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
Characteristics of 'The Right Church'
- Characteristics Of A Good Bible-Based Church For A Christian To Attend Are:
1: The Church Should Only Use The Tried And True Word Of God!
2: The Church Should Have A Preacher Who Is Not Ashamed To Preach The Word Of God!
3: The Church Should Have And Teach Bible-Based Standards For Every Day Living!
4: The Church Should Be Actively Reaching The Lost With The Gospel Of The Lord Jesus Christ!!
- —Guest Ray
- Thank you for all the wonderful ideas. I recently just left my church of 2 yrs bc it was unbearable. I tried to be a part of the solution for 2yrs, but you csnt help someone who doesn't want to change. I have tried a church for the last month but dont know if its for me.
- —Guest Mom
- We focused on 1. The nature of God, including the role of the three members of the Godhead, and the corollary truth that there are moral absolutes (John 17:11). 2. The purpose of life (Mosiah 3:17) and lastly 3. The three-fold sources of truth about man the the universe: science, the scriptures, and continuing revelation (Matt 7:7), and how we can as a family know them.
These three principals formed the foundations of our search and the explanation for our beliefs why we chose a church for our family.
- —Guest Gregorio
Love our Church
- I love our church because it emphasizes the parents being responsible to teach our children. There is no youth group or junior church. All ages worship together. I sit w/ my son, his wife & our grandchildren. We don't have small groups eating up our time during the week. We worship God on Sunday morning & share Jesus at school, work & w/ our neighbors. Programs at church do not dominate our lives.
- —Guest Mike
Searching with Family
- Searching for the right church with a family in tow is quite challenging. I cannot be so selfish in what "I" need or want from a church. I think it is wise as some have mentioned to pray first. One man talked about how people should consider what they can do at their current church to improve things before leaving. My spouse and I have done that for fifteen years now but still no changes... only seems to be getting worse. Now we have three young children and we want their experience at church to be positive, bible centered and educational. We do not want them to feel pressured or guilted into spending all their free time (and sometimes not free time), ability and talent at a church and then not have any frame of reference to other churches or "the real world." We do not want them to be our age and feel compelled to stay at the family or "town" church just because they don't want to leave everyone hanging. We want them to serve at a church where they can grow and learn and serve....
Join a Church Built on the Rock - Jesus
- I asked for God's guidance to chose a church built on the rock to worship Jehovah in truth and spirit ! I searched on the internet and communicated . We were glad when they said to us , "Let us go into the house of the Lord".We started to fear GOD ,and workout for our own salvation.We gave ourselves to the LORD ; trusted in him , and he helped us. He made our righteousness shine like the noonday sun , in that field where the wheat and the weeds were growing together .Right now , me and my family, are deep rooted in Christ, doing the word ; and preaching the gospel of peace.
- —Guest dozwa wadelove
My Kind of Church
- The kind of church I look for has formal liturgy with old-fashioned choir hymns. I prefer no instruments (excluding voice) because the apostles sang with no instruments. I look for a church with baptism and communion ONCE every day. I look for a church that uses incense. I'm sacramental based (baptism, communion, marriage, optional holy-orders, last rites, and funeral. I believe in the holy trinity, the sign of the cross (I take my first 2 fingers and my thumb together and go to forehead, tummy, right shoulder, to left while keeping the 2 fingers and thumb clustered). I don't believe Mary was born sinless. I pray the UN-changed Nicene creed. I like to pray something called the prayer rope to meditate on my prayer. The priests can only marry BEFORE ordination. We're commonly confused with Roman Catholics. We don't have a pope, we have 4 main patriarchates. Prayer in orthodoxy is essential and a need for a healthy orthodox Christian life.
- —Guest Luis
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