Sunday, April 12, 2015

A new perspective on church

I am 35 weeks pregnant right now.  Jake and I are so excited to welcome our first baby!  Pregnancy has been pretty easy.  The first trimester was hard because I spent about 5 weeks of it on the couch and nauseated constantly, but after that it's been smooth sailing for the most part.  I mean, there have been a few nuisances along the way, but nothing major.  My blood sugar was higher than my midwife liked, so I have been on a high-protein low-carb diet for the past 6 weeks.  And she really encouraged healthy eating the whole pregnancy, so before the new diet, I was already eating well.  Because of all that, I haven't gained much weight.  Yes, baby is growing well and will probably be a big baby anyway, but thankfully I won't have a ton of extra weight to lose once baby gets here.  I do have to keep reminding myself of that when I get tired of not having any sugar. :)

One of the things that we want to do before the baby gets here is to find a church home.  We left our former church almost a year ago and have been visiting another pretty regularly since then, but neither feel like "home."  Since looking for a church home, Jake and I have both learned that although actual worship is such a big part of feeling comfortable in a church, what happens after church is what makes us feel at home.  Right now we are just really struggling to find a balance between the community we feel with people after church and edifying worship.  Several years ago, I was blessed enough to be part of such a place, but, well, things change.

I feel like this could be a lesson for many of us.  Making worship something spectacular can be a beneficial thing, but it doesn't matter if the people in attendance don't feel like part of the family.  The song service might sometimes be "off," the preacher might be boring, I might get distracted during communion, but if the final "amen" is said and I spend the next 30 minutes or so feeling like part of a family - loved, wanted, appreciated, etc. - then I can leave the building saying "This has been a great day!"  When we start bringing our new bundle to church, we want him/her to be in a community that really focuses on the "after church" experience.  Because that is what will make him/her feel like part of God's family.