6 Tips for Choosing the Right Church For You

6 Tips for Choosing the Right Church For You

If you are looking for a church to call home, you may face some challenges.  With so many options, determining which would be best for you can seem daunting.

It pays to take your time.  Rushing into choosing a church without considering enough factors can lead to a misfit - theologically or relationally.  Some problems that could arise are:

  • Being taught things that contradict the Bible
  • Stagnation or regression in spiritual growth
  • Loneliness or unhealthy relationships
  • Ineffectual in using your talents and interests

We want to help you find the best fit that meets your individual needs.  Through ministering to over a thousand people in one of the most unchurched states in America, we, at Grace Capital Church, have become well acquainted with the individual needs of church-goers, and want to use this know-how to help you find the best place for you.

Before we dive into the six questions that will help you choose the right church for you, it is important to know the Core Beliefs of Biblical churches:

For more on understanding the core beliefs, check out 3 Essential Beliefs all Christian Churches Share.

 

6 Questions to Ask Yourself in Your Search for a Church

 

1. Is the Preaching engaging and relevant for me? 

Engagement and relevancy are critical aspects of sermons. Engaging preaching captivates your attention and heart while stimulating your mind. It's more than delivery; it's about making biblical truths come alive in novel, thought-provoking ways.

Relevant preaching speaks to your daily life. It connects the timeless truths of the Bible to contemporary issues you face, offering practical applications for modern living. Are the sermons addressing your real-life challenges? Can you apply these lessons in the coming week?

Attending church should foster personal growth. If sermons don't aid your spiritual development, they're not serving their purpose. They should be spiritually nourishing, equipping, and inspiring you on your spiritual journey.

Remember, your engagement also matters. Listening to a sermon is active, not passive. Come ready to receive, respond, and implement the teachings in your life. So, when choosing a church, consider the quality of the preaching. It's a key ingredient in your spiritual growth and overall church experience.

2. Does the music draw me into a place of worshiping and connecting with God?

Music can vary from traditional hymns to soulful gospel to contemporary praise songs.  Whatever the genre, the lyrics declare worship of God and help church-goers feel close to Him.  

If you are not experiencing a spiritual connection, it could simply be that you are distracted; or it could be that the music doesn’t touch your soul.  Maybe it is too loud for you, or you don’t understand the older language, or too much of your attention is drawn toward the leaders, or the energy is too low for you to engage.

Take notice of what you are experiencing during the songs.  Are you thinking about the characteristics of God?  Are you feeling gratitude and love?

[Are you unsure if you are a Christian?  This article with help:  How to Become a Christian in 2 Life-Saving Steps.]


3. Do I feel welcome and see prospects for relationships?

Feeling welcomed and seeing potential for relationships are crucial when choosing a church. It goes beyond attending services; it's about experiencing a sense of belonging within a caring community and forging meaningful connections.

From the moment you step in, assess the atmosphere. Does it feel warm, inviting, and inclusive? Observe community dynamics. Do members interact across different backgrounds, showing diversity and vibrancy? Is conversation more profound than small talk?

Look for organized opportunities for deeper connections, such as small groups, Bible studies, and social events. These foster shared experiences and spiritual growth. Beyond Sunday services, does the community provide support during personal difficulties, offering pastoral care, prayers, or practical help?

Lastly, consider your role. It's not just about receiving but also about contributing to the community. Can you envision yourself nurturing the welcoming atmosphere and building relationships? Choosing a church is about finding a place where you can both benefit from and contribute to a community that reflects Christ's teachings on love, acceptance, and fellowship.

4. Do the service and small group meeting times work for my schedule?

When selecting a church, the timing of services and small group meetings is a practical factor worth considering. In today's busy world, finding a church that accommodates your schedule can be just as important as other spiritual or community considerations.

Many churches offer multiple service times, even spanning across the weekend, to cater to different schedules. These may include traditional Sunday morning services, Saturday evening options, or perhaps a midweek service. The variety helps ensure everyone has an opportunity to participate in worship.

