6 Tips To Help You Find A New Church
Whether it’s because you’ve just moved to a new area, aren’t feeling as spiritually fulfilled as you would like, or want to find an environment for your family to learn about God, chances are you’ll seek out a new church at some point in your life. As a person of faith, it is likely important to you that you find a church where you feel that you truly belong. This may feel like an overwhelming task—in fact, it is a major life choice—so here are some tips to help ensure you’re choosing the best church home for you and your family.
1. Decide what you’re looking for in a church
Before you begin exploring options, take some time to reflect on what exactly you are looking for in a new church. Everyone’s journey with God looks a little bit different, so the church home that is right for your friends and family may not necessarily be the right one for you. Ask yourself what’s important for you in a new church: a connection with the pastors? Faith-based volunteer opportunities? An active youth group? A message that fosters inclusion and connection? Make sure you know yourself before you embark on your quest to find a church to help you better know Christ.
2. Watch a sermon online
Gone are the days of having to bounce around to different churches each week when trying to select a new one—the digital age has made the whole process much simpler. Try to find churches that offer recorded services through some sort of online platform like their website, YouTube channel, or social media. This is useful for a number of reasons: it allows you to get a feel for the type of preaching that is done in the church, decide whether the style aligns with your own goals, and then conclude whether you’d like to pursue visiting the church in person. Look at the opportunity to watch sermon videos as a “free trial” for a church; you will likely even be able to watch multiple sermons this way.
3. Commit to visiting the church in person more than once
If you have had the opportunity to watch a church’s sermon in advance, and have then decided that you could possibly find a spiritual home there, commit to visiting more than once…and more than twice, for that matter. Visiting a new place (church or otherwise) can be an intimidating experience. When you allow yourself to visit a church at least 3 times, you give yourself the opportunity not only to loosen and up interact, but also to experience more aspects than you would in just one visit. It’s natural that you’ll be a little too overloaded to take note of some of the smaller details on your first or second visits, but by the third one you’ll have a little more room to breathe and observe. Also, many churches, including All Saints, have different styles of worship that change from week to week; visiting more than once allows you to see the variety offered.
4. Meet the pastors
You want to get to know someone before trusting them as a leader in faith. Making an effort to meet the pastors when you visit a church will allow you to make a connection with them; this will make the sermons you visit more personal and meaningful. The pastors look forward to meeting you, and engaging in conversation with you. Don’t hesitate to follow up during the week and make an appointment for longer conversations and additional questions.
5. Stick around after worship to talk to others
Almost as important as the pastors in a new church you are considering are your potential fellow parishioners. Maybe you’re a parent, and would like to discuss with other parents the opportunities for your kids within the church. Maybe you’re feeling lonely, and are looking to connect with other people of faith. Whatever you’re looking for, feeling a sense of connection to others attending the church will foster a sense of religious community, and therefore help bolster your own connection to God. It goes without saying that if you feel close to other church members, you are more likely to truly invest yourself in the church. Talking to other attendees will also give you an opportunity to ask questions about their own experiences within the church, and decide whether those experiences fit into the vision you have for your spiritual journey.
6. Listen for the Gospel in the message and around the church
Churches vary on how they share the Gospel message. You will want to make sure that when you visit a church, you can actually hear the message. Of course, you should hear the Gospel message from the sermon you hear during worship. But also look for other ways that you might see or hear this message of good news when you worship with a faith community. In a more traditional church service, look to see if the hymns and songs proclaim the gospel message as well. Finally, look to see if the church activities of the community are born from a place of service and scripture.
Ready To Visit All Saints?
If you are currently searching for a new spiritual home, we would love to invite you to watch one of our RECENT SERMONS, join us for worship, and maybe even attend a new member class! Wherever you find a spiritual home, we hope that it fulfills you and helps you to truly know Christ.
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