a bench with a view

a bench with a view

Monday, October 28, 2013

church

For a variety of reasons, we've taken a 2 month break from the church we have been weekly attending for the past 2-1/2 years.  I love the church and the people there, that wasn't the problem, but mainly because they went down from 2 services to 1 service and I felt a bit disconnected when I served in children's ministry and wasn't able to be there in the main sanctuary to corporately worship.  I have a terrible off tone singing voice, but I do love singing praise songs to Jesus along with fellow believers.

It made perfect sense why the church went from 2 services down to 1 service.  The church meets at a local high school and basically has to set up and tear down church every week, putting away all sound equipment, creating and tearing down the nursery weekly, children's ministry, etc.  Its a hard job doing so rather than going into a building that is already preset and just set up what you need for the week.  People were getting weary of having to be there early to set up so the leadership committee decided to go down to 1 service, which sounded feasible and reasonable, except if you work in children's ministry like I did and now you found yourself not being able to be in church because you were in children's ministry all the time. Before I would go to 1st service and then volunteer during 2nd service.

The pastor did do an express service, as he called it, for those workers not being able to go into the main sanctuary where he would preach us the sermon, but I missed singing and worshipping.

I was in a quandry with what to do because I love to work in children's ministry and I understand the importance of children's ministry.  So we just decided to take a break and check out some other churches and prayerfully consider where God wanted us to be for a church and where he wanted us to serve in what ministry. 

We reached this Sunday with the fact that we had visited pretty much all the churches around here that we wanted to go to and nothing seemed to be the fit that we had at our regular church.  We also realized that we didn't want to drive too far to go to church, but try to stay within our community.  So we decided to go back and check out our church this week and see how it went.  If we felt led to return to it.  Again, nothing wrong with the church or the people, just wanting to see what else was out there and seeing if this church was where God wanted us to be. 

We got perhaps a confirmation that we should return to our regular church this past week when 2 separate people from our community group (small group fellowship) got in contact with us last week inviting us to come back to our get togethers on Friday night (which we did last Friday).

So this morning we go to church and of course everyone was happy to see us back (its just a friendly small but growing church so everyone knows everyone and everyone hugs everyone, its just the way it is).

So I sit down in the back row, we always sit in the back row (unless someone gets to it first, LOL). Hubby goes to talk with someone and I look in the row I am sitting in and see someone I hadn't seen there before and then he says to me "I've seen you at the park" which I had also thought he looked familiar from there. So I said "yeah" and introduced myself. Then I thought I wonder if he's been attending for awhile, because remember we hadn't been there for 8 weeks.  So I asked "have you been going here for a bit?" And he said "no, my first time". So then I explained how we had been attending regularly, but had taken a 2 month break and this was our first Sunday back.

I've been walking the park for exercise (another post another day) and there's a group of regulars you see daily there. He's one of the regulars. Other than a "good morning" that's about all the contact I had with him. 

I asked him how he found our church. He said his mentor had suggested he go to church, so he started looking around for church, meanwhile another member of our church had somehow met him, started talking to him, and had given him a business card from our church and that's why he was there.

Of course I'm thinking after it all "wow, Lord, amazing how you work."  God put it upon our heart to go back to our old church this morning, the same day this guy would be there. I'm just a face in the park, but maybe it helped him to think this church is worth coming back for another look.  At the end of the service I told him I was glad he was there and hoped to see him again. He said he would probably be coming back.

In the meantime at least I'll see him at the park most mornings and will definitely keep him in my prayers that he will want the desire to be connnected with a church, if not this church, then wherever God may want him.

In the meantime too, we are thinking this is the church God wants us to be at. After all, none of the other churches we checked out over the past 8 weeks Koda had a part of, like he had in the past three out of four churches we had attended. So we will go back to it, though I'll prayerfully consider where God wants me to serve. He's already put it upon my heart several serving opportunities, perhaps not in children's ministery, but other vital places.

I'll just do what I try to do......

trust He will lead us where he wants us

He's never failed to do so

If we will just submit to his will

20 comments:

Bijoux said...

