When It’s Time To Find A New Church Home

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Here’s what to look for when you’re choosing a new church home.

Stress of Moving

They say moving house is one of the most stressful things we do in our lives. There is so much to consider and plan and it makes no difference if you are moving alone or with the whole family in tow or if you are moving far or near; either way, the to-do list is endless. To ease the pressure of organizing and packing, take time to consider what you would like your new church to be like. Leaving a church and congregation that you have been a loyal member of for any period of your life will be hard so try to focus on all the good and positive things that are ahead of you; a new church to love, new people to befriend and learn with, and to “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Rom 12:3). In the upheaval of change, you might find comfort in prioritizing what’s important in your search for a new church home. No final decisions need to be made before you are in your new home, but there are things you can research to ease the transition.

Your Current Church

Start your search at your current or most recent church. Take note of all the things, big and small, that you love about it. Perhaps it’s the size of the congregation or the makeup of your church community that you enjoy most. Look around you before you head to your new church home. Are you surrounded by young families, generations of families, couples, and groups of old friends? Consider how well you know these people and love praying with them. Of equal importance, are there things that you would like to change? Then perhaps this move is an opportunity for you to be more involved or less involved in the church. Maybe there were changes that you might have found too awkward or difficult to deal with.

The church building is not without significance and may have more of an effect on you than you realize. They are, after all, built purposefully (for the most part) for worship. Consider the size and style of your church and how you feel when you sit inside. Do the acoustics during services make you feel at home? For some people, the age of the building can reflect heavily on their beliefs. For example, they might speak to you of generations that have gone before them, and blessings that have passed their way, and the hundreds if not thousands of faithful who have knelt in your place and shared in God’s wisdom. Ask yourself, what do you enjoy being involved in? If you help out at your Church’s soup kitchen or volunteer with the upkeep, this could be something to look for in your new church. Perhaps there are activities that you would’ve liked to be more involved with in your old church, but couldn’t commit to it then.

Reach Out

One of the blessed parts of our faith is the networks that it creates; connecting like-minded people across towns, countries, and states. Your church leaders may already know the churches and communities in your new area so speak to them and seek their guidance. They could offer advice and share contacts with you for areas that you’re wanting to serve in. You might be surprised by the number of people in your congregations that have had similar experiences. Open up to those around you for support. You may be moving away from your congregation but they will always consider you one of their own and only wish the best for you in your new adventure.

If your move has been come from a promotion or new job, your new colleagues may be able to help you. Reach out to the hiring manager and ask them if they could recommend a member of the team to connect with. This could also be a positive ice breaker when you start your new job or attend your new church. Knowing that you’re connected by a shared faith can help reduce the settling in period. You might also consider looking to smaller networks, like Bible study groups outside of your church walls. Sometimes we find those in the unlikeliest of places. Either way, the Scripture teaches that “where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matt 18:20).

Logistics

There will most likely be more than one option of churches near your new home. Thinking practically, you might consider how frequently you like to attend your church. The number and times of services available vary from church to church, and write down your church habits and routines to take to your new one. If your days and weeks will be spent going between home, work, school, and church, then look for one that helps you meet all those commitments. Driving too far for church could create too great a strain on your family. In turn, this could cause you to fall behind in your church attendance. If the car is your main mode of transport, then parking is of course needed, and not all churches have space, so look to see are there other parking options available. Perhaps there are shops close by with spaces you can park in. To make the commute less of a drag, look out for churches that are on or near the school route.

Non-Negotiables

Aside from the things you know and love about your church, there are of course less flexible things. Switching denominations is an unlikely option – or perhaps you are open to a change, so don’t be afraid to find out about other church denominations. Finding churches of your denomination should narrow down the search and options. Perhaps you would prefer a non-denomination group. A quick search of the local listings should help you find what options are available to you and your family. Assuming that there are more than one or two options available, or that there are a few possibilities that you are curious about, you can try out different churches. It’s OK to leave your comfort zone. And you might like to visit more than once, so think again about the things you loved about your old church. Above all, remember to listen for His voice for guidance and “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you” (Deut 31:6).

About the Author

Beatrix Potter is an editor at Academized review writing service. She writes about education and faith.

Here is some related reading for you: How to Choose a Church: 7 Things to Look For

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



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