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Langley, BC, Canada
I love to read. I love books. I like to talk about books and recommend them. I read everything including cereal boxes and junk mail! I heard once that if you're not reading at least 3 books at a time you're not reading enough! This blog will keep track of the books I've read and whether or not I liked them. It will be a little bit of everything from Christian fiction to Science fiction and fantasy. Feel free to participate by suggesting books to review and giving your comments. Occasionally I am given free books by Publishers in exchange for a review. I am not told how to review them or compensated in any way for the review.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Church Shopping

No, it’s not the title of a book I’m reading although I may write one about it one day. I’ve decided to do the occasional post about something other than books and today it’s about my quest to find a new church.

Some background. I grew up in the church. I was a Preacher’s Kid and generally was in church every Sunday, often 3 times a day especially when we lived on the Prairies. As an adult I’ve always been involved in church, I’ve done everything from leading a girls club to teaching Sunday School.

Almost 20 years ago I began attending a new church plant that was about 6 months old at the time. I got thoroughly involved and spent many years on the leadership team, I was treasurer and then the small group coordinator. As the church grew I eventually was on staff, part time as the Director of Adult Ministries. This role included small groups and working with newcomers. 7 years of working both a full time job and the church’s part time job finally took its toll and I quit the church job 2 years ago. At the time, I thought I would continue to attend that church but found it difficult to go back to being a “regular attender’ after being so involved in the leadership. That along with a move to a new city in March of this year has brought me to my current dilemma.

I need a new church.

This shouldn’t be that hard, right? Churches are basically the same; generally a group of people who love God and want to see their neighbors come to love Him as well. Trust me, this is the mission statement of every church I’ve visited. True they may have different methods and ways of accomplishing this in their neighborhoods but finding one that meshes with what I believe and want to see accomplished shouldn’t be that hard.

6 months of church shopping and I’m beginning to wonder if I will ever find it. I think I want the kind of love at first sight experience that I had 20 years ago with the small church plant. But like, marriage, I’m not sure that happens twice in a life time. Sitting by myself in a completely empty pew a couple of weeks ago with families all around me made wonder if I should call New Hope Church in Oahu my new church as I seem to enjoy being part of that worship service over the internet more than actually sitting in a church alone.

But I know that God calls us to community of real people, not an internet community. And I miss going to church every Sunday and I miss being involved in leadership. So I will keep looking. For the next few weeks I will visit a very large church in this area with a lot of opportunities for small groups and Bible Studies and see if I can get to know some people there.

Are you a church goer? Have you ever had to look for a new church? If you have some strategies to share please leave a comment..


  1. We have moved a lot so have had to 'church shop' a number of times. One strategy is to take one month to 'hop' - attend as many functions etc. as possible at your 'short list' of potention church homes. Tell people up front that this is what you're doing so that they don't get offended. of course, pray, pray, pray! it has been my experience that God always leads in some way before the month is up. sometimes it's more about getting fed (if you are in that particuoar place right now, its okay to attend a church purely for 'selfish' reasons) and sometimes its 'What can I offer this church'?

  2. Thanks Tracy, those are good suggestions. One of the problems I guess is that I've been shopping over the summer which appears to be dead time for churches! I really think this is a bad strategy although after being on staff of one I understand the need to have a break. But it seems to be key visiting time.