For as long as I can remember, I've been a part of church culture.
My mom starting taking me to church when I was two years old and I'm not sure that I ever left. However, I do know that I wasn't really aware that churches could be different until I left home for Orange County. I mean, I knew about differences in location, congregation, building, etc. But I thought that, once inside the front door, everything kind of worked the same.
Now that I've been involved in vocational ministry for a little over five years, I've been able to see a lot of different churches. Some, I've felt like I could be a part of. Some, I tried to escape out of the bathroom window. But (and I've had to learn this the hard way) when you're looking for a church to belong to, there's more to consider than just its "core beliefs". You have to look at how it expresses those beliefs.
For me, one of the things that has always attracted me to a church is how it corporately expresses its worship of God. Does it encourage a variety of expression? Or does it follow the formula of hymn/praise song + turn and greet + Bible message = worship? I've always loved when a church actively participates in encouraging people to express their worship of God through art.
I'm looking for a church that actively encourages and participates in artistic expression.
It used to be that art was the church's primary means of expression. Somehow, a lot of churches got away from that. I want to be a part of a church that embraces it. Painting, sculpture, drama, music, poetry, design, dance, etc. These things draw me in as much, if not more, than a great message or a flashy worship center. And I want to be a part of a church that loves them too...