Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Perfect church?

I just got through sitting in a three hour IEP for Gabrielle. It was a good meeting but I feel that if this placement doesn't work and she starts going in a downward spiral again, we are going to have to switch schools. She came with me and after three hours, I looked across at her, her eyes were glazed over and she was done. So was I. She was a trooper though, and made many very appropriate and thoughtful comments. She seems to get what we expect from her intellectually but I'm not sure she internalizes it. We all tried to be very concrete with our expectations, something that really works with Gab.

I didn't update you on George's and Gab's trip to the black church in Rome. Overall it was very positive. George spoke for about five minutes about how God is working in our lives. He said he was nervous but Gab said you couldn't tell. The service was almost three hours. When Gabrielle got home she made the comment, "Why can't all churches be that exciting? Most are so boring."
It's a good question. As a family we have had an extremely hard time finding a church that fits our needs. Most of the time I find myself looking around and feeling very unfit. Isn't church the place where everyone fits despite of their imperfections? If a black church can make some very "white" people feel incredibly comfortable why can't I feel incredibly comfortable in a church full of my kind?

We have a list of churches that we want to try. I don't look forward to church hopping. It brings back memories of our missionary furlough summers of going to a different church every Sunday. I think part of my dislike for churches stems back to these summers. I remember sitting in the pews and singing the boring songs, listening to my father's same sermon for the fifteenth time that summer and being incredibly uncomfortable. Then we would get back in the car and critique (or should I say criticize) the church for what they lacked.

I am going to have to go into this with an open mind. There is not a perfect church out there. Some might fit better for our family but I shouldn't expect an exact fit. Sometimes it's hard to find a balance of substance and charisma. The charismatic churches lack substance and vice versa. Please pray for us as we make this journey. Maybe if we look at it as an adventure. Easier said than done, especially with our teenager.