American church culture makes me throw up in my mouth.

I’m trying to find a church.

It’s not easy.

American church culture makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little. Okay, a lot.

But, I’m trying.

I Googled (obviously, the best way to find a church) “churches round rock cedar park” and got a Yelp of the “TEN BEST CHURCHES” near me. This is what we do now. We find a church with Yelp.

After deciding that four of them are too far away, I checked out the remaining six.

They are ALL THE SAME.


DRESSED in casual yet perfectly on trend clothing. Oh, and jeans are always welcome.

Have a GIVING link at the top of the home page.

BURY service to community among a host of church ministries.

Have SMALL/LIFE/COMMUNITY GROUPS of which I can’t find one that would be good for a woman with a small child who would be attending on her own but is married.

Boast of LOUD MUSIC.

The LEAD PASTOR is a middle-aged white dude who is dressed in a nice button-down or polo shirt with jeans or khakis. He speaks with a wireless mic and a little music stand in front of him. Maybe he has a Bible.

They are HUGE.

They all have a FREAKING CAFE.

I know this makes me sound incredibly judgy. But I just can’t. I did the whole super involved youth group, small Christian college, two year missions, home group (another name for it) at a church just like the one described above for 15 years.

I know many of those people are authentic in their faith.

I find it incredibly inauthentic.

Church is not a concert. It’s not a place where everyone looks, talks, and acts the same.

Doesn’t Jesus just issue two commands?

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)

“Love God. Love Others.” Task completed.

I’m not giving up, but for now, my church is Jesus and me.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Desiree says:

    Ooooooooo same! So tired of a concert, a pity plea for money to build a bigger sanctuary and then an inspirational speaker. We finally found authenticity at a “small” southern Baptist Church that our neighbors attend. Two services with total attendance around 350 isn’t small when my last church was a whopping 35 on a good Sunday, BUT the people, oh the people, they came to great us without being prompted and shared with us the groups they participate in. A sewing group! Sunday school for everybody. Wednesday night Bible Study, youth group, kids groups. We found our place. Praying for you!

    1. That’s awesome, and encouraging!

  2. Holly says:

    Oooooh how I feel ya on this one… I wanted NOTHING to do with these types of churches. Now with me, the church I have found, actually may have some of these similar characteristics. But I found that the hearts, the words, the vulnerability on the stage and off the stage, the diversity in cultures was soooooo very different. The thing that drew me first was the service to the community around them and to the world. My pastor says 2 things about this… 1) If we burned down tomorrow, who besides us, would care? He desires for the community to know and FEEL our presence even if they never walk through the door, and they do a GOOD job at it. 2) He makes his goal very clear… 50% of everything that comes in, goes back out to local or global missions. This was phenomenal to me. They are not perfect… they do not try to act perfect… and they talk about very real stuff- again, on and off the stage.
    Keep looking. There HAS to be one out there where you find yourself at home and peace. But for sure try to not judge by first glance- get to know a couple of people, attend something small where you really get to hear the heart of the leaders (in my church it’s called Discover WestGate and I appreciated that I got see and hear from the leaders in a very real way of what they wanted for the church).
    This search is so very hard, but will be so worth it. I just know God is going to see you and hear you and provide something amazing… and maybe something very unexpected.
    The thing I am the MOST judgmental about in my life is “white southern Christian churches/white southern “perfect” Christians”… please know that I GET it. But God has also done some conviction of my heart in this area and I know there has to be some wonderful Christian people out there just ready to love on and encourage you and your daughter. Keep us posted please!! Love you!!

    1. Thanks Holly! I know you get it. 🙂 Dear sweet OBU memories…

  3. Heather N. Werckle says:

    I would advise against searching for “best” churches if that’s what you’re looking for, as I imagine the exact things you despise are what some other people (especially on Yelp) consider “best” – best is SO subjective! Sounds like the type of community you’re looking for is likely not to have as much of an online presence (that’s for churches with an entire marketing department, the exact kind you don’t want), so it may take a lot more on-the-ground research and visiting. 🙁

    1. You’re so right! The Yelp search result was more of ironic satire. That THAT could be the way to find the “best” church…as if there is such a thing as the “top 10 best churches”…

  4. Julie P says:

    I’m not sure if one of the churches you looked at was Cityview Bible Church in Round Rock, but I have a friend who was a Journeyman in central/south America who goes there…I’d be happy to connect you. It might fit all of the criteria you mentioned on your list, so you may not be interested, but from things she’s described about the church, you might like it.

    1. Thanks Julie! I’ll look into it!

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