From time to time, I’m asked this question:
What would you look for if you were searching for a Church home?
So, here are some thoughts. Now, this list is for people who are genuinely searching for a new church home. Maybe you’ve moved, maybe God’s lead you to help start a Church, maybe your last Church was unhealthy and God finally gave you the ok to leave.
This list is not for the Church Shoppers and Hoppers. As a Pastor, I’ve seen and experienced the steady stream of those and my encouragement is to stay far away from that stream!
How do you know if you’re a Shopper or Hopper? How many Churches have you been a part in the last 5-7 years? If the answer is multiple fingers, you may have your answer.
And, Please…PLEASE never refer to your search for a church home as church shopping. The Church isn’t a great deal. It’s the Bride of Christ, so no shopping has to happen.
Here’s what I would look for…
Jesus. There are over 300,000 Churches in America. Believe it or not, not all of them point people to Jesus. In some churches, you can sit in a row for weeks and months and get involved and not even hear His name.
Jesus has to be all over the Church and the focus of the Church.
The Gospel. I would look for a Church that regularly gives people a chance to respond to the Gospel. That teaches people how to find the answers they’re looking for in Scripture.
Evidence of Life Change. Is anything happening? Are people being baptized? Are there people in groups. Are people serving? Is there life in the church? Are all the generations represented?
Music that’s not stuck in the 50′, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90′ or the early 2000’s. This one is a big one for me. I think sometimes churches get stuck in a time warp of when the church was going well and they stick with everything from that era. Churches need to change, the Gospel stays the same.
FOR their community, not just in their community.. In my opinion, many Churches are just the opposite. Churches have a tendency to become super insider focused. And, after time, they turn more and more inward. I would look for a Church that’s focused on reaching people who have given up on God or the church.
No churchy language. Would you need a translator to explain to you what’s happening to be a part of the Church? Sometimes, churches have their own christian sub-culture and again, that can be a real turn off to someone who won’t understand it.
Ok, that’s the first 7 things I would look for! Tomorrow I will post 7 more!