Approximately 9 months ago, Sean and I placed membership at the First Baptist Church in Richmond.
If you’re not familiar, Sean and I met at a school that is based out of the Churches of Christ. It took a while to come to grips with the differences, determine if we didn’t think they were biblical, and then we prayed a lot. Both individually and together. When we first moved to Richmond, we hastily placed membership at a church after attending a few months. While still a great body of believers, it didn’t feel like a place we belonged. It made us a little gun-shy about jumping in and placing membership, so we were perpetual visitors for years. Different churches, denominations, destinations.
After years of searching, we started visiting our church (again) a little over a year and a half ago. We visited for about six months and then started attending their Connections class that introduces those new to the church about Christianity, Baptist Connventions, This Church, and the ministries you can get involved in. Those classes really eased our minds about who they were and whether our beliefs would fit in. I loved that the class had people from all different pasts and backgrounds — rarely any were just from a different Baptist church across town. Maybe it’s from my home church, but that shows me a church that’s healthy and gaining members for the right reasons.
We’ve found a great Bible class where we’ve met some great people, but we’ve really found our place — in the choir.
That’s where Sean and I met at Harding those eight years ago. It seems appropriate that it’s where we’ve found our place in the new church. We got introduced about how to join at the end of January where they were having a ministry fair. And other then a brief pause in May when I was recovering from surgery, we’ve been singing ever since.
I say all this to say that I’m grateful for a lot of the little ministries that they do. If you’re sick, you can live stream both the worship service and the class from the convenience of your laptop. They have classes for every age range and stage of life, and even if you don’t quite fit in, they’ll still welcome you. My favorite during August is that they show a free family movie in the courtyard (this year — classic musicals). It’s popular enough that local hipster magazines advertise it for people to attend.
But recently, I’ve found that I needed to make more time in my heart for time spent in God’s word and in prayer. And I wanted to do it in the morning as one of the first things I do to start my day on the right path. It’s hard finding a devotional book that’s meaningful, not too time consuming for that time of day, and guides my prayer.
Wouldn’t you know it, the church has that. They have a book you can buy every September for Your Daily Appointment with God. Or, you can sign up for the free emails (here, if you’re interested). I feel like my days start in the right place and I know every morning I’ll spend some time reading God’s word, meditating on someone’s thoughts on those words, and focused prayer on something specific.
I’m thankful for finally finding a church home. Even if it’s a little further away now thanks to the move, I’m excited to see what God’s doing through this church and through me.