MARK, CHRISTINE, AND KATIE BAILEY
How did you find Foothills?
Christine: We had a friend who kept inviting us. They knew we were looking for a new church and just kind of kept bugging us, which was great and we finally took a leap.
Why did you come to Foothills?
Mark: At that time, our kids were in fifth and third grade and were starting to transition into junior high. We were very concerned as we looked around in our culture at what we were seeing. We wanted a place that would reinforce the values that we had as a family and we were seeking a place that would just reinforce all of that. That’s why we came.
What did you find at Foothills?
Christine: Honestly, when we first visited it was nothing like we expected. It wasn’t like anything we’d ever experienced in a church before, and we weren’t sure what to think. We went to pick up our kids from kids' church. They were in kids' church at that time and they were so excited about what it was like, what they saw, what they heard. They felt so welcomed there that we just thought, "Gosh, we at least got to give it another chance and come back."
Katie: Yeah. Even as really young kids, my brother and I both sort of had this sense of being welcomed and valued and wanted there with other kids that we just loved being around. It was a great way for us to get connected that very first week.
Mark: We quickly came to realize that there was just a high percentage of people in this church that were serving, and it was kind of astonishing to us. We had been at other places and seen people serving, but it was a small fraction. It really impressed us. Then, as our kids got further into the youth ministry, we started seeing how that was impressed upon our kids. To this day our kids are involved in service and working with other young people that are younger than them. So, we just saw a very outwardly focused group of people…
Christine: ...focused on the community.
Mark: Exactly, focused on the community and not just inwardly focused, taking care of themselves. That was very refreshing and unique to us.
Katie: One thing I can say is that [the culture here] really impressed upon me at a young age the importance of being involved in the community and [being] aware of the people that are around you and not just so self-centered and so self-focused all the time. It really gave me and my friends and people that I grew up with in the church a passion for being involved and not just turning a blind eye but really caring about those around us.
What would you say to someone thinking about visiting church?
Christine: In this era, it’s just so much more difficult to find a sense of community, a place to belong. The way schools and jobs and all of community works now, it’s just much more difficult to connect. And I think church in general, but Foothills especially, is a great place for that. We certainly found that there. We’ve made friends that are lasting friendships and certainly our kids have, as well. We felt very embraced here.
Katie: And just like [my parents] were wanting for [my brother and me] when they were trying to find a place [to go to church], my foundation and my values and the way that I perceive the world have all been shaped by this place. They’ve all been shaped by the community that I’ve been given since I was in fifth grade. The friendships and the adults that have been able to speak into my life and give me advice along the way and come alongside me... It’s been amazing. I wouldn’t have had that without Foothills.
Mark: It is remarkable, what we set out to find ten years ago we found, and here we are looking back in amazement and thankfulness as to what it has provided for our family.