"Becky*, Are you ready yet.The kids are in the van ready to go."
"I'm coming , Paul. I don't even know why we are bothering. This is the twelfth church we have been to in four months. We are never going to find one as good as our church in Vermont."
"I know. I told you that already. Why don't we do something else. We'll go out for breakfast and then take the kids to the park."
"I don't think so, you know this is important to me."
"Well, If you're not in the van in five minutes I'm taking the kids to Denny's."
That little conversation took place four years ago between my husband and I after we had moved to Arkansas. I had left a wonderful church in Vermont where I was involved in multiple ministries and I really missed my christian family. My husband is not a christian so deciding on our new church home was my decision. He did however have full veto power if he did not like something. Usually it was the cleanliness of the nursery or bathrooms. Sometimes the carpeting was ugly and the paint was too drab. We have five children so I was looking for an active childrens ministry as well as an evangelical pastor and congregation.
We eventually found a wonderful, vibrant church with an excellent children's ministry, spotless nursery and pretty red carpeting. The congregation just absorbed our family and within a few months that church became a second home to us. It was then that the true meaning of the church as the "Body of Christ" and not a particular congregation or building became reality to me. The presence of Christ within us and a shared Father in Heaven gives us an instant family wherever we find fellow christians.
God has decided to allow us to return to Vermont. That first church that I left four years ago is forty-five minutes away and I am tempted to return to the family that I know there. The few Sundays we spent there since our return have been wonderful but the travel time makes it impossible for me to get involved in ministries during the week. Once again I am in search of my long lost family.
"Becky, I can not look at that paisley carpet every Sunday! "
"But Paul, The Pastor and his wife have such a passion for Christ."
"And did you see that ugly gray paint in the hallways, who picked that out."
"They could really use my help with the youth program. It is growing so fast "
"Didn't you smell something funny when we went downstairs for Sunday School? "
"Hey Paul , Did you notice how neat and clean the nursery was.............."
*names, locations changed
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