Originally posted February 2012
Updated in 2015.
Last month the family and I brought our St Croix USVI adventure to a close and relocated to Sarasota Florida, otherwise known as, “civilization.” We had a wonderful 3.5 years on the island of St Croix and will miss our friends and church there very much. My wife is now working at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, and I have relocated our Sunday Software operations here to Florida. I’ve been visiting Sarasota since 1969 and our family has vacationed here many times.
Our heart goes out to St Croix which as we left was beginning to suffer from the effects of large layoffs in government and the closing of a refinery, the island’s largest employers. Tough times ahead and wish we could have stayed and supported the wonderful people. But family and job circumstances required us to get to Florida, and even now many of our island friends are moving as well as the economy there reels.
I’m looking forward to “church shopping” again, not only because we have to, but because there’s a certain excitement about finding a new church to throw your heart into. In this blog, I’ve written about some of our past “church shopping” experiences, and in the coming months I’ll post again about what it’s like to be a visitor. It is my hope that you will be able to use some of my experiences and ideas to improve your own church’s visitor experience.
After visiting 5 churches, we started attending the sixth one. Seemed like a great congregation, but then it started to get strange. They even hired me to help with their ministry, and that turned out to be a mistake. If you think some things or people are “off” when you’re in the pews, they don’t get better when you go on staff, they get worse.
We’ve since moved to Venice Fl, and it made the decision to leave our previous church home in search of one closer to our new home. Finding a new church home SUCKS.
<>< Neil MacQueen