How I Found My Church

19 February 2014

It's been nearly one whole year since finding my new church. When I first moved to the city I stayed home and watch service live from my church in Florida. My meniscus was torn so it was really hard for me to hobble outside and track down a church. Once I became more mobile the itch to find a church became stronger and stronger. I missed the fellowship that came with physically being present in church. I missed hearing the music live. I missed being among other believers worshipping God with all their hearts. I missed being live for a good word from God.

During my time at home I did grow closer to God because I had to seek him out. I felt so far away from him so I read my bible more for myself, looked for devotional material, and tried online bible studies. All that was great but there is nothing like physically being present in church with other believers.

Before I found my last church I drove around to various churches that I'd seen and attended their service. I found more churches that I disliked than ones that I liked. That method took me weeks and this time around I was not willing to waste any time. I only wanted to visit churches that I though were a good fit before walking in their doors. I wanted to find a church, get involved in service projects, and join a small group. Here are a list of things that helped me on the way to finding my current church.



How to find a Church

Pray about it. After visiting so many churches and having none of them compare to my home church I remembered to pray to God for his help. I ask him to remove my bias for my home church and help me to see a new church with fresh eyes. I wish I had prayed about it sooner because I don't think I gave many of the churches I visited a fair chance.

Ask Your pastor. Most pastors are well networked, I asked my pastor for recommendations of churches he was familiar with in my new city. His recommendations helped to steer me in the right direction - ultimately it's still your decision but pastors can help.

Google. Don't be afraid to google the type of church you are looking for whether it be baptist, catholic, or non denomenational. I summed my church search up as "Contemporary Christian Churches in NYC".

Ask Friends. Since I was new to the area and mostly stuck at home I didn't have many friends but my husband did. He asked a few of his friends and we checked out their churches too. Unfortunately none of their churches were the right fit for us so we continued to search.

Check their Website. Many churches now have live sermons and worship via online streaming. Their websites also boast their church resume, and mission statement. Sometimes reading and watching will give you a better idea if this is a church you want to visit.

Visit. After making your list of churches via friends, pastors, or google check them out. Make a plan to visit one new church a week until you find the one you like. Try not to visit on Holidays or around special events. You want to get a feel for how the church will be on an average Sunday morning.

Ask Questions. When visiting churches be sure to have a list of questions to ask the welcome staff. I asked about small groups, night church, and service projects since that what I was interested in. It's important to ask about youth church, child care, parking, dress code, member contribution and whatever else you believe would make or break your search for a church.

Test Drive. Before you commit to a church test drive the ministries and small groups you are interested in. Before my husband and I had joined our new church we went out on a service project with them to clean up the city. That experience serving the community with this church sealed the deal for us, we had found our new home.

I am so glad that I approached looking for a church differently this time. I took my time and I also didn't allow anyone to pressure me into choosing or committing to a church right away. I know that God was leading our search for a new church - in the process I was even rebaptized.

Your Turn: Do you have an tips for finding a church? How did you find your current church?




5 comments:

  1. We found our current place (about two months in) because The Hubs knew the pastor there through our old church before we moved. We still wanted to ask some questions and get to know the people that made up the church before we fully committed. We've joined a community group, which is HUGE. That's where "church" is... it's great to be in worship and teaching, but the "realness" comes from being in community with other believers. I think a question to ask too is not only "what will this church be like/do for me, but what can I contribute to this church?" We wanted to find somewhere that fit for us, but also that we felt like we could serve and share our gifts too. So far we love it... I think we'll be sticking around!

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  2. We thought we found our home church and then there were things we started not liking, so we've been church hopping the past couple weeks. Man, these other churches are making our original church seem better each time we attend a new one! I'm realizing that the church I attended growing up was really more special than I ever knew, and I'm also realizing that there is simply no church out there that compares to Lakewood Church in Houston (Joel Osteen's church). If only it weren't 3+hrs. from my house! I think the only way to tell if a church is a true fit is to attend though. We shall keep trying!

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  3. So good girl!!! I think it's so easy to forget how important community is!! It's so much more then a building! I love all of your ideas of how to find a church! I think at the end of the day we have to realize, it's not about us and what we like, it's all about Him!!! It's so easy to get so nit picky on the music, the worship times, the classes, etc etc!! So glad you found a home place :) Oh, and we found ours because of my airport angel <3

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  4. Soooo I still have no church! It's been a year since we moved and it's tough not only because we're working so much, but we are sort of in the middle of nowhere so we would have to drive at least 30 minutes to the closest church that is our style. I know it's important to do--but it's hard to find the motivation to go to church after working 9 hours that day and driving half hour... sounds pretty lame when I type it out. :)

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  5. What a great post! I'm glad you were able to find a church home. There really is nothing like going to a church and worshiping with other believers. I had to search around for my church too. It's like some just don't feel quite right, and then you find one you really love!

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