I wrote this about 6-7 years ago.
I can go, I can help while I’m there, and then eventually I can leave. Or I can put down a few tentative roots and see how things go. The things I like about the church aren’t even really doctrinal. I like the stability–they agree on a few fundamentals and I share those beliefs. I like the friendliness, the proximity to my home, the fact that I’m accepted even if I haven’t joined and even when I blow their minds with some off-the-wall statement, the fact that I already know quite a few people from my previous job… (which is humorous. Apparently for all the rumors that I only hired people from FT, I actually hired more from this church, and had many MANY fewer problems from them!) I really like the fact that people say “thank you”, don’t push (physically or for me to do anything), and have some shared interests with me. I really REALLY like the fact that the pastor doesn’t think of himself above anyone else. No reserved parking place, even!!!
This really struck me tonight. The church I’ve been going to is a lot like what I described 6-7 years ago from a church I eventually joined. Then I left, then the pastor left, then the new pastor came and was just… proud, unyielding, inflexible… he majored on a lot of minors. In my mind he and his wife were trying to make names for themselves. It got worse over time and I think a lot of people probably left. But it was a good place to be while I was there, and the church I’ve been going to is actually better in a few ways–the preaching is better, there is more interest in study, and there’s a little more leniency in doctrine in several fairly big ways.
So this was interesting to revisit. And maybe, just maybe, a bit of comfort to me in my current decision on where to attend.