How To Go Church Shopping
Moving alone is super stressful, but life after the move isn’t any easier.
There is a mile-long check list of the things you have to get resituated after moving, such as finding new doctors, enrolling in a new preschool, changing your address, getting doctor records moved over, changing your driver’s license, and the most stressful…finding a new church.
Finding a new church is always one of the most stressful things about moving. Listed below are some of my preferences and advice to hopefully make it easier on you…
Do Your Research
Go on the church website and social media to see what they are like. Be sure to note the service times and if each service is different (traditional or contemporary). Go on and check out the doctrine, to see what the church believes. More than likely they will have pictures and videos posted. These sources should give you a good idea of the church and how active they are.
Get There Early…Or At Least On Time
Church shopping is crazy enough, but it’s 1000 times worse when you are church shopping with kids. Sounds about like my Target trips. When you are searching for a new church home with kids it’s madness, and takes so much more time. Account for the time that you need to check in your kids. For us it takes most churches about ten minutes for checking in two kids. Getting there early will ensure that you get the kids checked in and find a seat. It might also give you the time to chat with those around you, ya know, if you are an enthusiastic and outgoing person.
Go In With An Open Mind
I will admit it, I have fallen in love with two churches in my life. Our church in Memphis was my home. It was a place that I loved with all my heart and sometimes just couldn’t get enough of. I knew I was surrounded by a genuine group of Jesus loving people.
Every church, no matter the domination, is going to do things differently. I can’t even start to tell you the many different ways that I have taken communion. Some churches will have the offering in the beginning, others in the end. Often churches will close with a song but others might give you a benediction. I’m not going to say you will not be thrown off by these changes but don’t be turned off. The main importance is that you know you are being preached the word of God.
See What They Offer
While at the church take home the bulletin and pay attention to the announcements to see if they have anything that sparks your interest. I love a really active church, one that has Bible studies, moms’ groups, and family nights.
For me, I like to attend the church that my kids are attending for preschool. It’s not a must have but I just like knowing that some of their friends from school might be in their Sunday school class. It also gives me the opportunity to meet more people, especially the administrative staff.
Size of the Church
Everyone prefers different size churches. As a young mom, I prefer a larger church. One of my favorite women’s ministry leaders once told me, a young mom shouldn’t worry about how much or how little time they put into the church, it’s the young mom’s time to be loved on and it will be her turn to provide the love down the road. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t help out at church. However, you shouldn’t stress about it or have to be relied on. Having a larger church allows young moms the ability to not stress about volunteering.
I hope these little bits of advice help make your move and transition easier.