We raced up and down the dim hallways, exploring room after room after room, shouting at each other when we found something. For my brother and I, checking out a new church was almost as exciting as Christmas morning. You never knew what you might find. We got to check out new churches often because my mom is an interim minister (yep, I'm a PK ... a Pastor's Kid!), which means that she serves a church for a few years while they look for a permanent pastor. For us, that was generally exciting. New people to meet, new friends to make, new rooms to explore.
When I went off to college though, going to church was on me. What?? I'd grown up following my family from church to church and now it was up to me to decide if, when and where I would go. That was a huge turning point for me, and I really do think it set the stage for my post-college years.
Finding a church home has always been one of the first things I do in a new city. I want get involved, I want to worship alongside friends that share similar beliefs. Belonging to a church is just that ... it's belonging, it's having a sense of purpose.
Nathan and I knew we were home the first time we visited Forest Hill Church. I remember whispering to him during the service, "I've never seen a church this vibrant." I've pretty much overused the word "vibrant" when describing Forest Hill, but it's the word that always comes to mind. There's so much going on and everyone is SO happy.
I knew almost right away that we'd become members of Forest Hill Church, and this past Sunday we did. I felt like I was coming full circle ... from those really early days of exploring new churches, to making my own decisions in college, to this. I'm excited for what's ahead!