Updated: Aug 12, 2021
When it comes to finding a church home, there seem to be two extremes to this sport: go to the ‘most happening’ church nearest you or search and float for years. There are stages in between these two extremes where some are able to find a long-term church home where they are happy. So is there a recipe for success when it comes to finding a church home? I don’t believe so as we’re all different and can’t have a one size fits all approach to finding a church home. In this post, I’ll be drawing on my professional background to give some tips for what the process of finding a long-term church home should look like. Here are 5 things you should look for/consider during your search:
What's the purpose of this church? This seems like a pointless question to ask but hear me out. We all know the primary purpose of church today but how many churches are actually meeting this expectation? How much does this church act in line with or towards their stated purpose? If the church leadership are not holding themselves accountable to their stated purpose, it's very likely you will also fall into that routine and everything else below just won't meet your expectations...
What are the values/doctrines of the church? We all have our individual values and need to ensure that they are aligned with any church we choose to join. If one of your values is charity, you might prefer to join a church with a strong focus on charity and community work. This will give you something that you could even help with too! Additionally, are the church doctrines in line with the word of God? You'll be surprised how many churches have questionable doctrines...
PRAISE AND WORSHIP! Listen, if a church does not recognise the importance of offering a worthy praise offering to God, just run 🏃♀️. Seriously, David was a man who knew how to praise His Heavenly Father, not offering anything less than skilful praise offering. Let's stop making allowances for churches that don't put value or respect on how they worship God. This is the point in the service where the presence of the Lord is invited and if the church ain't getting it right... Psalm 33:1-3
What is the content of the word? As a child of God, we're not meant to stay children and feed on milk. Over time, we need to see the progression and maturity of our faith (Hebrews 6:1-2) and the church has a role to play in that. Find a church that will feed you at the level you need it to.
Is there a role for you? It's perfectly ok to join and stay a member of a church but I strongly believe in playing a role in the church and utilising the gifts God has given you. For some people, their gifts and skills are needed in a church that wishes to help others. An example of this is utilising your passion for helping others in a church that does lots of community/charity work. Getting involved in such things will also mean that you're fulfilling the commission of spreading the gospel to those who not yet part of the body of Christ. Acts 11:19-30 highlights examples of how some of the disciples and prophets helped others in the church.
Pray for God to lead you: I cannot stress this enough. Oftentimes, God will lead you to a place where a you shaped hole exists so you can serve Him and your brothers and sisters in Christ.
You almost want to approach this process like you do when hunting for a new job. Finding a new church home should be given the same level of attention and detail since it provides a level of spiritual covering/exposure if you get it right/wrong. There is no perfect church (Revelations 2 & 3) and it's important to be led by the Holy Spirit on when it's time to come and go. Don't be led away by your flesh or be tempted by lustful desires (yes, it's possible to be tempted to go somewhere that seems more glam than where God has called you to serve!) or even by simple offences (Ephesians 4:2-3). Wherever God leads you, He will go with you but we should also keep our eyes peeled, as highlighted above, as sometimes God speaks during the 'testing' phase.