Some of you stopping in might think this refers to finding the right church for the ceremony. For us, that was the easiest church question. My church has a fairly large sanctuary and Matt’s doesn’t. End of story.
But not the end of this post, thankfully. For us, the biggest, toughest question about church is: Where will we attend once we’re married? For some people, that’s not a big issue. But for both of us, it is.
Matt has been with some of the members of his church since he was born. Their church has moved around a little and had a name change, but essentially, it’s much the same group. His church is small, but intimate. Everyone knows everyone and there’s as much a sense of “family” there as I’ve seen at family reunions, but sweeter. Some of the big points is that it is Church of Christ, they don’t have any musical instruments and it is about 10-15 minutes drive from The House (“The House” refers to Matt’s house which we will be living in once we’re married). I have been to two Sunday morning services there so far and a Wednesday night study. I like the acappella worship style and I LOVE that they serve communion each Sunday. Communion is such a dear ceremony to me. Oh, his immediate family attends there as well.
My church is Southern Baptist, about 250 members, and only 5 minutes walking down the street. I love to walk to my church. I’ve been here since I was a freshman in high school, so a little over 13 years. I have been to a variety of churches in my day, both before and during my time here. I love my church so much, they are as much my family as my flesh and blood. We have two services on Sunday mornings, so I don’t always get to see everyone. I have taught the 4th and 5th grade Sunday School class for about 6 years now (I think) and, though it’s been a challenge some years, I have loved it! I’ve seen some of the kids I’ve worked with go into high school and turned into some wonderful, strong Christian brothers and sisters. I can’t wait to see what God does with them in life. I’ve had some amazing mentors throughout my time here, both men and women: Connie Proctor, Mary White, Lester Jones, Leslie Botts, Cyndi Blankenship, Gary Loney, Randy Baird, and so many more in big and small ways. I have seen the value of proper church discipline, sweet Christian fellowship, good fun, and God’s comforting hand in the congregation here. The worship in the second service might be a bit raucous and disjointed at times, but I have a feeling I’ll miss even that when I have to leave.
My church is also very community-minded – the youth group does a Sports Camp each summer, we built a Community Outreach Center with a gym and cafe in order to have more opportunity to minister to those in our community. The last few years have been spent in brainstorming more ways that we can be more involved in the lives of people in our neighborhood, more relevant to their needs and then trying things out to see what works and what doesn’t work. That’s one thing I’ve learned from this church – failure of a ministry or event is not a bad thing, it just means God has something different in mind.
So, after Matt and I got engaged, one of the big questions asked was, “Where will you go to church?” In fact, I think both of us can remember being asked this question a couple months before getting engaged. For our part, we avoided it until things settled down, until we had the big things for the wedding taken care of and could relax a bit. I know that I was thinking about it, and I’m sure HE was thinking about it, but we just didn’t really talk about it. Or when we did, it went something like, “We should probably talk about where we want to go to church…how about later?”
Matt has been to several events at my church. Our young adults group meets every Tuesday night and just about every other Sunday afternoon for a Bible Study and service (respectively). He’s also spent a good amount of time with my dear friends from there. He likes them and he’s seen the bond I have with people there. I enjoy his church, but it’s not MY church yet and I don’t know if it will be. God hasn’t made that clear yet, and I just haven’t fellowshipped with them enough. Matt’s work schedule also keeps him from attending church just about one Sunday a month. Oh, and my church is a whopping 45 minutes away from The House – not impossible, but definitely not in the local community.
When we talked it out, we decided that once we’re married, we would go to his church, mostly. On the week that he couldn’t go to church, I would drive down to my church. I am going to be pulled away from my church, my community, everything I know well, so I think this will be very necessary for me. We both think so. He also said that once a month, we can check out other churches near our home together and see if we can find one that is very involved in community outreach. This is so important to me, that we be reaching out to those around us. I’m so glad that my future husband is concerned about it too, and taking the desires of my heart into consideration. I don’t know where God will put us and I don’t know what it will all mean, but I’m glad that we can talk about it together and that we both are willing to make concessions for the sake of the other.
Have you had the whole “Church” talk before? Was it difficult for you? What compromises did you make and what things were on your non-negotiable list?
I forgot to mention that both of our churches are wonderful for teaching and preaching straight from the Bible. Not only do the pastors value the Word of God but the teachers, leaders and lay people do too. This is absolutely imperative for both of us for wherever we end up fellowshipping. Sometimes we put too much emphasis on the physical or creature comforts and not on the Truth or lies that are propagated throughout a church body. A truthful church is necessity for true worship and fellowship.
I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!
My Pinterest Wedding Board
Our Wedding Website on WeddingWire.com