MM and I have kind of been church hoppers. We got married in one church, then left it shortly after. We hopped around for a bit and then MM got an interim job as a worship leader at a church, and we stayed there during that summer. Hop hop. Next we arrived at a church where MM was again the music leader, and we stayed there for a good 10 years. However, the kids and I officially checked out of the church after 8. At that point, I just felt (Holy Spirit conviction) that the church was no longer a fit for my family. It took some prayer and heartfelt conversation with MM over two years, but in the end he agreed it was time to leave.
That was the hardest place to hop away from yet because we had friends who were really more like family and we had to say good-bye. So many did not understand why we were leaving, and I’m sad to admit that I was not gracious about my reasons, but I’ve since learned to be more prudent. However, those who were true friends have remained friends even though we may not worship at the same place on Sunday.
After leaving that church, we attended another church for several year where MM was again the music leader (albeit as a volunteer this time). It was a good move for us because it was the first place we really received doctrinal discipleship, especially MM. But after 3 years, we felt a tugging away from it for a few months at the beginning of this year. Discontentment bordered on the fringes, and although MM and I both spoke of it, we both ignored it because we were in love – in love with the pastor and with the people, a love that both of us had never experienced for a church before.
But when MM was offered a paying position as a worship leader at another local church, he knew immediately that it was the right thing for our family, and the right solution for our discontentment. I balked and kicked, but submitted and went.
And now I am starting to see why God moved us again. I’ve honestly never been involved in a church that was a home before. A church where there are 4 generations in one pew. A church where a child grows up in one ministry, and then turns around and leads it as an adult. A church with roots. A church where a little girl and a little boy start in the nursery together, move through Sunday school and youth group, grow up and get married. It is such a sweet atmosphere. To be sure, everyone seems to know everyone else’s business, but what else would you expect in such a small town atmosphere?
I realize now that every single hop has been a hop up a ladder. I feel like a friend who said to me that sometimes instead of complaining that you aren’t being fed, you need to step out and feed others. That was what happened to us with this move. We stopped saying, “We are being fed here,” and instead started saying, “We can feed other people here.” MM has never before in his life been so fired up as a worship leader, and never before have we felt the spirit so strongly in a church. And people, this is a Baptist church!! We now realize really what it means to belong to a BODY of believers, in a way that we never have in any other church. And this is after only a few months. We’re excited about what the coming years will bring!
So thank you to all those who have been or will be my church family. I love each and every one of you in the Lord!