Finding a church home is really important. It’s the place where you will gain spiritual reprieve and a stronger sense of community. No matter what church you decide to set roots in, it needs to be on that you’ll see yourself growing in a positive way. While every person is different, it is important to be candid and honest about what you need to find in a church in order to call it your church home. Consider these four tips when you’re looking for a church home.
Prayer is central to every believer’s journey. It’s considered the direct connection to the higher power you believe in. There’s something to be said about the power of prayer. While it’s one thing to pray about what you’d like to find in a church home, be specific with your prayers. Create a list of all the things you’d like to find in your church home. If you’re a parent, you might want to find a church with a thriving children’s or youth ministry. If you’re passionate about helping the community, it would be wise to find a church that has an active community service/outreach ministry. If you’d like to find a church home that’s 15 minutes away from your home, that’s another component to put on the list. Be intentional about praying for what you want. You’d be amazed how these seemingly simple prayers get answered beyond your wildest imagination.
2. Look at church’s online presence.
In today’s technological age, it’s really important for any church to have a strong online presence. This step alone shows that a church is present, active and able to relate well to the times we live in. If a church doesn’t even have the correct address or contact information on their website, this isn’t a good sign. Besides, many churches now stream their services online for members who’d like to watch, but can’t make it to church that week. If you look at a church’s website, it will give you a strong hint as to how tech-savvy and forward-moving a church really is.
3. Begin visiting.
Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few churches that you’re interested in visiting, it’s time to hop from church to church. Church hopping allows you to see what each church is like without making a long-term commitment. See what it’s like to be a visitor at a church. How churches treat visitors can leave a positive or negative impact. Judge the church service. Take a look at things like the music, sermon and overall tone of the worship experience. If it is uplifting to your spirit, consider visiting a second time. If you find yourself excited to visit a particular church for the third and fourth time, you might have a winner. “Be open-minded and be sure to visit as many churches as possible,” said Liberty Church. This is a great way to make sure you choose a church that’s right for you.
4. Think ahead.
Even though you may not care about whether or not your church has a strong children’s ministry, try to think ahead. There may be a time when you get married. Or if you’re already married, there might come a time when you decide that you’d like to have kids. Granted, there are people who decide to leave one church and attend another due to the fact that the new church serves the needs of the children. However, who really wants to get uprooted and go to a new church every few years based on a new need? It’s better to commit to one congregation and consider all the pros and cons for the long haul as well. Besides, there are plenty of members who are inspired to help out and improve specific ministries based on the new needs they have. If you have a few young ones and would like to enhance the ministry they receive at church, consider volunteering in the children’s department. When it comes to volunteers, churches normally don’t turn down free labor. Even though this is a long-term thought, it’s still an important part of the conversation when you’re looking to set down roots in a congregation.
Church hopping and scouting can take a few months. It all depends on how many churches are on your list to visit and which ones pique your interest. Don’t get weary after the first few visits. Be faithful in looking for the right fit. You’ll be much happier with a thorough and prayerful search!