Speaking from firsthand experience, I know that the search for a good church home can be one of the most challenging endeavors you and your family will face as Christians. If you are a new believer
, you may not know where to start. And if you've recently moved into a new community, choosing a church can be especially difficult. To complement the advice in my article, "How to Find a Church
," I'd like to give you a chance to share tips from your personal experiences in choosing a church for your family.
Share Your Tips
How We Found Our Church
- It took us several years to find a church. We visited all of the churches in our area several times and went to one church for a while, but none of them had a strong 'young family' population. Since we had a newborn on the way, we decided to keep looking. After my son was born, I got involved with a Newborn Mommy & Me program at another local church and met some really nice women. I noticed that their Children's Center always had tons of young families. We decided to give that church another try and for some reason, this time the sermon really stuck with us. We kept going back and have never stopped. We became members about a year after we started going and baptized our first son there. There are many programs and classes for women, moms, and families at the church and I am there 3-4 times a week for things like Bible study, Mommy & Me classes and church services. It has really become a second family for us.
- —Guest Ali
Keep Praying and Searching
- My young family recently moved to a new community, so we began looking for a new church as soon as we settled. It was very challenging to find a church that we felt was our home church because we moved from a large metropolitan area, to a small retirement community. We were used to a very large church with diverse age groups, but we were the youngest people at the churches we attended, and felt so out of place. Even though we found one that we thought might be our home church, as we prayed and attended over 5 times, we never had peace that it was our church. The church itself wasn't the problem, just an inner knowing we weren't home yet. We finally decided to try another one after searching the internet and the first time we went, we knew it was home. We finally had that peace, even though we at first rejected it because it didn't fit what we thought we needed in a church. My advice: keep praying, search online and in newspapers, and try several until you sense God's peace.
I Look For ...
- I look for a church that has modern worship and is biblically based. I look for a church that is healthy, in that I mean, one that does not use guilt or shame to try to lead people to Christ and to service. I look for a church that uses grace to lead others to the love of the Father. God's kindness leads to repentance, not making someone feel bad for being late to church or for sitting in the back or for not working in the nursery. I look for a church that teaches you to find out what the Lord is doing and join Him; to be Spirit led in what God has for you in your life and what he would have you do for Him. I look for a church that motivates with love not fear ... all that to say ... I look for a healthy church that is not spiritually abusive.
- —Guest Tammy
No "Perfect" Church
- I would like to humbly apologize for the post I placed on this site. It was full of anger, bitter, jealousy, etc.... I've had a long talk with a sweet pastor's wife I've known for 28 years. She was loving and understanding. There are no "perfect" people in any "church". Jesus Christ said (Matthew 9:10-12, NIV) "While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, 'Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?' On hearing this, Jesus said, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.'" This being said, we all sin and fall short of the glory of God, and are saved at the foot of the same cross Jesus Christ died on. I am sorry and repent. I will be sitting next to sister K next Sunday. Thank you Jesus. Don't be angry and discouraged, and bitter, time is too short. Let's keep our eyes on Jesus.
- —Guest ex pew sitter
Searching for Truth
- I wanted a church that didn't compromise with the world. The Word teaches "one Lord, one faith, one baptism." I found a church with unconditional love and people full of the Holy Spirit and a heart for the truth.
- I have looked and knocked on many churches, but they wouldn't let me in! Many have shown fruits of the fallen spirit. They really do not know or refuse the truth about the will of God. The truth is they are are part of the mystery church which is talked about in Rev. 17:5.
- —Guest wlater
- A Christ-like church: filled with the Holy Spirit, prayerful, Bible based doctrine, with passion for evangelism and display of high moral standard.
- —Guest Luk- 3T, Akure
Funny Pastor? Short Sermon?
- I wrote an entry in my blog about my experience with people that don't understand why we would choose to have a church that is an hour drive from our house. It can be found at: http://mysilentrevelations.blogspot.com/2011/07/what-do-you-love-about-your-home-church.html
- —Guest Mae
How I Chose My Church For My Family
- I heard my pastor every morning while going to work (he wasn't my pastor yet). I liked his preaching style and in over a year I never heard him deviate from the Bible. So, I took my wife and we went to his church one Sunday. It was everything and more than I imagined it to be. I felt like I was 'Home". So at home my wife and I shared our impressions. We prayed about it and felt that God wanted us to join and serve the church. So we did and have never looked back.
- —Guest Gene
Help Choosing a Church
- For most of the time there has been a Christian church believers haven't always had their choice of congregations. For those of us who do, here's a few ideas as to how to go about looking: http://radref.blogspot.com/2011/02/how-to-choose-church.html.
- —Guest phil wood
Listening to Your Inner Self
- First, I don't believe you choose God, but he chooses and draws you closer to him in mysterious ways, and then you make a decision. I knew that there was a God, but I did not believe in Jesus Christ and his resurrection. However, because of incidents that happened in my life and my mysterious survival, it opened my eyes and made me think and wonder. I did attend some churches, but did not get what my heart wanted. With a heart full of hatred and grudges, no preaching healed me. One day, which I believe it was God's calling after suffering internally for 15 years, I went to the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. For the first time I heard about forgiveness, and making peace with people you hate and think are your enemies. Most of all, I heard about accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and I believing that he was hanged on the cross for me to be saved. I did just that, and since then have peace with my inner self. He chose me. I accepted him and got my healing. I took my family to church.
The Word of God
- I look at what the Bible (the Word of God) says about church, not to the programs or activities
of the church.
- —Guest Johnny Murphy
Why is Step #1 Not: Ask God?
- My wife and I have been members of the same church for 30 years. We have crossed the fork in the road several times over the past 30 years about whether to change churches. People in the church and outside of it seem to do that a lot these days, and they seem to pick as if they are picking a new restaurant. The Bible teaches that before we can accept salvation from the Lord, He must call us (John 6:44). In the same way, then, God has a place in mind for us to join His Body. We must seek His will first, before applying human "wisdom" or considerations to the decision. I need to be where God wants me to be, not where I think I need to be. Mike
- —Guest Mike
Fear of God and God's Word
- The leader of any church must have the fear of God and must be ready to keep to the Word.
- —Guest ken
Listening to My Inner Man
- I was born again about three years ago, and didn't know much about the right doctrine. I first hopped from church to church. The way they were doing their thing didn't go well with my inner man. One day I was listening to a local radio station and a preacher was talking about his church's way of doing their thing. It captured my spirit and I knew that would be my place of corporate worship. These other local assemblies were more sin-conscious than righteousness-conscious. And this new found assembly is predominantly encouraging us to pray in the Holy Ghost. Now, this is my new church, and part of my family, though some are hesitant to join us. But I know, since the revelation knowledge of the Word of God is high here, the Holy Spirit will prevail. Now I am in my inheritance.
- —Guest Irumba Longious