A Testimony Of Finding Your Home Church Away From Home

A Testimony Of Finding Your Home Church Away From Home

A guide to listening to God on where He wants where you to go.
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I am constantly trying to write about things that I have experienced and hope that you all can learn from my success or more often, my mistakes. So, this week I would like to talk about finding a church that you can call home while being in college.

Maybe some of you have found this to be easy. For those of you that fall into that camp—that is awesome! I am so glad you have a church to call home, and in your time there, pour into that church, and love the things that God will do! For those of you that do not fall into that camp, I would love to encourage you with my story.

So this starts back to my upbringing in Milwaukee, WI. I grew up going to Eastbrook Church and also attended the school attached to the church, and it was an amazing experience. I was there more than I was at home, and it was a place that I considered home. Leaving there I was excited to move to a new place—but also I was scared that I never would find a church where I could call home.

Let me say a disclaimer before I tell my story. All of the churches I attended during college I enjoyed. I was able to be under some of the best ministers in America and I have learned so much from their leadership. God takes us through different seasons, and no matter what season you are going through He will lead you to where your home should be.

When I came to Trinity, I started attending a church in Waukegan, Illinois called Sign of the Dove. It is a non-demo-national church that has enthusiastic worship led by Cory Ratliff and strong preaching from God's Word led by Pastor Harry Stackhouse. I went here most of my freshman year and it was such a blessed time. The church was a good distance from campus, but as I prayed for a church to call home, I felt as if God was calling me somewhere else. Being at Sign of The Dove was an amazing experience where I learned specifically how the Holy Spirit was involved in our corporate time of worship.

Towards the end of my freshman year and the first semester of my sophomore year, I began to attend a church in Arlington Heights called Redemption Bible Church. This church was pastored by Pastor Ryan Huguley and the Worship was led by Pastor Scott Holthaus. Both of these pastors have moved onto different churches, but this church was such a blessing where I encountered God on so many occasions. The preaching was so powerful and so strong to the Word and the worship was such a blessing.

Why leave this church you ask? I remember one day sitting listening to the sermon, and I felt a voice say that this is not where I should be every week. I do not know why this happened the way it did, but in that moment God was leading me somewhere else. I so enjoyed the time at Redemption and if you are looking at a church in the Arlington Heights area, this is an amazing church.

After being frustrated about where to go to church I was at a dry spot in hearing where God wanted me to go. I was leading a retreat on Trinity's campus and a gentleman came up to me after our set and introduced himself as Carlos Lolett. He told me that he was the worship pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel in Lake Zurich, and they were looking for some college-age worship leaders to lead. I said I would like to come for a sunday and help lead. When I walked into the church on Sunday morning, this church was different from others I had been to. The atmosphere of the church was different. It was welcoming like other churches, but I could tell from the beginning that this church was intentional about spreading the gospel. As I began to lead worship, it was such a blessing to lead with amazing musicians that also loved to lead worship.

Fast forward to this year, I am now interning at this same church that is now called Heritage, and I lead there regularly and it is amazing. I feel at home there, and I have grown so much, and I am so thankful that I can be involved there. As my time at college ends, I will miss being there, but I am hoping and praying that God calls me to Heritage someday.


What is your church story? LEt's have a conversation!

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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How Incorporating Organization In My Daily Routine Single-Handedly Changed My Life

And how it can structure yours.

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It would be a complete fabrication of the truth if I pretended that my life in any way has been picture perfect. Things are messy, life is messy, and my life becomes an endless cycle of self provoked destruction.

I've had short bursts of motivation as a last expedient to seize control of the downward spiral I have endured. But mostly they have diminished along with any motivation I have left.

None of these short term solutions have yet to salvage my mental, physical, and academic state. SO, as an attempt to overhaul my life, I decided the best way to strive for control, is to organize every aspect of my life.

Yes, this could become unhealthy if I used this tactic as a way to tear myself down or over analyze my accomplishments, or lack thereof. But I try to view my life as something I have a say in while considering that not everything will be perfect or completely satisfy my goals for myself.

To successfully enact this measure, I try to never go into a day unaware of what I must accomplish, what tasks/work I have to attend to, and stocked with a full calendar and set of alarms that prevent me from missing deadlines. Although mildly time-consuming to detail my life in advance, it is greatly beneficially outweighed through the amount of time this tactic saves me.

Recently, I have noticed how much happier I have been, and feel as if my life is back on track and it's future in my hands. This has allowed me to work an upwards of 50 something hours a week, see and manage friends, read and keep up with hobbies, as well as give me peace of mind and time to relax with loved ones.

I am grateful for the role that organization has played in my life and suggest that everyone incorporate some type of underlying structure in their lives, to realize that anything is achievable with proper organizational preparation.


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