{finding a church to call home}

Throughout the different seasons of life, we sometimes find ourselves searching for a new church to call home. Maybe your spouse has a new job that has caused your family to relocate. Maybe you are looking for a bigger church with a more active “social” life for you and your kiddos. Maybe you’re looking to get away from all the fuss of a “social” church. Or maybe you’ve found that the messages you’re hearing on Sunday mornings just don’t speak to you spiritually like they once did.

Whatever the reason, finding a new church “home” can be a lot of work. I personally think finding a church family that you feel comfortable in a lot like finding a best friend or your soul mate. It doesn’t happen on the first date. Sometimes you have to try on a lot of friends to find just the right fit. It’s the same with finding a new church.

If you’re anything like me, it can be a little bit awkward visiting a new church. The people there, for the most part, already know each other. There are established friendships. Plus, everyone who attends regularly pretty much already knows what to expect. What do I wear to a service, where are the kids classrooms (if there are any), where are the restrooms….you get the idea. I always get nervous going into any new situation because I don’t “know the ropes”.

Still, for my family the dresscode, the location of the classrooms, and the whereabouts of the lou isn’t the biggest concern. I can get through that fairly quickly. The biggest issue for us is……does what this church preaches fall in line with what we believe? We are definitely a family of non-legalistic church goers who enjoy learning the truth straight from the Word of God. I don’t want someone else’s “version” of what the Bible says. I want the truth. But is there a way to know….before you go?

Enter digital media.

Some churches nowadays offer viewers a way to watch services online, either streaming or pre-recorded. This is genius! I can sit from the comfort of my own home and watch services from different churches to determine which feels more “right” for our family. It’s kind of like shopping for churches, but without the awkwardness. If you’re unsure of which churches in your area offer online viewings of church services you could ask your friends about their home churches. If you don’t have friends in a particular area, use the search engine on your computer to look up churches in your area. Some of the churches listed will have a website that you can visit. From there, you should pretty easily be able to find out if they have what you’re looking for. Voila!

On a sidenote, I am completely aware that this is not the ultimate way to find the church of your dreams. You will not fully know for sure if a church is right for you until you visit in person and meet the people. You have to experience a service firsthand to feel the power. There’s nothing like it. And, you might discover that the best church for your family is one that doesn’t even offer the ability to watch online. These churches are usually smaller in number and sometimes that means a more close-knit community. That may be just what you’re needing.

But, if you’re in the beginning stages of looking for a church to call home, virtual attendance is something to consider.

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