A few months ago, I thought that I had found my home church. Evangel Assembly had everything. Great worship, a great pastor, and a great student ministry. I had heard about the church when a friend of mine from Marching Chiefs told me that he was in the worship band. Only having been in Tallahassee one week, I decided to try it out.
An evangelist happened to be the guest speaker at Evangel that Sunday morning and evening. He really stood out to me. He wasn’t avoiding stepping on toes or offending anyone. He spoke straight out of the Bible and you could really hear the Holy Spirit in his words. I figured that if this was the kind of guest speaker they had, this was the kind of church it was. Not only was the speaking very good, but the congregation was so nice. I was sitting alone waiting for the service to start when a young man approached me and introduced himself. He welcomed me and gave me some pamphlets of information about the student ministry. He even invited me to sit with him later during the evening service. I automatically made the assumption that the preaching and the hospitality was just their standard. So I continued to attend Evangel.
I was starting to realize after a few months of attending Evangel that it wasn’t what I wanted my home church to be. The pastor was great, the worship was great too. But I didn’t feel challenged by the sermons. In all honesty, they seemed to be cliche to me. While the sermons didn’t challenge me, I thought that I had found a great group of friends who did. We did practically everything together, and it all seemed glorifying to God. But as soon as I moved from “acquaintance” to “friend”, the behavior changed. The conversations became hateful and of the world. I tried to bring it up, and it got better for a little while, but things never truly changed.
After a few more months of not feeling challenged and being involved in a worldly student organization, I felt lost. I tried to involve myself in other things on campus to take my mind off of things, but that only made my friendships with the other students at church difficult. I still don’t know what happened, but the invites stopped coming. I stopped being in the snapchat stories and facebook posts. It hurt. I know that the conversations were becoming too worldly, but it was still sad to see my great friends become strangers.
A few weeks later, I found out that the worship pastor and her family would be leaving the church. This really got to me. The worship was always the one thing that I could always get something from. It didn’t matter if the sermon wasn’t challenging, the worship would always remind me of the love of Christ. Needless to say, the unfortunate circumstances just kept piling on.
In the last few weeks of the semester, I tried out a few more churches in the area. I attended many services that were absolutely fantastic! I’ve made the decision not to attend Evangel when I return to Tallahassee in the fall. While I still grew as a follower of Christ in my time at Evangel, God is calling me somewhere else.
We have to listen to God, and follow Him to wherever He leads us.