The View From My Pew

Sorry I've been so quiet lately. Things have been a little chaotic here. 

It has been one and a half months since I moved to Florida and it has taken a lot of adjusting...for all of us. One of those adjustments has been finding a new church. 

Finding a new church isn't as easy as going to the church down the street or even finding the closest church that is the same denomination as your old church. When I search for a new church I don't limit my search to a certain denomination. True, I always start with a certain denomination but to choose a church for my family depends on way more than that. 

First, they have to offer a service that is later than 9:30 am. That might sound like a stupid criteria to most but let's face it. I have three children that I have to motivate, feed and help get ready in the morning. Not to mention, I have to get myself ready and for those that don't know me...I am NOT a morning person. So the later the service starts, the better.

Then, they must have a service for my two younger children during the Sunday service. If my kids have to sit with me then I never get to listen to the message and be ministered to. Plus, I think that they learn more when the service is specifically geared towards them. You know, age appropriate?

A mid-week youth group for my kids is a must have as well. Especially one for my oldest child. I think it is extremely important for my high-schooler to meet other Christian kids her age. She's surrounded by a very high percentage of non-Christian teenagers throughout the school year. It's crucial that she has friends that have the same values as her. I know all too well how easy it is to be influenced by the people around you and your surroundings. If I can make my children's lives a little easier for them to make right choices by getting them involved in church youth groups, then I'm going to do it. 

Another criteria in the search for a church is they must have a contemporary praise and worship style. 
Hymns aren't for me. 
Praise and worship is very important to me because I love music. Contemporary Christian music moves me. It inspires me. keeps me awake after those busy mornings when I didn't get enough caffeine before the service.

But the most important criteria for finding a new church needs to feel right. When I attend a service at the church I eventually choose, I just know it. You know?

When I moved to CT, I searched for months before I found the right one. During those months I went to many different churches, but none of them felt right. None of them gave me that warm, fuzzy feeling inside. When I finally found my new church in CT, I knew it was the one. 

It's hard to explain.

Which brings me back to my search for a new church in Florida. Since we've been here, we've attended a few different churches. The first one met all of our criteria but one. 

It just didn't feel right. 

It was by far, the largest church we have ever been to. The size was pretty intimidating at first. I thought that maybe it didn't feel right to me because I was uncomfortable with the size. But after giving it an adequate amount of time, I decided that this wasn't the one for us. It seems like a great church. It has so much to offer. There were so many people that you could tell genuinely loved the Lord. The church has a very large youth group. I really wanted to like this one but it just didn't feel right.

There were a few other churches after that, and while they all were wonderful, none of them felt right. Until today...I believe I have found our new church. It meets all of our criteria. 

The service starts at 10:45. (Yay for sleeping in.)

It has a children's service...and my kids loved it.

It has a youth group for my oldest child...although we haven't checked it out yet. Hopefully she'll like it.  
(fingers crossed)

The music program is very contemporary. Probably the most contemporary praise and worship I have ever heard at church. They opened with a Barlow Girl song. Never Alone. It was awesome!

I also discovered that this church has small groups that meet throughout the week. That's not unusual though. Most churches have small groups that meet throughout the week.The groups are based on common interests, such as...a women's Bible study group...a mens' group...a group for 20 somethings...a group for singles...a group for married couples...things like that. I don't usually join any of the small groups because no one ever seems to have a group that fits my life. I could join the women's Bible study group but at my last church it met on Saturdays at, like, 8am or something and we've already established that I'm not a morning person. I could join the married couples group but I'm pretty sure I would need to bring my husband with me and he can't commit to a weekly group. He works way too, I haven't been able to get him to go to a Sunday service with me since we lived in Vermont and his mommy made him go. So that group is out of the question. 

No one ever has a group for 30- something working mothers who's husbands don't support their desire to go to church more than once a week...and so I've never joined one.

Well, this church doesn't have a group like that either but it has all of those other groups and then some. This church has a group for women who are searching for recovery and healing after sexual abuse. Now I'm sure this isn't the only church in the world that has a group focused on helping people recover from sexual abuse, but it's the first one I've ever seen...and I've researched a lot of different churches in many different states. 

I move a lot.

So, not only does this church feel right, it offers a ministry that is geared specifically toward the very thing that I have dedicated the last four years of my life to...helping people recover after sexual abuse. I will definitely check this group out. Me finding this church seems to have God's hand written all over it. 

I trust God to lead me in the right direction. I won't pretend to have all the answers. I know that I don't. I am still learning, healing and growing myself. I still don't know exactly what God's plan for my life is but I know I'm moving in the right direction. How do I know that? It just feels right.

♥ Jurney Eve


  1. I hope that you have finally found your new church "home." :) I know when my fiance moved up to South Windsor so we could be together more and we started to have to look for a new church, it was a bit daunting. But, you're right! When it comes down to it, it just has to feel right and I am happy to say we love our church. We have much the same requirements as you (minus the children related topics) and have found the people at our church to be exceedingly kind. You just feel welcome, ya know? Good luck!

  2. I am so glad that it sounds like you found a good fit. That is not easy, I agree. These people will become your new "family" and community, that's a big part of your family's life.