lust vs. love – my search for community
for those who are in transition, have ever been in transition, or will soon be in transition, we perhaps share a common story of that dreaded duty of finding a new church home. as one who is not bound or committed to one particular denomination or organization of churches, my journey tends to be quite complicated.
of course, i want to recognize that not everyone’s journey will or should share the same experiences. but similar to some folks that i’ve encountered recently, i’ve found that there are numerous factors that must be accounted for when searching for the “right” community to call home. since i had been employed by several churches and in seminary for the past three years doing required field placements, my children have not had the luxury of participating in the decisions of where our family would worship. given that, our children were the top priority in this particular endeavor. intimately woven within that, as a multi-racial family, we firmly believe that homogeneity is not an option for us…..which, unfortunately narrowed the options quite a bit.
why the title of lust vs. love for this blog you ask? well, we have been attending a local church here called quest church. as a worship and creative arts person who has also grown up in mega-churches, i tend to be easily influenced by first impressions – aesthetics, potential, organization, influence, size, etc… quest church, however, was not the sexy provocative first impression that i was hoping for. no flashy lights, no pre-service donuts;), no one aggressively tried to stake a claim on us….just not a lot of hype. honestly at first, i was a bit disappointed because it actually has a lot going for it (multi-ethnic/cultural/generational, multiple women pastors, great children’s ministry, communion EVERY week) ….but instead, my initial impression was kind of like that guy in college that i would’ve considered more like a “friend” than someone i would date. unfortunately, that’s NOT what i wanted in a church. i wanted that hot-love-at-first-sight kind of experience! i wanted the church to wow me toward membership. for some reason though, we’ve felt drawn to continue going there over the past several weeks while also attending some other churches in the evenings. meanwhile, my children LOVE going to quest and have made it known to us many times.
and then there was today!
i had one of those moments when i looked around during worship…. the moment when you realize a friendship could be turning into something deeper. it’s definitely not lust. so then, what is it? i think about some of the people that i’ve met at the church and i see myself becoming bound to them. i’ve also felt the need to start getting involved in the life of the church as opposed to being an anonymous onlooker…. and the biggie – when i try to juggle other churches with quest, thinking i can be a professional visitor at more than one church, i’m beginning to feel like an adulterer! could this be love?
through this process, i have come to be reminded that friendships are beautiful but that they also take time to grow. at quest, i’ve been given an offer of friendship that is not flashy or overwhelming but that i am now sure i do not want to be without. the things i love about quest church is their heart for the people….not just their own congregants (which is important) but to the larger community in which they find themselves apart of, locally and globally – an incarnational presence. quest is not about glitz and glamour. rather, its desire is in doing life together. it’s an earnest desire. imperfect? perhaps in some areas, but a place that resembles my imperfections. a place that i hope i can one day call home.