One of the most important and effective ways to acclimate and become a part of Atlanta is to find a good church to regularly attend. Churches often provide the spiritual and social support we need in these challenging times.
Finding a church home should be an enjoyable experience. But it can also be time-consuming. Finding a place to worship may take patient persistence, especially if you are looking for a church after moving into a new community.
Usually, you can only effectively visit two, or possibly three churches a month, so the search for a church home may take a period of several months. Whether you are new to the city or are looking to renew your relationship with God, here are some practical steps to remember along with questions to ask yourself as you seek guidance through the process of finding a church.
Pray about it.
Simply get still and seek spiritual guidance for the best place and the best ways to be a part of GOD’s kingdom. As you seek direction, you will receive the wisdom to know where to fellowship. If you visit a church and don’t like where you wind up, start over with prayer and visit a different church.
When you receive guidance – act on it.
You may keep seeing the name of a church on billboards, online or in print, or you may keep hearing the name of a church mentioned over and over. These are signs you probably should pay a visit to that church or temple.
Consider denominations as well as non-denominational or interdenominational churches
What is the message the Spiritual leaders convey? Some churches have contemporary worship music, some have traditional. Some sing hymns, others sing choruses. Some have full bands, others have orchestras and choirs. Some sing gospel, and some rock hard. Since worship is a key part of the church experience, be sure to give the style of worship serious consideration.
Remain open to new possibilities.
Perhaps it’s time to visit a smaller church, as they tend to be more intimate and close-knit. Or if you have never visited one of the area’s megachurches, you may be spiritually fed there. A megachurch is one with more than 2,000 average attendees. Georgia ranks behind only California and Texas in its numbers of megachurches. In fact, in Atlanta alone, there are more than a half dozen churches with over 5,000 average congregants.
Ask friends, family, and co-workers where they worship. Investigate their suggestions.
There is probably no greater recommendation to consider when selecting a long-term place to worship than those who know your personality, as well as your loved ones and co-workers, do. They can likely suggest a place they know will be a good fit for you and what you are looking for in a ministry.
Make a list of what is important to you in a church home.
Before visiting a church, make a checklist of the most important things you hope to see or experience. Visit church websites and call before visiting. Then rate the church according to your checklist when you leave. If you’re visiting many churches, your notes will help you compare and decide later.
Visit the church where you are attracted to a few times.
Then ask yourself a few questions: Is this church a place where I connect with God and worship freely? Will I learn about the Bible here? Are fellowship and community encouraged? Is there a place for me and my family to serve in the church and opportunities to pray with other believers? Are there healthy children’s ministries? Is this where God wants me to be?
If you can say yes to these questions, then you probably have found a good church home. Finding a new church home is a destination. Be sure to enjoy the journey along the way to that glorious destination.