How To Find A Church
Choosing a place of worship that's right for you
Finding a church is one of the most important decisions you will make regarding where and how you and your family will worship. Even small cities and towns are filled with many churches, offering different beliefs, styles of worship, and programs for individuals and families. This article will give you some things to consider as you find a church.
In beginning to choose a church, one of the first things to consider is your transportation situation. Do you need a congregation that is within reach of public transportation, or do you drive and want to stay within a certain distance from home. Consider the cost of gas and wear and tear on your car if you plan to drive to worship several times each week. If you have children, especially young children, take into account how long they will be able to stay calm while riding in a car, bus, or subway train. Next, make a list of all the churches that meet your transportstion requirements. This will help to narrow down your list of possible churches and make your decision of finding a church easier.
Choose a Worship Style
The next choice you will need to make when looking to find a church is the worship style of the congregation. Worship style not only refers to type of music that is played, but also to the general feel of the congregation and the way the services and rituals are performed. Consider whether you prefer loud, contemporary, upbeat worship music or quiet, contemplative hymns and psalms. Do you prefer a more liturgical (services performed according to standard protocols of worship) or free-form style of worship service? Ask yourself whether you want to listen to a more theological and intellectual type message or whether you prefer evangelical preaching and ministry. Investigate the church's worship style by reading the congregation's web site, or calling the church and speaking to one of the ministers or pastors. Narrow your choices to several churches and then arrange to visit each one to experience their worship style in person. While there, speak to current congregation memebers about the worship environment, preaching/ministry style, and church programs.
Consider Programs for Youth and Children
Lastly, if you have children or plan to have children in the future, remember to ask what programs and activities the church offers to children and parents. Many churches offer daycare centers, schools, and youth or children's ministries that will watch your children while you are in church services. These programs are a great way to introduce your children to your faith and beliefs, while also keeping them entertained and excited about coming with you to church each week. Some churches may even offer after-school care programs or group tutoring sessions to help your child with schoolwork and classes. When choosing a church, investigate the safety aspects of the church's dealings with children. Ask if all child care workers have completed background checks and the proper certifications to care for children.
The quest to find a church can be a long but rewarding one, as you choose a place of worship that you and your family will call home for many years.