I am having a terrible dilemma with trying to decide what to do about church. The dilemma is multifaceted...Since moving back to Texas in August we have been going to the church that I grew up in. This church is a blessing because there is automatic, built in community where we are surrounded by people who love us, and that we love. I would trust my life (read Camille) with any of these people in a heartbeat. I know that the leadership is sound, that the church is focused on Christ and attempting to be a Christian light in an un-Christian world. The preaching is Bible based and occasionally one might learn something, but it is usually slightly fluffy. Not too fluffy, there is good stuff there, lets call the preaching fuzzy, which is less than fluffy, but not quite steel.
There are several couples there that have young children, some of them I have known forever, some of them are new. All of them seem to be totally not our type....more on this later. The church does an excellent small group ministry on Sunday nights, which I like but have not yet plugged into. There is reported to be an excellent class on Sunday mornings, which I have not yet attended. They have attempted to get us to get involved with the youth group...but we have flaked on that too...I think writing this is really helping me to see an obvious pattern.
Okay, so here is the rub...man, this is more like journalling than blogging, because I am totally-kind-of solving it in my head as I type along...the problem is that the main reason I want to go to church is to form a social network for Matt and myself, and eventually for Camille. Today, Camille was really fussy, so I took her up to the nursery where she slept and I was able to observe the crowd in my over-head perch. There were four couples that I noted that are ideal friend candidates, meaning they are roughly our same age and have kids in the pre-school or under age group. Two of the four couples I know pretty well, and we are nothing alike. The other two I do not know at all, and they both seem to be cool, not LeTourneau cool, but okay.
The problem is Matt and I are REEEEAAAALLLY picky, and would rather spend time together in our home alone than hanging out with people that we do not click with. This has been what we have been doing for the past five almost six months. I could go on that way for a long time, but I just do not think it is a good idea. Something is driving me to reach out and make a social network, and I cannot ignore that impulse, as much as I would like to at times.
Another conundrum is that I have major issues with organized religion in general, it just makes me want to heave. This could be satan at work in my spirit, making me shun community and there by robbing me of the power of being in fellowship with other believers. I am trying to come to grips with my issues. Matt just thinks that we (I) should just pick a church already and stop stressing over it and plug in and get with the program. Ooh that life in my mind could be so simple.
Back to the original dilemma...the question is: do we stay at this church that has so many obviously good aspects, or do we look for a church that offers more in the way of young married people with babies, because four couples does not seem like many options to me. Would the 'selection' be better somewhere else, and is it worth the effort and risk involved in finding another church? Is church more than just a place to meet and gather with believers? Am I just an unsettled person in general, and therefore would feel the same way regardless of what church we went to? Is any of this about church at all, or just a veiled way to express that I am having a hard time plugging in and making friends.
Making friends sucks, it is just a fact of (my) life. If there were 300 couples to choose from that would be equally bad, because who wants to weed through all those people just to find the 4 cool ones. Why are there no organic eating Birkenstock wearing kokopelli painting science teachers in Temple???? Why is making friends so hard, and making good friends a once in a life time event? Why does Sunday, in particular send me into such a tailspin that I spend the first half of the next week recovering?
Tonight we went to the youth group super bowl party. It was the first thing that we had done to make an effort to plug into this church as a couple. We had a pretty good time, although if Matt would have let me I would have totally weenied out at the last minute. The youth group is much bigger than I thought it was, and the youth minister and his wife seem to be pretty okay people. There is definitely a need/opening for Matt and I to serve with this group of kids. While we were there the homeowner mentioned that he needed some roof work done (SCORE!) and hired Matt on the spot...that is another big bonus. When we left Matt said that we should just get plugged in and be okay...that is the closest he has ever come to having an opinion about the church issue, so I guess that should settle it in my mind. Should my mind ever be settled.