How to Choose a Church for You and Your Family: The Complete Guide
As a believer, you might go through a period where you’re interested in finding and choosing a church to attend.
Maybe you just moved to a new city or state and want to find a church that can help you grow within your new community.
Perhaps you’ve trailed off on going to church for a while and are looking for a church that can get your family back on track.
Whatever the reason, there are several great churches out there that can fit your needs. Here are a few tips for how to choose a church you can grow with and pour into.
1. Research a Few Locations
Everyone has a certain checklist that they have for finding their next church. However, one of the most common features people look for in a new church is it’s proximity to you.
For that reason, be sure to go online and research a couple of churches that are near your residence.
Be sure to read about their mission, service times, and what they base their beliefs on to get started. You can start to filter out certain churches later on, but for now, just focus on gathering a list of churches you fill might be a good fit.
2. Consider the Denomination
You’ll want to find a church that lines up with your beliefs and ideals, more specifically, that lines up with your denomination.
In other words: are you Christian? Baptist? Catholic? Presbyterian? Lutheran? No matter what your answer is, there are bound to be several options for you.
The denomination is important because it provides a foundation for you to build your faith. If you don’t agree with a church’s beliefs, you won’t want to lay roots within it.
While there are other factors you should consider, the denomination is of vital importance to making your decision.
3. Schedule Times to Visit
Now that you have a list of churches that you might be interested in joining, it’s time to build a schedule.
Prepare yourself for the fact that your church search might take a few months. Having that expectation ahead of time will manage your expectations.
As such, you need to figure out times for when you can visit the churches and see what they’re all about. There are a few different levels to do this.
First, you should plan to visit all the churches on your list for a Sunday service. There you will get a sense of the church’s vibe, style, and beliefs. However, you can also call the church and set up a time to meet with one of their pastors.
The pastor(s) will be happy to answer any questions that you have and give you a glimpse of what the church culture is like.
4. Take Notes During Your Visits
Now that you’ve scheduled the dates for visiting each church, it’s time to put your plan into action.
While you’re visiting the church, try to take mental notes (or physical notes) of all that you observe.
Start by looking around when you walk in the door and are standing in the lobby. Are there families within the church? Do they have child care? What does their youth ministry initiatives look like?
Next, make a few observations while you’re in the service. Does the worship style resonate with your family? Was the Pastor’s message a good balance of Bible study and information? Do you see potential in the church and how they conduct their services?
Maybe you like what you’ve seen, but just have a few more questions about the church that you’d like to have answered. If so, meet with one of their Pastors or leadership figures to talk more in-depth about the church.
5. Ask the Family About Their Experiences
One thing that you might run across is a difference in opinions among your family members. Maybe you loved the style of the service, but your spouse wasn’t overly fond of it.
If that’s the case, you want it all brought to light before you start attending the church only to find out your spouse isn’t happy.
To avoid that scenario, ask your family about their thoughts on the church as soon as you get in the car to leave. What did they like about it? Was there anything they didn’t like? Did they talk to anyone about the church?
It’s entirely possible that you all get in the car and talk about how much you loved it. If so, there might not be a reason to visit any other church. You’ve found your new home!
6. Consider the Church’s Priorities
The best churches are the ones that pour into their members. They take the tithing that they’re given and give back to their members, the community, and the less fortunate.
Make sure that the church you’re interested in has that passion. Find a church that leads by example.
Do they have small groups for their members? Are there missionaries that they provide financial support to? What community outreach projects do they have going? Do they have opportunities for their members to join a dream team to help with service?
All of these things should be considered. You don’t just want to find a church that you can attend every Sunday. You want a church that you can get involved in and help with the growth of both the church and reaching other people.
How to Choose a Church: Find Your New Home
Now that you’ve seen a few of the tips for how to choose a church, it’s time to start your search!
Try out several different churches and don’t be afraid to act on the one that feels like the best situation. If it doesn’t work out, you can always start your search over again.
Be sure to read our other articles that pertain to both this topic and other topics that are just like it.