Over the next several days, I will be posting a series of articles about a Navy PCS, which stands for Permanent Change of Station. I plan to cover our church-hunting, helping our kids adjust, and settling into a new job. So sit back, relax, and enjoy (oh, also, please pray for us!).
Part I: Getting ready to find a new church.
I've become very comfortable with the church we're currently attending. Alicia and I found a home in Clairemont Emmanuel Baptist Church.The people are friendly, the pastor is a great communicator, and the worship is very good. I've been a member of four churches since I've been married, and this is probably the best experience I've had. Still, we must prepare to move on as, whether we like it or not, we'll be in North Chicago in less than two weeks.
More than anything, I don't want to pick the wrong church. Unfortunately, I've done that before. I picked the church because of what I wanted, and my family definitely suffered because of it. Moving to North Chicago is a definite opportunity to apply the lessons we've learned in 10 years of marriage in church-hunting and I actually look forward to all of it except for the part about saying goodbye to CEBC.
I want to belong. One of the hardest things for a military family is to belong to a church. We are so accustomed to moving all of the time that it's difficult to mean something to a church. I guess that's why many churches don't have a military ministry. Honestly, it doesn't make sense to a church to have a directed outreach to military families when the reality is that we're just going to move on in a few years.
But I don't want that. I want to be a part of something special. Even though I goofed a few times at CEBC, I felt that in many ways my family belonged. We worked AWANA and Sunday morning childcare and while it wasn't at all what I had originally planned, it was what God and the church needed. We were valued and needed. Looking back on it, I feel good about what we accomplished at this church.
Alicia and I have been praying for a little bit about our upcoming church hunt. It's going to be hard work because there isn't a really great number of churches to choose from in our immediate area and I really want to find a good neighborhood church to call home.
I know this sounds confusing. The fact is that I desire so badly to be in a good church. I want to pick one based on the right things, both for my family and myself. I need prayer and encouragement for what will undoubtedly be a tiring effort over the next few months. My family needs a place to grow for the next three years and I need a place to belong. Please join Alicia and me as we pray for this. It would mean so much to me.