I narrowed it down to a handful and emailed the churches.
Only three responded.
Of the remaining two, one of the pastors was just so terrific about being incredibly helpful, checking in with us, letting us know that he was praying for us, and encouraging us in our move.
We visited Woodcreek Church last Sunday, and we really, really liked it. There were several little "nudges" from God that this just might be our new church home:
*Their vision statement goes, in part, like this: "...to become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ," which is pretty much word-for-word, exactly the same as our church home (PKA) in New York.
*Last Sunday was a baptism Sunday. The previous week, we had attended our last service at PKA. That was also a baptism Sunday. It just felt right to bookend our move with celebrating new life in Christ this way.
*The sermon came from Galatians, a book that was a significant part of the Bible study I recently completed in NY. It was nice to be on familiar ground on our first visit to a new church.
*Expository preaching style: This was one of the items on our "would like to have" list for a new church. We wanted to have teaching that was Bible-centered more than thematic.
*The pastor referenced Brennan Manning during his sermon.
*There is this eccentric man at PKA who is rather fond of Nich and would always talk and talk and talk to him. Among his many quirks was his habit of pronouncing an enthusiastic "Amen!" during the sermons on Sundays. At one point at Woodcreek, a man in the back of the sanctuary called out a hearty "Amen!" Nich and I glanced at each other and had to stifle laughter, because he sounded exactly like our fellow church member in NY. The Lord sure has a sense of humor!
*And last, but definitely not least, Little B did so well in the toddler class. He did cry for a bit when we dropped him off, but when we returned to pick him up, he was happily playing with a few other kids. He didn't even notice us standing at the door until we called out to him!
We'll be visiting a different church this coming Sunday. We are currently staying with some friends of friends while we house-hunt and they have invited us to their church. It is a mega-church; I even found a "campus map" on their website! It will certainly be an unfamiliar experience for both of us. Although I visited some mega-churches during my brief stint in NYC, neither of us have regularly attended one. It will be neat to see how our friends "do life" in such a large church.
Being a part of a godly, loving community is very important to us, and as we continue to search for the church that is the right "fit" for our family, we pray for clarity and discernment. We would love it if you would pray with us!
1 & 2: Pine Knolls Alliance, taken by Post Star
3 & 4: Woodcreek Church, woodcreekchurch.com
5 & 6: First Baptist Dallas, firstdallas.org