Sunday, September 15, 2013

Thoughts on Moving - Finding a Church Home

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Of all the things that mattered when moving, I thought finding a church would be one of the more important things and relatively easy. Church represented a commonality of beliefs, fellowship, friendship and fun. If I found the perfect church, my move would be more acceptable to me.

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?


3 comments:

  1. I've been asking around and doing a little online research for a few months now. I've narrowed it down to 4 churches that I'd like to visit. Finding an environment that is welcoming and in which my son feels comfortable is super important to me. There are a few things I'm flexible about and a few deal breakers. I'm hoping that I'll feel "it" when I find the right church for us.

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  2. It certainly isn't easy to find a new home church. I've tried and it took me well over a year to find out that I felt comfortable in. Sigh. But having a place of worship is so worth it...

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  3. After moving from MA to NJ, I have to admit we've not had difficulty finding a church home. Originally living in NJ, we just went back home to the church where we belonged before we left the garden state. It has been a sweet homecoming.

    Finding a church home, however, can be challenging. While we lived in OH, we never quite found one, though we visited many. When the preacher cursed from the pulpit, I knew that wasn't the church for me. Or when the *only thing* I could offer at another church was whether I could cook . . . because as a woman my *only gifts* were in the kitchen, I knew THAT ONE wasn't for me. *sigh* Finding the right place, where the word is preached and you find a path to spiritual growth, is where you need to be.

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