Many church-goers find one church to go to, often one in their own neighborhood, and then stick with that one church, provided they've decided it's the right one for them. However, there are a variety of ways to attend church, including alternating between two churches, like our family has done before.
When we were living in Houston, there were two churches that we enjoyed. Each church had its own style of message deliverance. One pastor had an instructional style of message deliverance, simply quoting the scripture and giving life examples. His message was often positive and uplifting. The pastor of the other church gave inspiring messages as well. However, he often preached in a traditional manner. We believe that both styles of message deliverance are beneficial. Therefore, we felt it was a great opportunity to give ourselves the benefit of hearing both.
One of the churches we attended was large. In fact, it is a mega church. The other church was a very small neighborhood church. While the general belief system of both churches was similar, the atmosphere was not. Attending one large church, as well as one small, gave us the opportunity of experiencing church in two different ways, or so we thought at first. In actuality, both churches feel like family, no matter how many people are there.
The same closeness was felt in both churches. You may not get to meet everybody at a larger church, but you will have the chance to meet many interesting people. The funny thing about the larger church is that when we were actually there, it didn't seem so large. There seemed to just be an overall sense of belonging, which was also there in the smaller church as well.
Our kids also got benefits from attending two different Sunday schools. This gave them the opportunity to learn in a variety of ways, which helped to ensure they were accurately receiving and learning the Word of God. Not all children absorb information in the same way, so this variety was very beneficial. The same benefit in variety experienced by the kids was also present for the adults.
The kids got to participate in various activities at both churches. At the smaller church, the two oldest kids were on the praise dance team. Sometimes they had practices or performances that interrupted the flow pattern of the schedule. However, that wasn't a big deal. We'd adjust accordingly. Sometimes we'd end up a that church more and vice versa.
Why aren't we still using two churches and do we recommend doing so? Now that our vacation to another state has turned into a definite permanent stay, we are in another state without a church. However, we have been exploring and hope that soon we will find the right church (or two) once again. Do I recommend that other families try our prior method of attending two churches? Of course. If there are two churches you enjoy that follow your family's faith system (and your faith allows it), attending two different churches is well worth it.
*originally published by Lyn Lomasi on Yahoo! Voices