I’m a Seattle girl, born and bred. I didn’t meet Jesus, didn’t even really know much about Him until I was fifteen and the Young Life leader kept telling stories about this man named Jesus who stilled the waves and stooped to help the hurting. I fell in love with Him then.
The leader told me I needed to find a church, so I did. A little Presbyterian country church I loved to pieces. I ventured there alone, my father deceased, my stepfather now moved on, and my mom not interested in attending.
We moved, and I made the search for another small church. I found another country church with good folks and strong convictions. We took communion every Sunday.
In college I attended a charismatic church with hands-to-the-ceiling worship. God used the people in that church to heal so many broken parts of me. They dared to believe God would restore the mess from the past back to glory. I met my husband there. Again, this was a small church.
We planted a church on our next move, but the church unplanted us (a long, boring story). We settled into a medium sized charismatic church that blessed us. We formed lasting friendships there and started raising our family within its walls.
We moved again and found a community church near home and met some of the most fabulous people we’ve ever met as a couple. Ties continue to this day.
All these venturings happened in Washington state. Then we did our first cross cultural move to Palestine. Not the Palestine you’re thinking though, Palestine, Texas. We helped a new church there get its feet under it, then moved again to the Dallas area so my husband could attend seminary. The first church we found imitated all the others: relatively small, community centric, great folks. But we sensed a change in the air, and God led us elsewhere.
I’d always said when we moved to Texas that:
- I would not attend a Southern Baptist Church
- I would certainly not attend a megachurch.
Be careful what you tell the Almighty.
It’s not that I had anything against the SBC, it’s that it was wholly foreign to me, as a girl who met Jesus in a secular culture and didn’t usually settle in a denomination. And as far as megachurches went, I was biased. I didn’t see how a big church could help folks on the micro level. I wanted community, and a big church, in my mind, didn’t mean that.
Enter Lakepointe Church. The sanctuary dwarfed me. I felt little. I enjoyed the worship and the teaching, but its immensity scared me. And lo and behold, its roots were SBC. Was this some kind of cosmic joke? Did God in heaven laugh when I told him my church parameters?
We’ve been at this church over a decade now. I wouldn’t trade it. We were one of the first missionaries the church sent out that weren’t from the IMB (International Mission Board). Had Lakepointe not been involved in our France journey, I doubt we would’ve weathered that time as well as we did. They supported us, sent teams, prayed for us, sent care packages, and prayed some more. They offered real-time assistance when everything blew up. They were the church to us in every possible way. I fell in love with Lakepointe with a fond affection when we were at our most vulnerable.
And when we came home, they took care of us, counseled us, helped us get on our feet. We have the privilege now of leading a church within a church (Life Group) that is larger than the church we planted in France. It’s our community, our smaller place where we love people who are broken like us.
I’m so thankful God didn’t take my anti-SBC-megachurch declarations to heart. I’m thankful He pushed me to consider something other than the smaller box I put Him in. I’m happy to say I adore my church, thank God for my church, and count my children’s spiritual growth as a beautiful benefit of attending it.
Q4U: How did God lead you to your current church? What can you praise about it?
Mary DeMuth writes about life and more life at her website maryedemuth.com. She writes a LOT of books.