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How to Find a New Church That Fits

When buying a new home, you don’t settle for the first one you see. You spend a lot of time looking at other houses to decide which is the right one for your needs. Is the location convenient? Is the house big enough to fit your family? Homebuyers are encouraged to create a checklist of things to consider before making a purchase. As a follower of Christ, you must have the same level of commitment to find a new church. After all, church is a source of spiritual enlightenment and community. You need to settle on one that makes you feel at home.

What Factors to Consider to Find a New Church

There’s no question that having a church community matters. We aren’t meant to do life alone. Galatians 6:2 states, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” We are called to come together with others so we may share our struggles and joys.

But how do you find a new church that fits? How do you find a community that allows you to grow and mature in your faith?

We all have different needs and desires. A church that may be right for one person may not be right for another. That’s why it’s crucial to look within yourself and ask what you want in a church before you go searching for churches.

Seeking a new church is a spiritual journey that requires proper alignment of your preferred…

  • Worship style
  • Community size
  • Level of support

 

…and more.

There are several factors to consider when looking for a new church home.

Strong Foundation & Core Beliefs

The core beliefs within the church are a primary consideration when finding a new church. Research the stand on prevailing concepts related to faith to ensure they align with your beliefs. If not, you most likely won’t feel at home within that church.

This is even more essential if you previously left a church because of misaligned beliefs. 

When evaluating a church’s foundation, look at these three things:

  1. Biblical teaching and preaching
  2. Doctrinal practice
  3. View of the scripture

 

When these components are present, it provides a solid foundation for the church as it pertains to the leaders’ beliefs and commitment to faith.

Unified Community

A church with a unified community is a good sign. And it’s an excellent choice if you are on a journey to find a new church. 

The church is initially meant to glorify and worship God. However, it can also be a place to build community among churchgoers and believers who share the same faith in God. 

A church congregation calls on each other to love, support, and encourage believers. This act is how a church fosters a sense of community and unity among each other. It’s this kind of community you must consider in a new church.

Comfortable Size

The size of a church can influence one’s sense of belonging and spiritual fulfillment. Maybe you like the intimacy and personalized attention offered by smaller churches. Perhaps you’re drawn to the diverse programs provided by larger churches. Either way, it’s important to determine your preference when searching for a new church.

Various Offerings

You should also consider the programs, groups, and ministries the church offers. Ideally, a church will have a wide array available—from children’s activities to support groups. This indicates a commitment to meeting the diverse needs of members. 

Choosing a church with a sizable selection of offerings can ensure you find opportunities for enrichment and engagement.

Discipleship Advocacy

A church that is the right fit for you is likely to advocate biblical discipleship. If you’re a follower of Christ, you’re meant to shepherd others. A church that offers discipleship programs or mentorship can support you in this calling. 

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”Matthew 28:19

Quality, Scripture-Based Sermons

The quality and substance of sermons are important when it comes to finding a new church. Sermons based on scripture serve as a source of encouragement, insight, and conviction. A church that delivers such sermons provides nourishment for spiritual growth and guidance for navigating life’s challenges.

Finding a church where the sermons are faithful to scripture ensures you receive solid teaching. Moreover, it equips you to live out your faith authentically. When a church presents biblical truth, it helps you deepen your connection to God and His Word.

Supportive & Welcoming Environment

Being surrounded by a supportive environment can foster spiritual and emotional growth. Thus, it’s one of those factors in choosing a new church that comes from gut feeling.

Here are some important questions to ask:

  • How do the members make you feel? 
  • Are they supportive or judgmental? 
  • Do you feel welcome when you step inside this community, or do you feel that you need to prove your faith to them?

 

7 Steps for Finding a New Church

A woman shaking hands with a pastor as she walks into the church.

Finding a new church is no easy feat. With so many things to consider, including the ones listed above, it can easily overwhelm you. But once you know how to identify which church is the right fit, you can gain some much-needed clarity.

Step 1: Pray for Guidance.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”—Proverbs 3:5-6

When you want to find a new church, pray for guidance. In any major decision in life, we should always pause and pray to seek His guidance. Choosing a new church home is no exception. 

Do not rush into making a decision, especially with something so significant to your spiritual life and journey. Acknowledge that He knows better and seek His wisdom as you make this decision.

Step 2: Ask for Recommendations.

Whether you’ve recently left a church or just moved to a new area, it’s worth getting recommendations from others. Talk to friends, family members, and coworkers about the churches they attend. Ask each what they like about their church and how long they’ve been a member. If they share similar beliefs and preferences, their insights can be valuable.

Step 3: Research Churches Near You.

The next step is to do some Googling. Do a quick search for churches near you and create a short list of your best options. Include the recommendations you received from others too.

Most churches nowadays have a website or social media page. Check them out to get a glimpse into the church community, programs, and philosophies.

Step 4: Attend Multiple Church Services.

Researching a church online can only provide so much information. There are many facets to a church community that you won’t be able to know based on their online presence. That’s why you should gain firsthand experience by attending multiple services. Doing so will give you a more accurate impression of what the church is like and if it’s a good fit. 

Also, consider attending services at various churches within your area to compare their worship styles, teachings, and environments.

Step 5: Interact with Members.

If you want to find a new church that fits, you can’t just attend services. You also need to interact with members. They can provide insight into the community and church dynamics, as well as the spiritual environment. Further, taking the time to chat with members can help you decide if their community is one you want to join.

Step 6: Consider Your Priorities.

Go back to your checklist when finding a church home. Make sure the church you choose ticks all the boxes. 

“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”Jeremiah 29:13

Learn to practice patience. Be thorough with the process before you make a commitment. As the verse above says, it is important to never settle. Seek to find the church where God wants you to be. 

For example, choose a church home that fosters a sense of community and fellowship, recognizing its many benefits.

Step 7: Praise God.

Finding a new church home can test your faith. But it’s important not to lose sight of what the real purpose of this journey is about—finding a home and community that helps you connect with God. 

Trust God as you embark on this journey. And never forget to praise Him along the way!

How to Know When It’s Time to Find a New Church

Leaving a church that you’ve called home for a long time can be a tough decision. However, it’s an important step to take when it no longer aligns with your spiritual values and beliefs. 

These are the telltale signs you’re ready to find a new church:

  1. The church leadership is absent or corrupt.
  2. The services do not bring you spiritual joy or fulfillment
  3. There’s no fellowship within the church.
  4. The teachings differ from what’s in the Bible.
  5. There’s discrimination within the ministry.

 

If any of these apply to your situation, it’s in your best interest to seek a new place to worship, learn, and connect with others.

Takeaway

Leaving what you’re used to so that you can find a new church is painful and difficult. It is especially tough when the reason for leaving is due to a lack of a supportive environment, fellowship, or alignment. 

We encourage you to do your due diligence and find the right fit for you. The effort you put in now will pay off for many years to come when you find a church to call home. 

If you’re looking for a church home that puts community first, you can find a location near you at Abundant Life.