As we begin our series on church hunting, there are a couple of things that we need to get straight. First, if you already have a church home, your focus should be on worshiping God where you are, not on finding a new home. Please remember that when you put your own perceived needs for a certain type of music, or a particular setting, or a specific preacher, over the worship of God, you have missed the point of gathering together in Christian fellowship for corporate worship.
With that in mind, there is something to be said for being able to worship God more freely and more effectively in one setting than another. It is difficult for another person to determine whether or not your pursuit of a new church is based on the right reasons. So, before you start your church search, you need to search your heart and chase God’s will toward a closer relationship with Him.
There are, however some reasons for church hunting that are pretty universally accepted. Maybe you are moving to a new town, your church is closing, or a shift in your current church’s views on God makes them inconsistent with Scripture. (Unfortunately, the last one does happen.) For a parent, one of the most important factors to consider is the level of biblical instruction that your children receive. When you come into one of these situations, you need to find a place where you can worship God fully, without concern over distractions or improper teaching.
For a pastor involved in young adult ministry, the idea of finding a healthy home church has to be at the forefront of my mind. Most of these students have simply attended whatever church their parents or friends attended, without ever really considering the deeper implications of hearing a particular preacher, worship team, or Sunday school teacher. As they come into a maturing faith-life, they must begin to consider these things. Especially as they leave the campus ministry environment and enter the unguided adult years, there must be a strategy for finding a church home that has already been taught to them.
As someone who is hoping to encourage spiritual development, it is important for me to remember that the congregations with whom I choose to worship are not necessarily the best fits for every student I come across. Much like discerning a call from God, choosing a church home requires self-awareness. We, as believers in Christ, need to do everything we can to foster this awareness and to help each person find where they worship well. This will, in turn, lead to a more vibrant body of believers who have reasonable expectations for their church homes and for the believers from other area churches. When this occurs, we all become better representations of Christ to our communities because we are able to speak up with confidence in what we believe and with the stance of our church.
This series is focused on finding a church home, regardless of your background. While it may seem to discuss things from a perspective that is designed for college students or young adults, anyone reading this needs to consider these things so that we can all help others find a healthy place to worship God.
Seeking to worship in Spirit and Truth,