I wish that my old Church would broadcast its services but they don't yet offer that. I have found two amazing Churches. One is biblical sound, passionate, informative and they pull NO punches in Biblical doctrine. It's called The Abiding Place. The other one is here in Tennessee, but too far from us to actually attend. They are Long Hollow Baptist Church. I find that I look forward to logging onto Long Hollow every Sunday to tune in. Occasionally I will do the same for Abiding Place. In both Churches I download and listen to their past services or Bible studies during the week.

This works well for me. However, my children are still not getting their Sunday schooling. We do homeschool and weave the Bible in our everyday learning however we do not do a specific Bible course. Do you think my children are missing out? Do I need to offer Sunday School taught here at home? Would it even be remotely as fun and edifying as a Church Sunday school? Or are they being taught enough already? HELP! I need your advice!


Erica said...

I do not think that your children are missing out on Sunday School. I think that they will learn just as much, if not more, from you teaching them at home. To me, personally, I think it is important that their "religious training" come, for the most part, from me and my husband.

I do find it unfortunate that the churches there don't offer any kid on Sunday School for the kids. I have the same difficulties with my girls. If there was no Sunday School or nursery, I probably wouldn't go at all.

But this is all such a personal decision, all I can do is give my own opinion.

Diana S. said...

Thank you! I appreciate your opinions a LOT! :) I have just been lifting it up to the Lord and waiting. LOL

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