A Christian issue: how to choose a new church

Someone close to me is “church shopping” as they say. It’s a term I’ve heard a few times and it fit rather well with how our society has evolved.

churchEverybody wants choices today, and I say that without judgment. No longer do women want to forsake their career to raise a family. No longer do retirees face a limited life. No longer do young women seek immediate marriage.

It’s all about choices and that extends to church as well. My friend has tried three or four different churches so far and found pluses and minuses with each.

At one, the music was too modern and loud. At another, the congregation was largely older. At yet another, she didn’t connect with the pastor.

I’m sure the next church she attends will be a perfect fit. Or maybe not. But it does raise an interesting question: what do younger people look for in a church? And how do they choose?

No question it can be a difficult and personal process. Longtime Christian writer and editor Mary Fairchild offered 14 points to consider when looking for a new church.

I thought these four tips she includes at the end of her column are most helpful:

* Remember, there is no perfect church.

* Visit a church at least three times before making a decision either way.

* Don’t try to change a church. Most of them are set in their mission. There are so many different ones out there to choose from, it’s best to just find one that’s a good “fit” for you.

*Don’t give up. Keeping searching until you find the right church. Being in a good church is too important to neglect.

Are you are York County transplant? If so, what was important to you when choosing your church here?

About John Hilton

I grew up in Susquehanna County, Pa. and graduated Syracuse University with a dual degree in journalism/political science in 1998. After working for nearly three years for a weekly paper in upstate New York, I came to southcentral Pennsylvania. I spent 13 years as a reporter and editor for The Sentinel in Carlisle and joined the York Daily Record as religion reporter in September 2011.
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One Response to A Christian issue: how to choose a new church

  1. Sarah Chain says:

    I church hunted a bit when I moved to York, narrowing it down to a nondenominational one with folks my age. I tried three before settling on LCBC, where I now attend, but I think what made it feel like home was pushing myself to get involved — not to just walk in and expect to feel comfortable, but to make an effort to get connected outside of Sunday services. It can make a big church seem smaller.

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