Similarly, small group meetings, Bible studies, or prayer groups are typically arranged at various times throughout the week. These gatherings are significant for deeper engagement with the Bible, communal prayer, and fostering closer relationships within the congregation.

Examine the service times listed online or posted at the church. Are there services that comfortably fit into your week without causing stress or conflict with other commitments? Do the small group meeting times align with your availability

Remember, your involvement in church should enrich your life and spiritual journey, not add to your stress. Therefore, the compatibility of the church schedule with your personal or family routine can significantly impact your decision and overall church experience.

5. Will I be able to find a group of people who are going through a similar stage of life as I am? 

When on the lookout for a church community, it's essential to consider if there are opportunities to connect with individuals at a similar life stage or facing similar experiences. Whether you're a young parent, a retiree, a recent divorcee, or a college student, finding a group where you can share your journey significantly enriches your church experience.

Many churches offer affinity groups, aligning people based on shared life experiences or interests. These groups provide a space where you can feel understood, share your challenges and triumphs, and gain wisdom from those walking a similar path.

Conversely, churches may also offer mixed groups, a diverse collective of individuals from various life stages and experiences. These groups offer broader perspectives and the chance to learn from a wide range of individuals. They are enriching if you value diverse interactions and learning experiences.

Your needs and preferences are paramount. If you're navigating a particular life challenge, like grief or addiction, a targeted support group can provide specialized help. If you relish diversity, a mixed group might be more appealing. The key is to find a church that provides the kind of community and support that resonates most with your current life stage and needs.

6. Are there ways to volunteer that use my talents and areas of interest?

When seeking a church community, it's essential to consider if there are opportunities to connect with individuals at a similar life stage or facing similar experiences. Whether you're a young parent, a retiree, a recent divorcee, or a college student, finding a group where you can share your journey significantly enriches your church experience.

Many churches offer affinity groups, aligning people based on shared life experiences or interests. These groups provide a space where you can feel understood, share your challenges and triumphs, and gain wisdom from those walking a similar path.

Conversely, churches may also offer mixed groups, a diverse collective of individuals from various life stages and experiences. These groups offer broader perspectives and the chance to learn from a wide range of individuals. They are enriching if you value diverse interactions and learning experiences.

Your needs and preferences are paramount. If you're navigating a particular life challenge, like grief or addiction, a targeted support group can provide specialized help. If you relish diversity, a mixed group might be more appealing. The key is to find a church that provides the kind of community and support that resonates most with your current life stage and needs.

[To learn more about potential volunteer opportunities, check out: 11 Ways to Volunteer at Church.]

Where to Take Your Spiritual Journey From Here

Finding a place that helps you grow closer to God and His people will significantly enrich your life.  So take the time and give yourself permission to assess whether you are able to relate to the preaching, connect with the music, build relationships, take active steps toward growth, and make a difference.

It is perfectly acceptable to evaluate if a church is right for you.  Being selective does not mean you are being critical.  

Be careful, though, not to slip into a spirit of consumerism when it comes to finding a church.  You may have heard it said, if you find a perfect church, don’t join it or it will no longer be perfect.  Moving from place to place for overly self-serving reasons will keep you from becoming part of a community.

In the long run, you will experience more growth and life enhancement, and you will make a bigger difference in the church if you look for a place that fits you.  

I want to hear from you!  Comment below and I will do my best to respond.

Are you looking for more information to help you narrow down what you want? 

Check out these articles:

  1. 3 Essential Beliefs all Christian Churches Share 
  2. Looking for the 'Right' Church? - Focus on the Family
  3. How do I know which church is the 'right church' for me?
  4. 4 Reasons to Become a Church Member

Do you want to learn more about the Bible or how to become a Christian?

Check out these articles:

  1. Which Christian Denomination is Right for Me?
  2. How to Become a Christian in 2 Life-Saving Steps
  3. 1-Year Bible Reading Series for Healthy Living

Are you looking for a church in the Concord, NH area?  We invite you to check us out. Grace Capital Church is located at 542 Pembroke Street in Pembroke, NH. 

Also, here is an article on 3 other churches in the Concord area

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