The Official Writing Challenge
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So glad you found the right one!
Nice article. The best part about it is the build and the comparison to other forms. I actually would have preferred you use the other 1/3 of the words available to you, intro the church searching concept early (end of 2nd par?) and drawn the contradictions and comparisons throughout the reading. "Location x3" gives you a play on words to use...maybe "ranked 6th, 8th, and 10th on our lists" or a jab at humor?? I like the piece overall, the content is all there and very good.
I had to go back and read this again because I felt like I should have seen that you were talking about finding a church before I did. You threw me off in the first paragraph with the mention of a manager, but paragraph three was a pretty good hint. I enjoyed it and thought you were very clever in your comparisons. Perhaps a more casual voice or little humor as Tom suggested would add to the piece.
Now I'm commenting twice - was led to read this one again. I really, really liked the approach to use other forms of shopping to show the significance of finding a church. This is a VERY "publishable" concept.
I love how you drew us into your search with the comparisons to other searches. I truly enjoyed this!
These thoughts probably run through most of our minds when looking for the "right" fit for our place of worship.

As a reader, I would have liked to have been let in (hooked) earlier as to the analogies used between regular shopping and church shopping.

That being said, I did like the honest approch to your subject.
I thought this was a very nice story. You had me from beginning to end!
Whew! Five months is quite a while. You did a great job with making this come to life, I felt like I was walking along, occassionally looking over your shoulder to hear better as you told the story. It wasn't as you-are-there as I was expecting, but still pretty good. Maybe use a little more present tense or examples? Just my own opinion! ^_^
I thought about writing on this. Glad I didn't, since you did it so well!
I loved the build up and comparison for this. We were blessed to find our church after one week when we moved, but we know that's often the exception not the rule.