We have an interesting trend in our church attendance history:
Church #1: we attended here when we were dating until we moved. Our first Sunday was their groundbreaking for a new building. They met in the gym of a church school, and moved into the new building the year we were married (the gym wasn't really ready in time for our reception, but we had it there anyway!) They went through a huge transition during this time, with explosive growth. I was a middle school youth counselor, and my husband was on worship team and was worship minister for awhile.
Church #2: met in the Boy's and Girl's Club when we first started attending, and moved into a new building shortly before we moved. I really learned to study my Bible, but we were not well accepted because of my education level and occupation.
Church #3: We knew we were living in this town for only a year, so we wanted to plug in quickly to a church. The church met in a movie theater, then a school gym. They were transitioning from being a college church to a community church.
Church #4: During the year we were attending church #3, we felt called to continue going to that denomination, even if it meant driving an hour on Sundays. The day we committed to that, we discovered a new church listed in a town only 25 miles away. We didn't think it was real--the phone number had the wrong area code, and we both knew that town really well. We called, and that Sunday had been the contact's last Sunday at the old church; they were planting a brand new church. Their first activity was the day after we moved back to the area. We were as close to being on the plant team without moving with the team, though there was a distinct division between leadership that came from the mother church and the "townies". We were life group leaders, I taught kids' church (and coordinated the curriculum) and hubby played on the worship team. We easily could have been "lifers" there, never leaving that church.
So what patterns emerge?
--We must like setting up chairs, since most of these churches have not had buildings and had to set up/tear down each week.
--God has been very active and present, moving these churches to new/different levels.
--Serving is important to us; it's not enough to be a member of the congregation, we need to be actively using our skills.