The reason we left Village 7 was simply not being able to plug into the community the church offered. It was very hard to during that season of life, and our lack of intentionality led to a disconnect with the church.
There was an Evangelical Free church right in our very neighborhood and we knew a lot of people who went there. We attended a couple of services and were thrilled to have people to talk to afterwards, people who already knew us. It wasn’t “work” to get to know the people there. Sometimes you are willing to sacrifice teaching for community, and this would be an example of our having done just that.
We plugged into the church more than any we ever had. Craig taught several rounds of Sunday School classes. I taught in the toddlers class. We joined the weekly homeschool co-op (our oldest was just in preschool, but it was something to do each week so we did it). We enrolled in Awanas, attended VBS, you name it, we were there. Daughter #4 was born while we were here, and we had her and #3 dedicated while at this church.
We stayed there longer than any other church we’d been at so far, but slowly I began a spiritual decline. The teaching lacked depth; the services were shallow. I started getting antsy. I felt like I was dying a slow painful spiritual death.
Craig didn’t feel this as much because his role at Glen Eyrie placed him under good teaching often through the conferences he was planning. And whereas he gets fed by feeding others, I just get drained by it.
We discussed our situation many times with one particular couple. They were on Campus Crusade staff and had Mizzou roots along with Craig, so there were several levels of commonality on which to hinge a friendship. The counsel I, in particular, received, though, was to stay in the community we’d developed there, but to seek better teaching from radio or internet preachers. This suggestion didn’t sit well with me. I have nothing against sermons on the internet, but I don’t particularly think they should be one’s dominant source of worship through the word.
I started crying a lot when thinking about going back. Craig began realizing my decline was serious. We discussed the options in-depth for several weeks and came to this conclusion: we couldn’t go there if I were to have any hope of spiritual sustainability. About two and a half years after we joined this church (and yes, we had joined this one), all we could think about (okay, all *I* could think about) was the teaching we’d left behind at Village 7. We decided it was time to go back.
We had a small problem, though. We committed ourselves to teaching the toddlers class as a couple throughout the whole summer, and we didn’t want to go back on our commitment. That month of August was one of the longest Augusts we’ve lived through (longer even than the one in which daughter #2 was born on the 28th!). We started going to the E-Free church in the mornings to teach the toddler class and then speeding across town back to V7 for the worship service.
When September rolled around, we knew this would be the last time we played with the churches of Colorado Springs. We sat through the membership class and took the membership vows that very month. It was one of the most relieving months of our whole church existence. We were in the process of wrestling through the infant baptism thing; I was wrestling with all five points of Calvinism. But it was where we were supposed to be and we knew it. It was good.
Then the very next month Craig took me out for coffee. While sipping my hot chocolate at Starbuck’s that morning he spilled the words I never in a million years expected to hear. He said he’d been thinking about starting seminary. In St. Louis. Next fall, but moving in the spring. What did I think?
What did I think? It was a question I would not fully be able to understand the answer to for another four years, but the part of me that seeks out and thrives on change was completely for it. Yes! Let’s do this! Let’s start something totally new! In St. Louis!
And then I remembered: we just joined the church of our dreams. What about that?
Well, St. Louis is Presbyterianland, after all. Surely we’ll find another one once we got there.