A while ago, I talked about a new church we had visited, and our decision about whether we should change churches.
We continued to attend the new church most Sundays throughout the summer. A few times we went back to the old church, but for the most part we stayed at the new one. At the end of July, I started a nursery. At that point, we realized that we had made our decision. I contacted our old church and explained that we would be transferring our membership.
There are definitely things we miss about our old church, but for the most part we haven’t looked back. I don’t want to compare, but there have been occasions that God has made it abundantly clear that we are where He wants us to be. Some things I love:
1) I love that it’s international. I love the mix of race, cultures, ethnicities, backgrounds, languages, etc. I love hearing both the Spanish and the English all the time. It’s completely bilingual, so you could attend without knowing any Spanish, or any English.
2) I love the size. It’s really small, but growing. There is a need for active, committed members. It’s a church where you can explore your passions. There aren’t already established ministry groups – you ARE the ministry group. I decided we needed a nursery, so I asked the question and was told to head it up myself. Why not? I contacted volunteers, made a schedule, and like that we have a nursery that’s working out well. And because I think it’s important as well for kids to experience church, I made the decision to have the nursery only during the sermon. I love that.
3) I love their response to children. Without a nursery, everyone understood that the sermon would have occasional interruptions by the little ones. There is no pressure to put your child in the nursery (even though there is a nursery now). I went to a baby shower for one mom-to-be, and I had Paul watch Savannah. When I got there, everyone was like “Oh, where’s Savannah?” I love that she’s a welcome part of the church’s activities, and that I don’t feel the need to always get a sitter. Right before the sermon, the pastor always asks kids to go to their parents and we pray together as a family. I love that emphasis.
4) I love the fellowship. Every Sunday, we have a time of worship and prayer. Then we break for a time of fellowship while we eat breakfast together. How awesome is that? We celebrate birthdays every week – the day of Savannah’s birthday, everyone sang to her and she totally clapped as if she knew it was her special day. That made me feel special.
5) I love the passion to serve the community. We’re a small church. Many in the congregation are struggling to make ends meet. Yet, the church is still very focused on serving our community. They have a “service wall” where they encourage people to submit ideas of ways we could help.
6) I love the small communities group that are forming. So far there is only one, a group for parents of kids under 2. There are 6 families, and we meet every other week to talk about parenting, marriage, etc. It’s a great way to get encouragement in a more intimate setting. I love doing this with Paul. Also, one of the teenagers in the church graciously is giving her time to watch our children downstairs, which I love as well.
If anyone in the northeast Atlanta area wants to know more about our church, just let me know and I’ll be happy to tell you more!