I am looking for a new church.

With more than 15,000 churches in the metro-Atlanta area alone, this is no easy feat.  Granted, my search criteria narrows that number to a more manageable 736, but that is still a LOT of choices!

The last place I visited freaked my sister and I out a little bit.  It was a brand-spanking-new church plant – just launched at the end of March – and the similarities to the church plant that she and I helped to launch a couple of years ago were just downright spooky…from the Ikea lamps lighting the sanctuary area, to the song that was sung during worship, to the fact that the lead pastor bore a strong resemblance to the pastor of our previous church (I mean, really – the new pastor looked more like the old pastor’s brother than the old pastor’s actual brother!) and they even come from the same state!

Setting all of those freaky coincidences aside, the message was a little weak, in my opinion, and I walked out barely an hour after the service began not really sure what the point of attending in the first place was.  Sure, the people were friendly and worship was well-done, and we shared communion, and the pastor almost forgot to do an offering altogether — but I didn’t feel as if my soul had been fed with the Word of God.  And isn’t that the point of going to church?  To gather with other believers to revel in the Word of our wonderful, powerful God?

As we followed a member of this new church out of the movie theater where they are currently holding services, I read the church’s motto on the back of his t-shirt:  A Perfect Place for Imperfect People.  That made me think of all the other mottoes and catchphrases I see for hip, fresh new churches, and it occurred to me that…

I really don’t need another motto. 

It seems like the newer churches are all about being hip and cool with their full bands, awesome contemporary worship music, outreach programs and laser-like focus on saving new souls and enticing new Christians.  And that’s great…really.  It’s just that amidst the lights and the banners and the slogans, Jesus seems to be getting lost.  The congregants are being fed baby-food messages with one verse of the Word quoted – if they’re lucky – and no real substance being taught from the pulpit/stage/cool-swivel-chair at all.

There seems to be little to no regard for those of us who have been following Jesus for a while…those of us who need a meatier, more substantial message to feed our souls.  I need a message that will disturb me.  You know what I mean?  A message that will have me thinking on His Word so deeply that I might walk out of service into the bright sunlight of day with no awareness of my surroundings whatsoever.  I want a message that will make me examine my own soul for the answers within myself.

Do you go to that church?  If so, will you invite me to come along sometime?