I understand about children's ministry taking you away from worship. I felt that way at our old church where I taught SS for a decade. They had 2 services, but my kids were too little to sit through SS and then a long service, so we just went home after SS.

When we started at our new church, I found other places to serve (librarian, hospitality, communion service) that don't take me away from worship.

Verna Lantz said...

sometimes you just need a break. Nothing wrong, just a break. And it is good to step back once in a while to re evaluate where God wants you. Just to "stop and know that He is God" Then you can come back refreshed and ready to minister again. Good for you!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It would be difficult when you couldn't attend the worship service due to teaching. Many years ago I took nursery duty at our church but then there was always another service to go to. I've attended the same church for most of my adult life and couldn't imagine going elsewhere. It's like home to me. Hope you can find a way to do both. Have a ministry and attend the service.

Dana said...

The Lord's timing is amazing, isn't it? Have a happy Monday. ☺

Chatty Crone said...

I totally understand how it would be hard to go from 2 to 1 services. I do think God will show you what to do in time. You really like the people and feel at home. We sit in the back of the church too. Love, sandie

Intense Guy said...

I am 100% positively certain that Jesus, unlike any American Idol judge, finds each and everyone of our voices pleasing when we sing of and for him.

I bet he even enjoys Koda's howling and baying too, if it's the dog version of Amazing Grace or something similar.

Pat Hatt said...

Things always seem to intersect someone it seems. Just have to look and yeah a break sometimes helps things become clearer too.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I love when this happens....I call them Godincedences!
Debby

Linda said...

Amazing- timing and what seeing a friendly face can have on first time experiences. Koda's got a pretty good record!

Sharon said...

The Lord leads - we follow - and somehow it all works out!

May He cement in your mind exactly where He wants you to be, and what He wants you to do.

GOD BLESS!

Renegades said...

We go in spurts with church. Yes I know it's terrible but we've never found exactly what fits.

Before we moved we went regularly and with family. It was just what we did.

jack69 said...

There are times I envy in a goodway, a person who has never left their home town and KNOW the church they will attend, be married and buried in.
I understand your problem with the kids. When I was younger I was always with some Children's church or kids activity. That is where my heart was. But like you said, it sorta isolates one.
Interesting entry and great subject.

TARYTERRE said...

What a nice story about the man.

Jacked Up Glock Mom said...

I had no idea you were back from your blogging break. My blog roll was not updating...
But I am thrilled you are back..

As for Church, I am guilty as well, it has been well over a year and half. I guilt myself every day over it. Can't explain why I have not gone..just laziness.
I know I need to go for my kids, and myself, I do miss it.
prayers please....

Mevely317 said...

Hi Betty! I read this earlier (at work, on my phone .... shhhh!), and have been pondering. To tell the truth, I never gave much thought to those who care for the Childrens' Ministry, and their missing out ... God bless you!!!
Only lately has Tom felt well enough to travel the hour it takes to attend "our" congregation ... but it feels like home. I'm afraid we may have hurt the feelings of our sweet neighbors, who had us coming with them to their church ... but like my minister in Florida once said, "Go where your soul is fed."
Hope your "park" friend attends again and again!
Hugs,
Myra

SweetMarie said...

we are usually in the back of church, I tend to cry easily. :)
it all works out, doesn't it? :)
happy week to you!
Marie

Blondee said...

Nothing wrong with taking a step back, being still and feeling where you are meant to be. He knows best! Glad you are back and comfortable. :)

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

It's always better to be where you know God wants you, doing what you feel He leads you to do than being just any old where doing whatever comes along. Glad y'all got it sorted out.

The Brown Recluse said...

He definitely leads us! I just find it hard to listen sometimes. Does Hubby play music there?

(I'm a back row person, too.)

My first thought when I started reading this was "Why are all these churches cutting out Sunday night services?!" Your story is the first one I've ever seen that I agree that's the best thing. Do you all have Bible Studies in each others homes?

Carol Noren Johnson said...

I used to be so active serving, and now I enjoy worshipping. It's not about what I do there--but about who He is. Also, I need to learn from the Word. I take notes there.

What was it like returning after being gone for two months?

Hugs,
Carol