No one is perfect, and it's important to remember that when you are looking for a new church—the church is full of imperfect people, loving a perfect God. But while you may not be able to find a perfect church, regardless of denomination, you can find one that is right for you. Here are four things to look for when visiting churches.
Do You Agree With Their Doctrine?
In the age of the internet, even the smallest churches usually have a website or Facebook page. This is a good place to begin your search. Some church websites are expansive while others are just a page or two, but almost all of them list their "Statement of Beliefs." So, hop on the World Wide Web and start there. If you aren't entirely certain of your beliefs, this activity will also provide you the opportunity to do a little more digging and further define your own beliefs.
Do They Have The Type Of Worship You Are Looking For?
Some people prefer a traditional church that sticks to a set pattern of worship, delivers a traditional sermon, and incorporates traditional hymns. Others prefer an energetic church with rousing sermons and even more stirring contemporary music. While the best way to ascertain this is by visiting a Sunday worship service, some church websites also post videos of their sermons and praise and worship time for shut-ins and those members who couldn't physically make it that week.
Do They Have The Interaction Opportunities You Desire?
Are you looking for a church that can meet many of your social needs as well as your spiritual needs? Large churches with a big membership often have everything from singles groups to parenting groups to spiritual-based exercise classes. They may offer marriage retreats or host weekly freedom-from-addiction meetings. They may have get-togethers and mixers for various demographics, such as senior citizens or the recently divorced. Perhaps they offer multiple classes for children. In a smaller church, they may have fewer offerings, but maybe you are really only interested in a good weekly study of the Word of God. Again, depending on the church website, you may be able to check out the offerings before you even visit.
Do They Have Service Hours That Work For You?
By necessity, bigger churches typically offer more service times than a smaller church does, but all you need is to find one that works with your schedule. For example, if you work late on Saturday evenings, a church that holds Sunday worship service only at 8 a.m. may not be right for you. On the other hand, if you wake up early and enjoy having the day to yourself by 10 a.m., having a church with an 8 a.m. service available would be perfect. It doesn't make sense to join a church you'll have a hard time getting to each week.