Jan 6, 2009

Church Hunting--Feelers...

Too long a story to tell tonight. Haven't left the church we've been going to, but aren't feeling as settled as we had previously, either. The membership-class-thingy is coming up, so we'll get some good info and have the chance to ask some good questions. Good.

In the meantime though, we're putting some feelers out. There's another church we had looked at online but haven't visited yet, so I thought I'd contact them for more info. I'm also dangerously close to calling the friends of Linda to see what kind of info they can give me--just have to wait for a brave day on that one.

I always wonder how much info to give in an introductory, information-seeking email. Do I go into my neuroses and test the true extent of their understanding, or keep it strictly to "Hi I'm looking for a good church, do you fit the bill?" I kind of like how this one turned out though, so I thought I'd share--
Hello Local Area Church,

We are new to the area, looking to connect locally. I've looked over the church website and the fellowship's website [sort of like a denomination but not exactly], and so far am encouraged by what I'm finding, but I was wondering if you could give me an idea for the feel of your church. We've been attending Another Local Church for a couple of months, and enjoy their music & casual atmosphere, but aren't sure if it's the right match for us theologically. We're both musicians (bass & drums) and eventually would probably have an interest in contributing musically, so that's an area of special interest for us. Personality-wise, we're casual & laid-back. We're not looking for everyone to look & act like we do (but wouldn't that be fun!), just hoping to find a place where we are free to be ourselves.

As far as theological beliefs, mostly we're very much into grace as a way of life. We love Jesus and want to follow him in a real & authentic way, without being superficial or "churchy." We are a military family and will be in the area for approximately four years so we have all the "stuff" that comes with being military--knowing we're here only a short time, yet wanting to connect and have meaningful relationships, etc. We fit into the young-families area, in our early 30's with a 2 year old, along with our second kiddo coming in the spring.

We will be out of town in the next few weeks but would like to come visit, probably in February sometime. In the meantime, any info you can provide would be great, or if there's any particular person I should contact I would be glad to do that as well. Thanks!
I always think I use too many exclamation points, but I chalk that up to wanting to convey a certain amount of cheer. Not that I feel particularly perky most of the time, but not knowing who is on the other end it always seems a better policy than displaying the full extent of my snark that you all get to see here. I've been known to scare people away with the snark.

Anyway, I do have more details to share on the church-thing, but that may or may not wait until after we've made a decision on the current church. And I have some photos from the autopsy I did on my hand mixer, so hopefully I'll get those up soon too. Til then...


teresa said...

I am so glad to find your blog!! I love the hand mixer story. Mine is on it's last leg and I'm pretty sure why. It sucked up a lot of flour one day and now it just chokes it's way through and mystery my kitchen is always covered with a white haze afterwards. I also love this line,"I've been known to scare people away with my snark." that's good stuff.I hope the church hunting goes well and that you're left with sense of home once you've decided on one.

TulipGirl said...

You know that old commercial, "People do judge you by the words you use. . ." ?

I think churches need to be conscious of that, too. "People do judge you by the website you provide. . ."

But, honestly, I find that a LOT about a church can be conveyed by their website that is telling, beyond an initial email/conversation. Like, do they have sermons or Bible study outlines on the site? What ministries do they promote or link? How active are they in missions and the local community?

Because, no matter what you write in an introductory email, you'll pretty much get a universal, "This is a little about us -- I bet you'd be a great fit, come check us out!"

Or, maybe I'm wrong.

It's hard, though, because first visits don't always really convey the true flavor of the local body. . . Praying y'all have wisdom.

Suzanne said...

I think your email's pretty good. Just be honest and up-front about what you're looking for. Don't beat-around-the-bush. My husband has a series of about 20 questions he asks the pastor of a church we're "feeling out". Some of them are theological, some are about ministries and involvement. A word of caution: We have had pastors lie. Maybe not intentionally, but sometimes they want to say what they think you want to hear ... so that you'll come and give them a chance. But that never turned out well for us. Just sayin' ...