We officially joined our new church today. Everyone is very excited and loving it thoroughly. We thank God that our older children were raised in a fairly protective environment through their formative years. They have grown strong in many ways, passed through some difficult trials and I think are now ready to be in some positions of ministry. We are blessed to find a church where we feel so excited to serve the Lord and His people. Most of the girls are helping with the children's ministries already, Mr. Potts is learning the sound board, and Candace is planning to eventually minister to the middle school-aged kids. I am hoping to find a way to encourage young mothers.
We really didn't expect to find a place where we would agree with and love so much, especially a place so large it has four weekly services for you to choose from. You are encouraged to attend one of them and then spend the rest of your week with your family with one other time a week to meet with your smaller group, which gives you a chance to bond with and grow intimate with a smaller crowd. We come away each Sunday so excited. Even our 10 year old says he's going wherever our teaching pastor goes because he really enjoys hearing him speak. We love the plurality of elders, the casual but culture-impacting atmosphere, the feel of the body being a team, the great hard-hitting-no-compromise but truth-spoken-in-love and easy to follow messages. We love that there is no pressure to join or jump in but instead a we are here for you when you are ready attitude. It's awesome to find a church where they don't just talk about reaching the unchurched/unsaved but where you see the evidence of new believers all around you and many of these new believers are not just seat warmers, they are already actively participating. The leadership understands that people's spiritual lives are a process and are actually prepared to meet people where they are. They make you feel like they care, not that they are supposed to care because it's their job or that they are really trying to care, but that they honestly do care.
I'm sure I could go on and on. Yes, I know we are in the "honeymoon stage" with this new church. We know nowhere and no one is perfect and that relationships require a lot of work, forgiveness and understanding so we are prepared for that. We are all human and we all fall short, which we know all too well. But this is what I wanted to bear children for, for work in His Kingdom. And this is the place where God has given us to have as a home base to work from. And we are so thankful.