“You can be committed to Church but not committed to Christ, but you cannot be committed to Christ and not committed to church. ”
~ Joel Osteen
We had been believers in Christ since before we married over twenty years ago. When we moved to Tallahassee we knew we needed to pray about which church the Lord wanted us to join. Others might have liked to church hop a bit and get their feet wet but we didn't want to spend forever making that decision. We preferred to get involved. Doing otherwise would leave us disconnected from believers. We didn't want to be around strangers.
Naturally we gravitated towards our comfort zones. If we were Presbyterian, we might have hunted for the closest Presbyterian Church without much question. Mom would have loved that. If we were Catholic, not much thought either, but as a couple we had thought through questions more than many others. We appreciated the strengths and knew the weaknesses of a variety of denominations and we had worshiped in non-denominational settings too.
Choosing a church in Tallahassee was really quite daunting. What about the children? What about the people we knew? What about distance? What about our preferences in the way we worship? It would take months playing the field Sunday by Sunday to come to an informed decision. The plethora of non-denominational churches in a town we didn't know well yet made this a harder question to answer than you might expect. If only there was a better way.
If only there was a transitional church. A place for newcomers to get an orientation to all of the churches in Tallahassee at once. What are those to do who have just moved here for one reason or another like us? We preferred a small to mid-sized family church rather than a mega-church. We didn't want to get lost in the crowd. We wanted to feel comfortable meeting with the pastor and sharing one to one. Google brought us the top ten largest churches. There were literally hundreds of churches that might have fit the description of the type of church we were looking for and the search engines were little help. It was a big guessing game. We asked the Lord to lead us and guide us.
Not everyone struggles this way but it isn't easy choosing a church when you are new to a large city like Tallahassee. We moved here in two stages. First, my husband came looking for work and looking for an apartment. He found something affordable on the south side of town. When he chose the location for the apartment he made sure that church search was a part of that but in the two weeks he spent looking he didn't really have a chance to connect with anyone who could give him the guidance we were looking for. Location then became a big factor in searching for a church as Tallahassee is spread out pretty far.
Then we moved all our belongings and we were exhausted and in the next three weeks attended three different churches. Maybe it was just because we didn't want to keep searching but we made a commitment to join one of these first three.
What we didn't have then was something like what a friend of ours we came to know there described - the All Hours Church. Had we known about the All Hours Church in the first place, we would have been able to connect with a community of people who belonged to not just one, but all of the churches in Tallahassee and made a much more informed decision. It could have affected where to rent.
Our friend described it as like traveling in New York City. You go to Grand Central Station and from there you find your way. It will be the place that connects everything else. It hadn't yet been built but we liked what he described. He said it was a place where the people would know eachother and are familiar with all of the churches in the area because they all participate and in Tallahassee all of the churches communicate with each other. Until the All Hours Church is up and operational, searching for a church when moving to Tallahassee will remain a hit or miss process for newcomers here.
Who is running this?
our Director of Education and ministry preparation.
Coordinator of women's outreach and counseling.
serving as web master and master of calendars and advertising.
Fellowship, hospitality, facility booking coordinator - one amazing woman!
will head up the volunteer team that will meet with pastors and follow up seminars.
Jesus Our Lord
is our head and sovereign king. All are welcome to join us in serving Him.