Posted by: Brian Musser | May 30, 2012

What Church Are You Searching For?

A student says, “I just can’t find the right church for me.”

“What kind of church are you looking for?” I reply.

“I don’t know.  Something like my home church I guess.”

“Well, tell me about your home church.  What did you like about it?”  Is my standard next question.

No matter what they say I can usually recommend a handful of churches in the nearby area that have several of the same qualities.  Did you know that according to Hartford Seminary the the U.S. has 217 different denominations and 300,000 protestant congregations?  With that kind of variety, I can honestly say there is a church out there that is right for you.  In fact in the greater Philadelphia area there are over 500 Baptists churches alone.  If you can’t find what you are looking for in a church maybe you haven’t been looking hard enough.

But I don’t think lack of effort is the main reason why many students have trouble finding a church while at college.  I think that the main reason is that they aren’t looking for a new church that is “like” their home church but that they are actually looking for their home church.  As I have said before so much of what makes us comfortable in a church has to do with relationships that have developed over time. 10 Things about Your Home Church that You Won’t Find at Your New Church is a post that looks at that subject with a bit of humor.

Since your hope about finding a new church that immediately makes you feel exactly like your old church is an impossible goal, here is a quick list of how to connect to a new church.

1.  Answer logistical questions.  Are you willing and able to be there when they meet?

2.  Answer theological question.  Do you agree with what they believe?  Unraveling how to determine what level of theological agreement is necessary to attend a church will be the topic of an entire later post.

3.  Find someone you actually like from the church and hang out with them.

4.  Eventually find something to do in the church.

It has been said (although I don’t know and couldn’t find by who) that relationships and responsibilities keep people in church.  If you want to feel comfortable in a church, get to know the people around you.  If you want to look forward to going to church, build relationships that you look forward to continuing at the next fellowship time.  Being invested in the people of the church will make you invested in the church.  If you want to feel committed to the church own a piece of it.  Have a role.  Have a function.  Know that when you show up there is something that you need to do or the entire body will suffer.  Personal investment by participation is the best way to foster commitment.  So it is actual easy to find a church that makes you feel like your home church.  You need to make friends and get involved.

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Responses

  1. […] two previous posts (10 Things about Your Home Church that You Won’t Find at a New Church and What Church Are You Searching For?) I have suggested a four step process for finding a […]


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