We moved a few months ago and our 40 minute commute to Bethany turned into a 55 minute commute. We decided we needed to find a church that was closer to home.
My brother Jason had been pinging us to go to New Life Church with him as his neighbor is part of the worship group and encouraged him to go. Well, it's always easier to do something new when there's another person there to join in your misery. Er, adventure.
Pete and I had tried out the teeny little church East Renton Community all of 2 times. It was small. We decided to join Jason and try out New Life. Our first visit was on the 4th of July weekend - it was a really touching service (yes, it brought a tear to my eye). The music was loud and the stage show seemed to be run very well (very high tech)...though sometimes this is a turn off for me (I don't like it when the *show* interferes with the reason for being there).
We've been going pretty regularly since then (if you don't count all the times we didn't go when I wasn't feeling well due to morning sickness). Jason's football schedule often conflicted, but thankfully I have Pete...and he has me...so we pretended to know people there (we did get Scott and Bri to join us one Sunday!). BUT....honestly, we hadn't met anyone at the church...
...Until...Last night. We decided in order to make this 'our' church, we needed to get involved and have a community of people we call 'friends' at 'our' church. We had talked about doing a young married class of some sort in the past - at a church...we just didn't have a church to call home at the time. So...several weeks ago it was brought to our attention that New Life would be starting up some young married small groups! :) I signed us up right away (though I was quite hesitant at the whole idea).
Well, we went to orientation last night. It was a little intimidating at first...we showed up, and immediately were instructed to make our way to one of the 4 tables (organized by alphabet of course) to pick up our name tags. We were told that in a while, the door to the chapel would be opened and that's where we'd all go. So...in the meantime, we hung out in the halls....it felt almost as if it was our first day at a new school...we didn't know anyone and I'm not one to just start talking to random people.
The door was opened and we all filtered in. We were given an overview of what the different colors of our tags meant and that we would be going into another room to meet the couples who volunteered to lead small groups (an older married couple leads the group). After meeting all the leaders, we were to pick our favorites and stand near them to sign up to be in their group (a little more high school like perhaps?).
We went around and met all the leaders....then another set of leaders walked in and we decided we needed to meet them. Another couple was talking to them, we joined in...and soon, another couple joined the small group leader interrogation we had started (okay, it wasn't that bad). Soon we decided that these leaders were funny and that's always a winner with both Pete and me. Sign up sheets were handed out to the leaders and we crowded around a table hoping we would make the cut (they only take 4-5 couples). We joined their group along with 3 other couples who all seemed really nice and normal (normal is always a plus!). We all stood around and chatted and then departed for the evening.
We went home feeling pretty good about the decision we'd made (not only the leaders we chose, but the whole 'join a small group' initiative).
In chatting with the other couples we learned that they all attend the 12pm service - not the 10:30 service we'd been going to thus far. We decided to change it up and go to the 12pm service so we'd have people we know there.
This morning we woke up late (very nice!), took our sweet time eating breakfast, and Pete even managed to get some COD in (Call of Duty for those of you who don't have addicted SO's). We finally headed to church. We met Jason there (hooray - no Seahawks game today!). I got a decaf soy latte from the well used cafe and then we entered the worship area. We quickly spotted our new friends Nathan and Katie (they've been married a whole month now) and took seats next to them. After the service we met even MORE nice people and got to introduce Jason to our new 'friends'. One of the gals heads up the adult singles group - so we made sure he got looped in with that. HOORAY! He now knows people at New Life too! We also learned about the married couple seminars New Life puts on and quickly got signed up (they sell out fast). We will be sitting at a table with the rest of our small group - sweet!
So all in all, doing something out of your comfort zone can lead to a good experience. We are excited to have found some new friends at our new church and look forward to growing in God's word with them.
Long story...I know. Sorry if I bored you. We're just really excited to have found a church we like and even better - to get connected with people so we don't just 'go to church' but can actually be a part of the community. Hooray!