New Church, New Start
Whether you are new to church or are considering a change, finding a great church takes some time and investment.
I want to give you some practical things to think about when choosing your church and a way to evaluate your experience.
- Phone book
- Signs around town
- Word of Mouth
Things to think about
- Why are you looking to start going to church or to change your current one?
- What are your beliefs? Most churches should have information about what they believe, the non-negotiables if you will.
- What kind of church service do you want? There are two extremes. The traditional services usually have a very formal and the attire is dressy. Then you have contemporary churches who are more laid back and not concerned about the attire, you come as you are, T-Shirts and jeans, suits, or anywhere inbetween.
- Look at what the church offers for you and your family? What can you get involved in?
- What size of a church do feel comforatable with? 100-1000?
- Try to discover what direction the church is going? What are there goals and priorities?
Arriving-How easy was it to find a parking place? Did you know where to go from the parking lot? What does the exterior look like?
The Front Door– Was there anyone to greet and dierct you if needed? What was your first impression as you walked through the door? Were their signs so you could navigate your way around?
The Service– Were you given information to help you know what was going to happen during the service? What was the atmosphere like and apparent attitude of those in the service. Were “guests” or visitors acknowledged in any way without undue attention? Did anyone near you have the opportunity and make the effort to say hello to you indicating a friendly church? Did the church offer to provide you with follow up information on the church.
The Message– What did you learn from the message? Was it relevant? Did the speaker relate to your life in some way? Were they speaking at you or to you? Was there a “take away”, steps you could take to implement the principles you learned? Were you confronted to grtow and given the encouragement to do it?
The Connection– Were there opportunites for every member of your family to be involved in some way? To learn and to serve? Again, did anyone reach out to you and encourage your return to join them again? If you filled out any information that you gave to the chruch in someway, did they make an effort to follow up with you by calling, email or in person?
Last things– No church is perfect. You need to give each church 3-4 weeks to get a real feel for what it is like. Friendliness is a two way street. You may be disappointed that the family next to you didnt welcome you. What you may not know is that they are new too-dont make a rash judgement, make the effort and say hello to someone.
I hope this helps anyone to make good decisions for a great church.