How To Find A Church That Is Right For You

Finding a chuch that is right for you can be a difficult task. These questions and activities suggest ways to make finding a religious community easier.

There are few things more intimidating than walking into a church for the first time. An individual wonders if he/she will fit in, are the beliefs compatible, and how friendly is the congregation. How does person make the decision on a new church and what should be the deciding factor in this search.

Initially, just walking through the door of a new church can be a challenge. One thing that can make this easier is calling the church and talking to the pastor or the secretary. A few questions may clear up some anxiety that you might face walking into a service.

· What is the standard of dress for worship service?

· Do you have a cry room or nursery, and what age child is eligible for this service?

· Is this church Pentecostal (Do they practice speaking in tongues), conservative, or liberal?

· What is the policy toward first time visitors? Are new individuals required to introduce themselves?

· Does the church have a child protection policy?

After you get the answers to these questions, you may wish to explore the church further by asking people in your community about the church. If you are new to the community visit the local library or chamber of commerce to look at their brochures and educate yourself on the various denominations. Talking to people who work at the library, chamber of commerce, or local business may help. These people may attend the church, or may know others who do. Gathering as much information before attending a church will lesson the stress of worshipping somewhere new. Do not base all your information on conversations held with people. All people view religion differently, and unless you have strong knowledge of how a person views religion, your experience with a church may be completely different.

When making a decision about how you fit into a church, take your time. It is possible to allow the newness of a church, and the struggle to fit into a strange place to color your visit negatively. It takes time for people to talk to, and accept someone new in their congregation. Sometimes it is necessary to take a risk and join a committee, before you know what the true flavor of a church is. Getting involved will get you in touch with the people who make the place a community, and who really care about their church.

When evaluating spiritual leadership, it is necessary to look past the sermons delivered, and into the person in the pulpit. Is this persona worthy of respect? Is this person approachable? Is this person genuine, or is shallow charm the only personality trait that is apparent. In spiritual leadership, when the focus is on growth, personal responsibility, and concern for other people; there is a strong sense spiritual openness. The pastor needs to come across as being human and struggling with personal issues, rather than above the common man and impervious to human error. A leader that can laugh at him/herself shows the kind of humility that yields true spiritual fruits.

Looking at these issues and considering whether they are in-line with your thinking is crucial in finding a church that fits. This is a very personal search, as are all aspects of the spiritual journey. Some planning and exploration techniques can take the guess work out of this difficult process. The more prepared and knowledgeable the churchgoer, the greater the chance of feeling comfortable and settling into the perfect religious community.

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