(With emphasis on the home part and not on the extreme or the makeover). This would be more like Extreme Living Room Demolition. There we go.
We went to a variety of places that fall. One place we went to was what you might call a “postmodern” church (incidentally, it was also another Baptist church, though you would NEVER guess it by the worship services that we attended). It was weird; it was non-traditional; it was new. I was sort of drawn to it (surprise), but Craig was the one who hesitated, as he wasn’t sure this was the right place for us to go. Our one-month foray into postmodern church came to an end.
The next place we landed was another MacArthur-endorsed church in town. This really could have been a good fit for us, as in style and theology it was very similar to the church we had just left after eighteen months. Actually, it was too similar – most of the people who left our previous church moved over to this one, and it felt a little too much like we were siding with those who left over the “issue” when we weren’t. It was awkward. We stayed about a month and then moved on again. I can’t remember all the little one-time visits we made to various places, but to be honest, when you don’t have a church home and you do have a 2-year old, a 1-year old, and are 6-months pregnant with #3, sometimes you just don’t go. I imagine there were several weeks worth of not going thrown into the mix as well.
Somewhere in there, I attended a play at Village 7 Presbyterian Church. I had absolutely no understanding of PCA versus PCUSA (my only knowledge of Presbyterians was that they baptized babies, ordained women, and did other things that rode on the liberal line of what was and what was not acceptable to my Southern Baptist roots). When I attended the play that night, Anne of Green Gables I believe, I picked up some pamphlets on the church. I can’t remember if it was the pastor or another staff member who said a few words at the beginning or the end, but somebody said something that made me think we might have more in common with these “liberal” Presbyterians than I had thought. I brought the info home to Craig, who had a better understanding of the differences between these two branches of Presbyterianism. Upon realizing Village 7 was in the PCA and getting a cursory explanation of what that meant, we decided to give that one a shot.
We loved that church. The pastor at that time was a great teacher. The church was humongous, yet he remembered every name. Somehow he managed to connect with us – though we were new, though we were unsure of what the heck we were doing – and his intentionality brought us back again and again. The style of worship was a good fit and we lined up theologically. We were one month away from welcoming daughter #3, and it was a genuine relief to just have a place to go, so there we went. But we didn’t become members, as we still had hang-ups with the whole infant baptism thing and weren’t in a good place to begin investigating it.
When we started going to Village 7, we were living in our third home in Colorado Springs and the first house we bought. Ours was a great centennial house that we absolutely loved, but it was smack dab in the middle of an America’s Most Wanted neighborhood. The police helicopters circled our neighborhood so often (and low enough to make actual eye contact with those inside), that we got to where we would go outside and wave at the police officers who were flashing searchlights through our yard.
Several months after #3 was born, we decided maybe that neighborhood wasn’t the best one in which to raise little girls, so we moved to the far west side of town, just five minutes down the road from Glen Eyrie where Craig spent most of his time. This move was great for seeing Craig more, as he came home for lunch almost every day and could be on call on the weekends from home rather than having to go in all the time.
It was bad, however, for getting to Village 7. When you have three kids three and under and live 30 minutes from a church as large as Village 7 was (and still is), it’s very hard to get yourself to all the things you really need to get yourself to become a real part of the church. Wednesday nights were difficult; Sundays were so very long (I remember packing lunch in the car each week so we could feed the girls on the way home – if we didn’t, they would fall asleep as soon as they hit the car seats, nap for 20 minutes, wake up hungry, eat lunch and not sleep again the rest of the day). Though I plugged in with a monthly women’s group, we still didn’t know very many people in the church.
After about nine months, it seemed too much of a burden to get there. Sadly, we found ourselves making excuses to stay home, certainly on Wednesdays but even on some Sundays.
You probably see where this is going: yes, we ended up leaving that church, too.
Where did we go next?