Why I Switched Churches

I love High Tide Church.  When Carolyn and I were looking for a new church home early last summer, I was excited to discover that High Tide (in Frankford, Delaware) is only about the same distance away from Ocean Pines (where we live) as the south end of Ocean City.  We visited a worship service there and decided to plug in.  Pastor Andy Ehlers is a genuine man of God, and he preaches the gospel with both humility and boldness every week.  The children’s ministries are fantastic, the music is wonderful, the people are friendly, and they have some really cool glowing trash cans on the stage.  But after four months we decided to switch churches again.

Why?

Because it was too far away from where many of our unchurched friends live.

When my family was looking for a church home, there were several nonnegotiable factors we considered: Our church must have an urgent sense of mission, be doctrinally sound, have a solid children’s ministry, and be a place where we could use our gifts to serve.  High Tide was all that, and had a bunch of nice extras too (like the music and worship environment).  But we had overlooked one hugely important factor: Although High Tide wasn’t too far a drive for us to go for worship on a Sunday morning, it was way too far for our friends in West Ocean City that we wanted to invite, and probably too far for our friends in Berlin.  It just didn’t sit right to join a church where we were not able to bring along the people we have relationships with here in our community.

So I called Pastor Andy, and in that phone call he proved that the Kingdom of God is his top priority.  He told me, “Living as a Christian means living incarnationally.  That means we need to belong to a church in the same community where we live, work, and play.”  Rather than giving me a sales pitch for High Tide, he encouraged me to find a church that was situated in the same community where we live.  Sound advice.

And finding a great church in our community was easy to do, because SonRise Church in Berlin meets all the criteria I mentioned above.  We had only passed it over in the first place because we were looking for something new and different.  We had new and different for four months at High Tide, and it was perfect for the season of transition we were in.  However, now that we’re at SonRise we’re able to hit on all cylinders as church members.

Last Sunday our decision to switch churches was confirmed.  Our five-year-old daughter, Laura Marie, was baptized at SonRise.  We had a pretty good turnout of friends who came for the baptism, which might not have happened if it had been in Frankford.  Plus there were kids from Laura Marie’s school who were there to see her baptized, something else which would not have happened in Delaware.

I still love High Tide and miss worshiping there, and I miss the Ehlers family, but at SonRise Church we have found a place to truly call home.

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Published in: on November 19, 2014 at 11:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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