First Baptist Church of Fairhope. We didn't want to assume that just because I had been raised in that church and my mother was still active there, that this was where God wanted us. We were there until 2000, when we discerned that God called us out with a small group of others to plant another congregation in the community that came to be called Church on the Eastern Shore. We were part of the COTES family until the point where we were planning to close our Christian bookstore, The Good Book, in 2006 and I was approached about joining the staff of another local church, Jubilee Shores United Methodist Church, in the area of small group development and practical care ministries. It was a privilege to serve in that role but after serving there for a year, I sensed that I was not the best person to implement the pastor's vision for those ministries and stepped down from that position. Within a a couple of weeks of that I was approached to take over the management of Crossroads Books and Gifts, a ministry of Christ United Methodist Church in Mobile. The bookstore manager position was actually a staff position of the church so we made our home at CUMC. Last month, CUMC followed God's calling in bringing that ministry to a close so here we are back on the Eastern Shore and looking for a new church home.
We're making no assumptions about where God would have us plug-in and are open to whatever place he calls us. The tough part of that is setting aside our personal preferences and past relationships. Sure, it would be easy to go to the place where we already know the most people but that may not be where God is calling us. We'll visit, pray and listen and eventually find our new church home.
What about your journey? Who or what has God used to lead you to the church family where you are called to serve?