This has got to be THE MOST difficult thing I’ve ever done in my life. And perhaps I find it so hard b/c I’ve never actually had to do it. And one major problem for me is that I have my home church, First Baptist Lutz on a pedestal. I grew up there, my daddy is the pastor, and of course, I think it’s the greatest church of all time and nothing can even come close to being as awesome as that church. It’s very likely I have unrealistic expectations of finding a “perfect” church….. I know there isn’t one. I even know that FBCL isn’t perfect. But it’s my home, and I have hopes of finding something close to home here.
Might I make a suggestion to anyone who is church hunting. Don’t spend too much time on the websites. I have found that I become a critic of the church based on its website and then a lot of the time I’ve ruled out churches before even visiting them. There is no way you can experience what a church is like based on their website. So get the info you need from it and then go visit! I’ll be honest with you my flesh got the best of me when I was browsing websites. I ruled out this one church b/c the pastor had an EXTREME tan. It’s awful isn’t it? I became very critical on how these churches presented themselves online knowing that we’re all human and flawed and that I need to allow the Holy Spirit to lead our family to a church not my opinions of a website. So don’t let Satan sneak in there and whisper lies about “Gosh look at that tan!” or “These people don’t take church seriously they just want to add to their numbers” just go and allow God to guide you to where he wants you. You can trust that he will. 🙂
Now for the good news. After 4 months of living here we are pretty confident that we have found the church God wants us at. Funny thing too, I remember passing it when we first moved here and just by looking at the building and trying to guesstimate it’s size I thought it was one we should visit. We were trying to find a church that was on the smaller size. Smaller in comparison to some we had seen with like 2000+ members. Anyway, for whatever reason we kept trying the HUGE churches first and I finally told Jason “Why haven’t we tried Northwest??” So finally we did and after the first visit we could definitely sense the Holy Spirit. We both left and were so excited. So we visited again and again and decided to try a Sunday morning couples small group. We are thrilled about this church!! The people are authentic. You can really tell that the majority of the congregation is there to WORSHIP not just check it off there list of things to do. And they are so warm and inviting. We feel at home already and we’ve been like 5 times. We even went out to lunch with the youth pastor and associate pastor and their families. So exciting that even the staff of the church take interest in new attenders. Jason and I both are trying out separate small groups mid-week. I can’t wait to forge some good solid Christian relationships with a group of women! Yay!
Truly an answered prayer 🙂