Choosing a New Church
Are you currently church “shopping”? Browsing around trying to find the church with the right fit for you can sometimes be a challenge. Depending on who you are and where you are in your personal faith journey, it can feel overwhelming to find a church to call home.
There are a few important things to keep an eye out for while you are on the hunt. Below, you will find our tips to guide your search. If you think Hope might be the right fit for you, click here to contact us; we would love to tell you more about our church.
Does the Church’s Message Align with Your Values?
First and foremost, take a moment to reflect on something: at your core, who are you? What do you believe? How can you deepen your faith? What role do you want a church community to play in your life?
Assessing your beliefs and finding ways you would like to improve yourself are just a couple of ways you can get to the heart of who you are. What are the unshakably true things you believe, and what do you value most in this life?
If you are choosing a new church with your spouse or family members, take inventory of what everyone thinks. You are in this together, and finding a church to call home should be an exciting time – not a chore. You are finding a place that fulfills you, makes you feel connected to Jesus, and pushes you to be a better person.
Even if you are unfamiliar with religion or what to expect in a church, don’t feel intimidated! Your values go beyond a church setting; they are shown each day in how you treat others, how you want to be treated, and what you think about life’s big questions. Think about who you are and what a church could do to help you continually improve.
Once you know where you stand – both in areas you believe in strongly, and in areas where you could use improvement – start researching potential churches and their missions. You can learn more about Hope’s mission here.
What are the Different Services Like?
Whether you are someone who attends church every week, someone who attends for larger holidays, or someone who has never been to church, it is important to get a sense of how the church operates during different services.
For some churches, you may feel more connected during smaller services through the week. For others, you may only like the full, robust feel that holiday services provide. But what about finding a church that feels good all the time?
To make your church a permanent home, you need to know that there is a place for you, at all times. No matter if you are single or have a spouse and family, you need to know that the church is a place where you feel connected to God and to those around you.
When you try out a church, try different service experiences. After each one, keep a running list of how you felt afterwards. Happy? Confused? Intrigued? Uncomfortable? Looking for more? Measure the quality of the churches at different times to know if it is a place you can see yourself enjoying through the year.
How Does the Church Feel?
For many who are currently without a church, it is often because they have felt left behind or left out at their last church. Perhaps their message did not fit your world view. Or you felt uncomfortable with some of the guilt and shame from the church.
Instead, you should find a church that, ultimately, makes you feel good. While there should still be room for growth and a continual challenge to yourself to be more loving and more giving, you should have a feeling of belonging and peace when you go to church.
Plus, you may be interested in finding a church that has a true community feel. If it is a big church, does it feel intimate and personalized to you? If it is a small church, does it have the ability to deliver a meaningful message and create a strong community for you?
The only way you can know if a church feels right is by trying out a few. If going to a certain church feels unfulfilling or boring, it can probably be taken off your list. If a church leaves you feeling energized and ready to share what you learned with others, keep going back.
What Added Benefits Does the Church Have?
Throughout our lives, we have various needs that need to be met. A church should help restore balance, offer clarity, and connect you to those who understand what you are going through.
That’s where important ministry works comes in for many churches. From recovery groups to counseling, from special needs care to Bible studies, there should be a group at the church that can help you through life’s big moments.
Along with these ministries, does the church community feel like people you want to be around? Is there a group you would join and make friends? Does the church feel like it goes above and beyond to make you feel welcomed and at home? Seek out these benefits; they are a sign that your church is willing to grow with you and support you.
Learn more about Hope's ministries now.
Does the Church Give Back to the Community?
In the Memphis area and beyond, there is so much good to be done in the world. As part of the Christian faith, it is at the basis of our belief system to help others and be giving of our time and blessings.
Finding a church that supports outreach and service shows that the church practices what it preaches. Supporting those in our hometown who need encouragement, friendship and assistance is one of the best ways to explore your faith and connect with others.
Beyond Memphis, churches that travel for mission trips find ways to help those in crisis, or simply bring the Word of Jesus to their lives. Depending on the type of service projects – based on location or on action – that speak to you, you can find a church that provides and encourages those opportunities.
Learn more about Hope’s service work here.
Can the Church Help You Through Your Life’s Spiritual Journey?
While you may be in one stage of life now, where do you see yourself in the future? You may have plans for who you are and who you will become but, as we all know, your true life plan is in God’s hands.
Since we are not sure of what curveballs life can bring us, it is important to have a base that grounds us, comforts us, and heals us. Through a loving church community, you can find a home with friends and like-minded individuals who care for you and your journey.
With the help of various ministries, programs and services, a church can grow with you through your lifetime. Find a church home that isn’t just right for right now but also makes for the future.
Interested in Making Hope Your Home?
Curious about whether Hope is the church you can call home? Contact us today. We want to hear from you, about you, and what you are interested in to help build your faith.
You can learn more about membership here, and you can plan your visit with our service information here.