Throughout history, Christianity has grown and evolved. Over time, what began as a singular belief system split into three major branches: Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox. However, under the protestant umbrella alone, there are hundreds more denominations, from Baptist to Lutheran to Seventh-Day Adventist.
Whether you were already aware of the many denominations of Christianity or not, chances are you’re a bit overwhelmed by it all if you’re new to the Christian faith. Most denominations share the same core beliefs but differ in all sorts of important ways, such as their methods of teaching and style of worship.
It’s because of these differences that finding the right Evangelical church for you will take time. In order to feel comfortable and confident in your choice, there are a few steps you need to take in your search. And we’re here to help with just that!
Listed below are six steps to finding the perfect church for you. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know!
Do Your Research
When starting out on your journey to finding the right church for you, doing plenty of research on the different denominations and what makes them unique is key.
Now, you don’t need to become an expert on religion, but reading what you can about the major denominations is a good place to start. If one stands out to you above the others, dive a little deeper into that particular denomination and learn more.
Once you have a decent understanding of the differences between churches, it’s time to move on to the next step.
Look to Yourself
In order to determine which church will suit you best, you need to know yourself. Take some time to examine your personality and your core values.
Are you a boisterous person, or more reserved? In what type of environment do you prefer to learn? What do you want to get out of life?
Write down a few traits you recognize in yourself, as well as what you personally feel is most important in a church and its teachings. This list will give you a great deal of insight into the kind of church you need!
For example, if you don’t enjoy the idea of a quiet, more rigid environment, an Episcopal church probably isn’t the one for you. But if you struggle to focus and learn with noise and excitement happening around you, a Baptist church may be too much for you.
What Kind of Teaching Do You Want?
Now that you have your list of traits you recognize within yourself, you’re ready to move on to the qualities you’d like to see in your church. If helping others of high importance to you, for example, find a church known for its activity in the community.
Take the knowledge of the various denominations you acquired in the first step and eliminate any that you know right away don’t fit what you’re looking for. Compare each to your personality and values. If it doesn’t line up, mark it off the list!
While you’re crossing off the denominations that don’t suit you, begin making a list of the ones that could. And if you see any common features between these denominations, take note of those. At this point, you’ll find that you’re slowly compiling a checklist of your perfect place of worship.
Talk to Members of Each Church
You’ve studied the different denominations, learned about yourself, and whittled down the long list of options, leaving only those that you feel fit you and your values best. It’s time to go out into the community and visit churches!
Take your shortened list of denominations and make a list of the local churches that fall under those branches. This will take time, as you should really only visit one church per week, giving yourself time to digest what you’ve seen and heard and decide if it’s right for you.
Many churches have websites on which you can find an “about this church” page that will give you some of the information you need. That being said, don’t be afraid to approach current members of the church during your visit! They will likely be more than happy to tell you what they like about their place of worship.
Ask any questions you may have. What do normal church activities look like, do the members often participate in volunteer projects? Is there a strong sense of community between members?
You want a congregation who’s excited about their church and telling you why! If you find that the members are stiff and unapproachable, you may not have found the one.
Ask for Doctrinal Statements
After you’ve spoken with a few members of the church, meet with the church leader as well. Asking him or her for the church’s doctrinal statements is a crucial piece of your search.
Because even if the congregation is warm and welcoming and the service is uplifting and educational, if something the pastor says goes against one of the central tenets of Christianity, that church should be crossed off your list.
Perhaps the pastor implies that Jesus’ ascent to heaven was simply metaphorical, for instance. This goes against what makes a Christian church Christian. If something that goes against Christian doctrine is said, there will likely be more, so it’s best to continue your search.
Go to God for Advice
The last but most important step of all is to ask God for help. At the end of the day, this is a quest to begin or improve a relationship with Him, after all!
In your daily prayers, include questions about finding the place of worship in which you can best serve Him. Ask God for guidance and wisdom. Not only will God be able to assist you in finding the right church for you, but constant prayer will put you in the right mindset.
Choosing the Right Evangelical Church for You
As a person of faith, choosing an Evangelical church will be one of the most important decisions you ever make. Not only are you embarking on a new journey yourself, but you’re likely also bringing your family into a new faith.
By following these steps on your way to picking which denomination best suits you and your family, you will surely find peace and happiness with whatever you choose.
Remember, follow your own judgment and seek advice from others, but take this and any major life decision to God before making your final choice. He will give you the clarity you need!
Looking for more tips on creating a happier life for yourself and your loved ones? Be sure to check out our blog!