I think to myself, is tomorrow Monday already? Why is the weekend so short? And the question, I’m asking myself lately is what church will I attend today?
I try to go to church every Sunday but sometimes there is a rare occasion when I just can’t will myself out of bed so I watch church online. I know what you’re thinking, you sure are lazy. And I would have to agree with you. But when I don’t go, I feel like I’ve missed out on something. I say to myself, “Self, why didn’t you get your lazy ass out of bed?” I also hear my mother saying in a slightly critical voice, “You didn’t go to church today?” With all of these voices in my head and by growing up in the church, how could I struggle with going to church on Sunday? Well, I do. And let me tell you why.
I love me some good ol’ fashion church but I have a few restrictions or maybe I should call them preferences. Call me crazy but I’m a girl that knows what I want and I rarely settle for less. And yes this also applies to finding a church home.
Let me give you some historical reference. I was raised by my mom who is Baptist and as a teen our family were all members at Salem Missionary Baptist Church. As a teen growing up in the church, I was a tutor at an after school program, a member of Youth Council and in the Junior Choir. They tried to get me to be an Usher but I have a mean face and I’m not that friendly so that was out of the question for me. I also never really made it to Sunday school because that was too early and my mother never made me go, even though we lived two blocks away from church and I was always late, but I digress.
|Salem Missionary Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY|
Anywho, when I returned to NY after college, of course I returned to my home church and became overly active. I was in the Young Adult Ministry, a member of the Young Adult Choir, a Leader of the Youth Council and I was elected as a Trustee. I think a few times I went to church every day. Can we say, TIRED?
So when I moved to Maryland, I felt like I wasn’t obligated to be at church all of the time. I became a member of a MEGA church with two locations and seven different services to choose from. So of course I went to the 9:30 am service which was affectionately called the “Hit it and Quit Service.” The service was only an hour maybe an hour and fifteen minutes long. This was because it was the middle service which started when the first service ended and had to be over before the second service began. This church took up one offering, they didn’t sing twenty songs and the preacher preached for fifteen to twenty minutes. EUREKA!
I enjoyed this church so much, I became a member of the Young Adult Choir. I bought my robe, went to a few rehearsals sang a few times and realized this big obligation I just embarked upon was not for me. As shallow as this seems, they had rehearsal every Thursday for two and half hours and that interfered with me watching Scandal. We also had to sing for three services on Sundays which meant I had to be at church from 6:30 am to about 1:30 pm. I’m tired just thinking about it. But the real reason why I became a choir drop out was because I didn’t feel a sense of connection to the members and the group which made me use the time consuming excuse. So I just continued to attend the 9:30 am service sometimes the 11:15 am service, pay my tithes and went about my merry way.
This brings me to my current church home search. I’ve visited a few churches in the Houston area and some of them were better than others. There’s my mom’s church which is family oriented and too small for me but she likes it so I visit from time to time. Then there’s the church I went to where the Pastor gave a demonstration in his sermon about his cup running over and used a pitcher full of water and a cup. Let’s just say he made a mess on the stage. And I wanted to say to him, “Sir, you’re doing way too much right now.”
|Friendship Community Church, Sugar Land, Texas|
Then there was the church that I like which is little farther than I care to drive. They have four services because they have outgrown there modest size sanctuary. And if you get there late on first Sunday you have to sit in the overflow room which is in another building and gave me a very impersonal worship experience.
|Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, Houston, Texas|
There was also the church I attended that wanted to acknowledge the Co-Pastor’s birthday during the Sunday morning worship service. So they bought out an assortment platter of Chicken (he liked chicken) which included chicken nuggets, chicken tenders, fried chicken, baked chicken, BBQ chicken, etc. and he proceeded to eat some. Then, when they took the platter out of the Sanctuary he pretended to be mad and followed the person out as if he was going to eat some more. I can’t!
|Greater St. Matthew Church, Houston, Texas|
Then there was a church which had a Husband and Wife tag team sermon. No thanks, I can’t focus.
There was also a church which I enjoyed and even though they had a small congregation I felt like they really cared about ministering to the people. So much so, the Pastor who is a friend of a friend’s Mom called me up to the alter to minister to me and she prayed for me. Let’s just say, I was surprised and thankful. But that’s not the church for me either.
And then there was the church I’ve visited which I truly enjoy. I feel like a could learn, grow spiritually and even find ONE ministry to be a part of. My mom went with me once and she said she likes it for me also. I’ve been a few times and I’m even thinking about joining soon because I truly feel like a connection and I really need a church home.
|Fort Bend Church, Sugar Land, Texas|
I’ll keep you posted! Please feel free to share your experience, thoughts and comments below, I’d love to hear from you.