A few years ago, well many years ago, I moved as the point man (of my family) to Lubbock, Texas. I was a new assistant professor of civil engineering. After I got myself settled in to an apartment, I began searching for a church.
This story reminds me of my search. Go read it, then come back.
Did you read it? Good. A long time ago I reflected on my search for a church in Lubbock, Texas. I arrived early in 1993, got myself situated in a small apartment, and got started on my duties. Wife and kids worked in Mississippi to ready for the remainder of the move. As point, I started a search for a church.
My modus operandi was to dress in my not best jeans, an old flannel shirt, and go visit a church on my list from the telephone book. I had a big-ole ponytail and a neatly trimmed beard. I would enter the church a few minutes before the service and watch how people treated me.
Mostly I was ignored. I would find a place near the back to sit and then participate in the service. I was evaluating the teaching and music as well as my reception.
Again, I was mostly an invisible person.
After a few weeks, I visited Lubbock Bible Church. We like Bible churches because they tend to stick pretty close to the Bible. They can be a bit intellectual and a little less practical, but that’s sometimes the risk of solid teaching.
Before I could get out of the church my first visit, I was literally grabbed by the pastor’s wife. I was also greeted by a number of congregants. This was a unusual in my experience and a positive sign.
The pastor’s family took me to lunch and we were acquainted. I found our church. We were there for more than ten years before the pastor retired and things changed, and not for the better. We left soon thereafter and bounced around there in Lubbock and then again once we moved to Carson City.
I haven’t been searching for a church here. I’ve been focused on dealing with the things left undone before Wife’s death. Once I get through all of that, maybe. I haven’t made up my mind yet.
The object lesson of the pastor-as-homeless-man is well-taken. It’s an excellent lesson and needs to be learned by anyone who says they are Christian. I remember.