The moving truck is gone. It is Sunday morning and time to go to the church, but where do you go?
Moving is a difficult thing in so many different levels. Transitioning to a new home, town, and job is hard enough but then there is the need for a new church home.
Now that you have made the move, how do you find a new place of worship which will be a good fit for you?
- I usually start with a list of things I am looking for in a church family by asking myself some questions. What kinds of ministries are important to you? What gifts do you have and how will you be able to serve the Lord? What foundational beliefs are important to you? I also visit the church websites in order to learn as much about the church as possible.
- After you have narrowed it down to 3 or 4 churches I make a plan to visit each of them. It is important to visit more than one church. In order to be able to make the best decision it is important to visit a variety of places.
- Visit each of the churches in complete anonymity. This suggestion is a little unusual but I find it is one of the most important steps. I usually make it a point to go to the service right on time. Slipping in without spending a lot of time with the people. I also slipped out without connecting with the pastor yet. By doing this I am able to more objectively see if the worship style, teaching and ministries of the church are what I am look for. The way I see it, most of the people in all churches are nice. They will become a part of my church home but they should not be the reason for choosing a church.
- The last step is to make an appointment and go visit the pastor. When I make my visit I have a list of questions about the church and its ministries. I spend time asking the pastor to share his heart and vision for the church, ask him to share his testimony and then I share mine. This time not only helps me to get a feel for if this church is a good fit for me but it also lets me ask if my gifts and talents are a good fit for the church. This step has really helped me avoid getting involved in a church that would not have been a good fit long term.
I hope you find these 4 steps helpful when you find yourself in a place where you have to look for a new church home. I would love to hear what you have been helpful when you have been looking for a new place to serve.