We've been here for six Sundays. We have visited four different churches. We have enjoyed getting to see how the different church bodies organize their children's classes, outreach to potential members and do small group ministry. It's fun to visit, but it's even more fun to go to a church and leave with the Holy Spirit saying "This is your new home."
That's the best.
I'm planning to be patient while we do our church search and I've also prayed that we wouldn't waste weeks wandering around but God would quickly direct us to our new place of service.
Mike and I individually felt that this place would be different from the rest. That we would be looking, not for a strong healthy church where we and our children would learn, but for a church with good bones that was struggling and we could jump in and work. One day we talked about our expectations for our time in Little Rock and it was a wonderful time where we felt God had communicated the exact same thing to both of us. How sweet it is the way the Holy Spirit unifies hearts.
We have visited BIG churches, small churches, churches with emphasis on outreach, on family, on reaching the neighborhood. We don't know where God will have us. We just know we are not looking for a place with a great kids ministry or the best music. In fact, if the music is too good, it is automatically disqualified. (Just kidding)
Mainly, we want a church with a solid foundation of beliefs, that isn't perfect, but a place where we can love the body, reach out to the lost and one close to our home so we can use it as a place of fellowship.
We have found the best way to gauge how serious the church is about the Word of God is how they teach it to the little children. So every Sunday after the service, we get into the van and we ask the kids what their lesson was about and to please tell us what they learned.
Today my conversation with Ty went like this:
Me: "What was your lesson about today Ty?"
Ty: "It was about a man who couldn't walk and his friends wanted to take him to Jesus so they carried him on a blanket..."
So far so good. He continued:
Ty: "...They took him to a house but there were so many people in the house that they couldn't get in..."
Excellent. The teacher must have done a great job keeping their attention.
Ty: "...So the friends carried him up to the roof and dug a hole in it and then let the man down to where Jesus was..."
I'm about ready to join at this point. This is the most detailed story Ty has come home with yet.
Ty: "And then Jesus told him to go home.
Yes, yes... go on!"
Ty: "...but the man couldn't, because he didn't have any legs."
hmmm.... I'm pretty sure the man had legs...
Me: "What happened next Ty?"
Ty: "That's the end."
We won't be going back.