...are the ones that make the biggest difference
The seeming impossibility...
of finding a good, balanced church. Ever since deciding that Orthodoxy was not where God was presently calling us, the wife and I have been trying to find a church to call home. So far, we've mainly focused our search on Lutheran churches, since the LCMS is liturgical & sacramental but apparently in no danger of falling into the morass of liberal theology and practice. The first church we went to, St Paul's, we liked very much, but over a few visits we found that the preaching seemed to consistently amount to little more than "we're Lutherans, this is what we believe and isn't that swell?" Now, this is from both pastors and would be fine if they got into the meat behind the doctrine, but they don't. And this is what we've experienced at the other LCMS churches we've gone to so far. Weak preaching has characterized them all, including a more "contemporary" LCMS church that seemed to be trying to copy a goodly portion of the evangelical, low-church playbook. I think there is basically one more LCMS church close to us that we're going to try and then there is a Wisconsin synod church we might check out as well. We've heard some very good things about a Missionary church that we're also going to try, but we're both a bit nervous about heading back into what (from their website) appears to be a pretty typical evangelical church. I'm trying very hard to keep an open mind, to be prayerful and open to God's leading, but after almost a year of "exploration" we're getting pretty anxious to find our place.