Steve and I have had a slow going church search process. It doesn't help that we travel a lot and have been gone a lot of weekends this summer. In Tennessee, our search went pretty quick and we settled on the 4th church we visited. The first time we went to Fellowship Bible Church in Jackson, we immediately fell in love and new it was the right church for us.
Our story here in Lima has been a lot different. We've gone to 8+ churches, but we think we've found one. We have attended Lima Baptist Temple 6 or 7 times, and are growing more attached to it. The style is much more traditional -- sing primarily hymns, lots of amens from the crowd, and the music is primarily soundtracks or piano/guitar. Our church in Tennessee matched our desires so perfectly, that we kept comparing the Lima churches to it. Now, we've accepted we won't find what we had in Tennessee and are learning to appreciate the differences.
We are growing particularly fond of the pastor's teachings. We decided a strong teacher outweighed the worship portion and LBT has just that. We especially like the pastor's hand raising (can I get an amen?). He has a laid back personality, young, and is pretty relatable. Another perk is the fact that it is broadcast on the tv every Sunday! There have been a few Sunday's when one of us was feeling the greatest and we were still able to enjoy the church on television (although the tv sermon is from the previous week).
This past Sunday, we visited the Sunday School hour. We had previously filled out a visitor card and a pastor contacted us with the information for the class after college - 30 class. It was a pretty good size 25+ people, and a good mix. There was probably only 2 other couples around our age, leaving the majority closer to 30 and with kids. We sat next to another couple that was visiting for the first time, and they were newlyweds (a little younger than us). The leader of the class also happened to be the music pastor. It was neat getting to see him on a more personal level and then watch him lead the worship in the next hour. When we were sharing where we were fun, the leader shared with Steve that he too used to live in Colorado. He prefaced it with "I don't remember exactly where other than that it was South of Denver in a place called -- The Pinery!" Ha ha -- for those of you who don't know much about Steve, he grew up in the next subdivision in the South Pinery -- what are the odds?? The leader lived there 35+ years ago and remembers the area being very wooded and secluded -- now it's all houses and subdivisions.
Steve and I left the church feeling much better about where God is leading us. We even sat next to the other new couple in the worship service and got to talk with them a little more. We are looking forward to next week's church visit instead of cringing and worrying about not meeting people we can call friends. We are even excited to get to go to a "date night" class event next week! Thanks for all the prayers about us finding a new church home and creating deeper roots in Lima. We are finally starting to feel more and more at home in Lima and are excited to get involved more into the community.