Well it didn't quite unfold as I had envisioned and along the way I learned some things that I never thought of before.
Culture matters - Prior churches that we had attended had a majority demographic that looked like me. Therefore the music and the style of preaching was one I could easily embrace. Moving to the valley where you got happy if you saw a brown skinned person walking down the street, church was a culture shock. I rationalized this by telling myself my feelings didn't matter as long as I felt the love and the preaching was sound, but it was hard, very hard to overcome. People think differently, and while diversity of thought is good, having to explain or second guess the way things are done is unsettling.
Sweet fellowship - we were chatting with some friends who had made a big move similar to ours to a southern state. We asked about finding a church, and I'll always remember the wife's answer. She said of finding their first church - "The fellowship not sweet." That statement gets to the heart of the matter because where ever you go you have to feel fitly joined. You want to feel accepted and welcomed. After that you want to feel natural participating in activities for the church. It shouldn't feel stilted or forced.
Eventually, we found a church home, though I've also learned there is no perfect church (BTW, I knew this intellectually, but having to visit different churches reinforces this.) This was an area where we kept rethinking our thinking until we found somewhere that we are comfortable worshiping with others.
What has been your experience in finding a church after moving?