Finding a Community Through Church + Personal Update

July 12, 2017

The sweet smells of rain falling outside is currently covering up the lingering scent of fresh paint here in my room, and I seriously am in love with this new haven. If you haven’t heard, I took on as one of my Summer Goals to paint my room and create a much more comfortable space. Since my desk is in my room and I spend so much time on my computer, I wanted a space that makes me feel comfortable and eager to work! I’ve loved the gray and white combination and I can’t wait to spruce up other corners of the room to better fit this theme. Stay tuned for more updates on this decorating process! Right now, I’m loving the comfortable vibes of my room, and I’m having a hard time leaving!

Safe to say, a room we are comfortable in is somewhere we will gravitate towards. 

I think it’s the same way for finding our own community in life. We look for peers and friends and a work environment where we feel comfortable returning to each day and being the best version of ourselves around. We want a place of comfort and a place where we feel comfortable leaving a bit of ourselves.

Besides re-decorating, I have been really wanting to seek out a church to attend and find a church community to be a part of. This may be a bit of a different topic for me, but I still wanted to share it. Now I’m not saying finding a church is the epitome of faith, and I would argue that sometimes our deepest faith experiences may not come in a church. Nevertheless, I have been craving the community that a church brings.

Since I’m working in the South of Denver, where I grew up, I’ve been attending my parent’s church where I have attended my entire life, besides college. With the realization that I wanted to be worshiping in a place where I would be surrounded by people in their twenties, so essentially, millennials, I have been feeling the itch to find a place of community. I really have been wanting to find more people in a faith community setting who share similar values and beliefs and life experiences as me, something which I’ve recognized isn’t always the case at my current church, which is definitely okay.

Sometimes community comes in the most unexpected forms.

I feel so fortunate to be dating someone who shares similar values that I do, which is something we connect on, he’s been my best friend and my greatest cheerleader for the past few years and I feel touched to be doing life with him. I also feel grateful and blessed he would be ready to begin to find a church community with me.

Millennials are at this unique point in life. We just came (or some are still) from college, and we’re ready to face the world head-on, full of dreams and ambitions, ready to grasp the world with arms open wide.

I really love being a part of this generation, who seeks to find what others have not seen before. In true Millennial fashion, I dragged R to not one but TWO church services in a row this past weekend. He was all for it, so we ventured out. This past Sunday morning, I was fired up and ready to go, hoping that lightning would strike and the right church to attend would be revealed that day. (Is this a Millennial train of thought??) So we went to two church services, both churches set up in a concert-type setting, their sanctuaries more auditoriums, and the first forty minutes of the services are held worshiping, and the last twenty or thirty minutes are used for the message.

The concert-style worship service has grown in popularity in today’s world.

Both R and I have grown up in a much more structured form of church service, but are used to this from our college worship services we would attend (and how we met!) for the four years we were at Luther. It was at Luther that I really became used to this worship service. Are you used to this style? Or are you more of a traditional-service person?

The biggest takeaway from both services was this: you come away feeling empowered, thinking about the message shared.

After the services we stood in the parking lot and I was definitely feeling overwhelmed. How were we supposed to choose a church? How were we supposed to take away which community was destined to be ours??

Long story short, we haven’t chosen a church yet.

It’s not always easy finding a community we belong to. It takes thought and connection.

I quickly learned that finding a place to worship isn’t always as easy. In the long run, I needed to remember that “church” can be found anywhere. It can be found “where two or more are gathered” (Matthew 18:20), whether that be on top of a mountain, on the street waiting for the train or bus, or even at your own house. Church is found not only in the pews in front of a pulpit on Sunday morning, but out in the world. I like to think of Church as being alive and worshiping right where God calls us to be.

Right now, I’m not even sure if either of the churches we tried are for us. I know R has been listening to the podcasts from previous months from one of the churches and I am as well. It’s actually been a really enjoyable way to hear more and learn more about those church communities.

In a world where we seem to value community and connection, I’m learning that building community takes time, it’s not something that can be rushed.

It’s kind of like building your faith. Faith takes time to build and shape and there are points on your faith journey where God is finding ways to give you strength. As for now? All we can do is use prayer as our response to this “Church shopping” and pray that the “right” community can be found.

I have a feeling it will all work out, and until it does, my hope is to just enjoy this journey and trust God with the process!

If you are someone who is also looking for a church, or someone who has experienced this process, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how your process is going or how you ended up deciding on a church! 

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