Those of you who have moved or looked for a new church, what requirements or criteria did you have (or consider) when searching for a faith community?
How they live out scripture?
Age of members?
Distance from your house?
How sacraments are practiced/observed?
Egalitarian vs complimentarian?
Programs for men, women, youth, children, elderly, other?
Since moving, our family has been having a difficult time travelling to our church (about 35 minute drive). I would love to find a home church within our community (or nearby at least). I was born and raised in the church I’ve been attending for (nearly) 28 years. Even when I went away to university for 4 years, I came home almost every weekend in first year and then found it so difficult to find a place of belonging in my university town knowing it would only be for a short time and not being able to get used to the feeling of unfamiliarity.
How do you approach finding a church home without being completely methodical about it – where is the room for God’s calling?
I believe that Christians can overcome differences to focus on their shared calling: to love and serve Christ. But when it comes time to finding and choosing a longterm faith community – somewhere you would like to consider home and family – I feel like I have a lot of factors to consider.
My Reformed roots are important to me.
I want to serve our new community, and I want to grow in our new community. As A.J. grows and becomes more involved with youth programming, I don’t want to have to drive long distances to have her connect in programs and with friends.
Also with our daughter in the picture now, I would like to find a community with families in similar life stages as us.
That being said, I also value having a diverse community – of ages, ethnicities and interests.
And I feel very strongly about empowering both men and women in all forms of leadership.
This last area is where I am struggling the most. It has brought me to tears and frustration. Especially having a daugher, I want to raise her in a church where she feels that she can answer God’s calling in her life without being questioned about her sex and gender. Yet I’m having many difficulties finding a good fit which encompases all of these values.
And then I come back to the statement “I believe that Christians can overcome differences to focus on their shared calling: to love and serve Christ.” At what point do I throw out my list of criteria? At what point do I say “these factors aren’t as important as the act of loving Christ”?
I just don’t know… It’s been something I’ve been wrestling with for weeks, and it’s really starting to weigh on me… I’m not writing to share any profound answers. I just needed to write and to think through the process of writing. And perhaps hear what you, dear reader (whoever you are!), have to think?
Can I just leave you with this: you know how people often judge a book by its cover? I admittedly judge a church by its website…. It’s true. If a church doesn’t have a website at all, I’m all
If a church has a website with no information about their location, service times, etc. I’m all
BUT if I could find a church that meets all the factors I listed above yet didn’t have a website…
I would go!!!
And then create a website for them…