Living in a new community means finding a new church home. At least for this introvert, visiting churches can be overwhelming. But this the Lord has made clear: church is important.
So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church. 1 Corinthians 14:12
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10: 24-25
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 4:16
I’ve had many conversations with students about finding a home church. With all my moving, I’ve had to do that search plenty of times. Sometimes I’ve done the search well and other times I’ve slacked in that department. With my latest move, I’m thankful this season of church searching has been going well!
Here are a few things that I’ve learned through my experiences in searching for a church home.
1. If you love your church, please invite people! I’ve been personally invited to more churches in my new little community than in any other place I’ve lived. Hearing people explain why they love their church, and then knowing that I’ll see a friendly, familiar face with I visit, has been very helpful.
2. You know the part of church when the pastor invites everyone to greet each other? That is the WORST part of any service (remember, I’m an introvert)! Usually I’m standing in the midst of a group of strangers who all know each other. Sometimes it feels like a person will quickly mumble hello, as if to meet their “greet a new person” quota, and then they move on to have a lengthy conversation with a friend near me. Hopefully, I’ll never forget that feeling, but instead will use it to spur me on to introduce myself and engage with new people around me.
3. I’ve learned that there is no singular way of worshiping the Lord corporately. There are Scripture references to specific things to include, but not an overall format. I’ve enjoyed experiencing different denominations and seeing what they incorporate in their worship service. Having these experiences has allowed me to see how my heart, soul, and mind resonate in worshiping Him!
4. In general, I like exegetical teaching. I enjoy studying through one book of the Bible at a time. I like seeing how each book supports and intertwines with the other books. Not every pastor teaches this way, but I always appreciate the effort that the pastor puts into his sermon. Any sermon where the Spirit challenges me is a good sermon in my book.
5. Singleness groups at churches can often be very rough. I often find myself grouped in with the college students and early 20s (even though I’m in my early 30s). Nothing wrong with this, but I enjoy groups where I’m with married and unmarried, empty nesters and new parents. A very diverse group makes me happy. This is where I feel the most at home.
If you’re ever in my area, and want company while you’re searching for a church, please let me know. I’ll always be happy to help you along in your journey. Also, please know that it’s a standing invitation to join me on a Sunday morning at whatever church the Lord leads me to. Thankfully, I believe He’s narrowing down my search for a home church and this makes my heart happy!