For several years, we attended a church in Austin. We live in the ‘burbs, so it was a long drive (30+ minutes) and of course, nobody in the congregation lived near us. How we ended up attending this church is a long story, and we were never terribly comfortable with the congregation, not to mention the commute, so we never joined.
About 18 months ago, we decided to find a church closer to home. We attended services at the nearest Methodist church, First Methodist in Pflugerville, and at another Methodist church in the next suburb. The service at the Pflugerville church was okay, nothing to write home about, but we liked a lot of things about the other church: the senior pastor is one of the most dynamic preachers I’ve ever heard, they’re growing and have lots of different programs that interested us.
When it came time to make a decision, it came down to the following factors: the other church offered the things we thought we wanted in a church, but the Pflugerville church is our neighborhood church–our kids would be with the same kids at church as at school and in the neighborhood, etc.
I thought about this for a while and concluded that ‘church shopping’ is a bunch of bullshit because it’s all about your own personal needs and desires, not about other things, of which community ranks highly.
So, we ended up joining First UMC Pflugerville, and we’re really glad we did. For one thing, the issue of community has turned out to be correct. We’re really glad we’ve deepened our roots in our local community.
Today, I just ran across an essay that I hadn’t seen in a long time. I think it’s related to this topic: How to Find a Church, by Gordon Atkinson

Categories: Religion