Mike Bell from Internet Monk has this blog “Where do I belong?” which is the first of a series on the subject of “Community”. This blog focused on how we can find a church community that is a good fit theologically. Through answering the questionnaires recommended in Mike’s blog, I found that:
- My believe is closest to that of an “Orthodox Quicker” (91%), or Conservative Christian/Protestant (90%),
- My spiritual type is an “Old Fashioned Seeker” : — Happy with my religion but searching for the right expression of it,
- I am a Billy Graham Christian, a.k.a., a Rick Warren, Beth Moore Christian,
- It said I was a 100% match of Episcopal/Anglican Church, and 72% match of Assembly of God,
- It said I was 80% match of Methodist, and 63% match of Baptist,
- It said I am a Christian.
I am not surprised with the results.
I grew up in a traditional Taiwanese religious family but was not too involved with the religious practice, like most of the urban, educated youth. My friend invited me to a Presbyterian Church near my home and I loved the music and worship in the Church since I learned to play violin, thanks to my parents in providing the tuition for my private lessons. Though I attended the churches even after I immigrated to US, I wasn’t baptized until 44 years old.
Our experience (my wife and I) in church community started with Presbyterian for 30 years (before and after baptism). Later, we joined a non-denominational church in Princeton, NJ when we moved to East Coast. After we moved back to California (seven years later), we joined a church which is a member of Assemble of God, USA. And I served as the choir conductor for six years. Because we want to learn more (as seekers), we attended a church small group and later joined Saddleback Church. After my retirement (four years later), I traveled to Taiwan frequently for missionary works in a Village Gospel Mission Center and joined the Jail Missionary. As a result, we got acquainted with many new friends and later joined their Church, a mission focused, small Evangelical church.
This is where I belong now, a small church focuses on missionary, is conservative but opening for intellectual seeking of faith (a seminary is also housed in the church facility). The church has strong children and youth programs to accommodate the high percentage of young members in the church, a good sign of church growth and vitality. Our members had experience in diverse background, i.e., Presbyterian, Baptist, and Charismatic, other religions and non-religious, etc. We treasure “Christian practices” besides “Christian believes”, i.e., active on Evangelical mission, Jail mission, supporting daughter church, missionaries, and community Choral as well as practicing traditional Christian practices, e.g., “hospitality”, “diversity”, “justice”, “testimony”, “beauty” and “discernment”.