Since faith was the theme over at the Fancy Word for Simple blog this week and Sandra wanted to hear about my experience at Wellspring last week I figured it would be a good topic for a blog post today. (Well, actually I’ve been intending to blog about it since Monday but it’s been a hectic week)
So Nikki and I decided to go to a church that I used to go to about 2 1/2 years ago. It got me thinking again about what factors there are when it comes to picking a church to call home.
I really like Wellspring. From the moment I pull up to the sign at the entrance I’m happy to be there. I know the building itself shouldn’t be a factor. And I’m actually typically very turned off by a church that puts ridiculous amounts of money into their ‘church campus’. Most of these elaborate churches come off as cold to me. Not warm or welcoming at all. My favorite church that I’ve attended met in a highschool on Sundays and had their church office at the local health club. They didn’t ever want to be defined by a church building but by the people who went there. Unfortunately that church no longer exists so who knows, maybe there’s something to be said for having a building to call home. I’d still like to think not though. All that being said, Wellspring has a BEAUTIFUL church building. I went to their website in search of photos to include in my post and stumbled on the original architect drawings and not surprisingly it was designed by my favorite local architect.
So yeah, one of the things I love about this place is in fact the building. What can I say, I’m just wired that way to appreciate warm cottage style surroundings. It makes me smile. I can’t help it.
But there are other things that I love about this church. Like the fact that everyone is incredibly friendly. Like just the right amount of friendly really. Warm smiles and greetings from just about everyone you encounter. Very welcoming. Sad to say that I’ve encountered churches where this is not so much the case. I’d definitely put this at a higher importance than the appearance of the church itself. :)
Then there’s the singing. I LOVE music and I love to sing. I wasn’t blessed with the solo voices that my sisters all got but I enjoy singing none-the-less. Music and lyrics move me more so than just plain words, written or spoken. Something about the music just gives it more impact for me. I guess it’s another way I’m wired. Wellspring sings alot and I love that.
They also have an excellent preacher. I find myself thinking about the message throughout the week and to me that’s important. So often in my church-going past I sat through the service, and I listened (really I did) but once I walked through the doors to leave I didn’t give the sermon another thought. I would say hearing a message that I can relate to life throughout the next week and beyond is definitely an important factor in finding a church home. Arguably more important than a nice building and friendly church members. :) You can listen to the message from our service last week here. (Today’s message isn’t up quite yet).
So now for the one and only con that I’m struggling with at Wellspring. Each and every week (or at least most weeks) they have what i would consider an alter call. I dunno, I guess for me it comes off as showy. I also quite often look at church from a perspective of ‘how would someone unfamiliar with church life feel coming into this church/service for the first time?’ Personally if it were me I think I’d be intimidated and feel quite awkward in the alter call situation. I have the same frustration with churches where they sing songs or recite things where a visitor would feel as if they’ve missed some sort of handout or class they should’ve gone to before attending the service. So I dunno, I really struggle with this. I’ve talked with a few people about it this week and they all seemed to agree but for some reason I feel a bit like a sub-standard Christian for having an issue with this.
Anyway, this has gotten MUCH longer than I intended but I’d love to hear your thoughts on what’s important to you in a church you’d call home and if you’re brave, what’s your view on alter calls?
Oh, and I loaded up the blogpod with songs of faith that are particularly moving to me. They’ve been up all week just waiting for this post. :) I did find some new great songs that I’m dying to upload so if you want to hear my songs of faith soundtrack listen soon because I’ll likely be swapping a few out for some new favorites by tomorrow night. :)
Off to bed now. I’m exhausted. Lots more to post about maybe from the office tomorrow if the phones are quiet enough during break. I’ve been busy finishing up a few blog designs and struggling with a couple new designs.
Happy Veteran’s Day!