“Shopping for a Church”

Shopping for a Church

Since Kayla and I have been back in Norman we have been “shopping” for a new church. I know I could say that we were “trying out” new churches, but it’s kind of fun to use Christian terms that I think are silly.

We have been to several churches in the area over the years, and in the past couple of months we have attended a few to try to find a place where we could fit in. I believe Sunday we found a place that is good for us. 

Before I go any further I want to explain my view of church.

First of all, I’m to the point, where, as long as a church isn’t blatantly heretical, I couldn’t care less if you teach something I don’t fully agree with. At a certain point it starts to wear you out when you constantly look for perfect teachers (if you find one let me know).

Secondly, I like to view the church on a larger scale that transcends the walls of a building, and realize that all Christians who believe in Christ’s death and resurrection and accept him as their savior are part of the same church. If others want to spend their time arguing about the stuff that’s created denominations, then that’s fine. I just don’t see the point.

*Disclaimer: My views in this next part might offend some people, but please understand that it's a matter of personal preference. I'm in no way saying that if a church doesn't line up with my understanding of the gospel, that it's not a good church. (If you feel that way read the first two paragraphs again)

Here are three things that I was looking for in a church community:

1. I wanted a place where we felt welcomed, but not just by a greeter at the door who is assigned to say “hello” to you. There’s nothing wrong with greeters, but I’ve always thought that if a church is alive, then it shouldn't be hard to find compassion and acceptance.

2. I wanted a place where people are empowered on a personal level and didn’t just look to a pastor to do everything.

3. I wanted a place where small groups met together to actually discuss the Bible. I have plenty of friends, so it’s always weird to me when small groups are a bunch of people talking about how work is going. We meet together because we all have one thing in common (Christianity), so it’s strange to not talk about it. I’m an external processor. I love learning and growing by talking about the Gospel, so it was important to me to find a place where that was a priority. 

Kayla and I went to a couple of the larger churches in our area first and I couldn’t help but feel like cattle being herded through the stockyards. I was in my seat with a pamphlet in my hand before I knew what hit me. Every transition was flawless. Then at the end everyone cleared out so that they could quickly move the rest of the flock through the gate for the next service. I know some people love that stuff. To each their own. I just wanted something that felt more like real life.

I was talking to one of my best friends about churches in the area and he did a search and told us about a few, so we looked them over and decided to go to a newer church plant called The Well in Moore, OK. 

On our first visit Kayla accidentally read the time wrong, and when we walked in thirty minutes late, we expected to get condescending looks. We were, instead, met by people getting up from their seats to grab extra chairs for us. We had already talked about how we hoped Violet would be quiet during the service (she is in a random screaming stage) and we walked in to find 5-10 other babies all making noises and being real babies. There was a mom’s room if your kid can’t keep it together, but the guy speaking didn’t seem to mind their “interruption” at all. When the pastor was finished teaching the band played some original songs during worship which was refreshing as well. After the service we stood up to leave and what felt like half of the church came to introduce themselves. The stuff we were looking for was found at a small church a few miles away.

We went again this week and were met with the same kindness and acceptance that we found the first time. I’m super impressed with the positivity and genuine hospitality we’ve experienced at this church. Tonight I’m going to a small group where, get this, they talk about the Bible. I’m pumped. 

I’m aware that this is starting to sound like a Yelp review, so I’ll get to the point. 

Kayla and I were pretty excited to find a place with real people acting like real people on a Sunday morning and we feel like we’ve found a gem. I’ve said all this to say: If you are in the area and looking for a church you should check this place out. I’ll put a link below to their website if you want to learn more. I know this isn’t my typical niche’ of writing, but when I see something good, I want to share it with other people.