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7 Ways to Get the Most out of a Church Experience

By June 12, 2011Christians, Church, God

This is a note to the church shopper, especially those who can’t seem to find a place to call home. You want to have a church family, but nothing seems to connect with you. You’ve tried every flavor of church, but none match your taste.

My desire would be that you learn to love your church experience. No church is perfect, but if you will follow a few tips, you may find exactly the right fit for your family. This is my best advice and the advice I would give you if we were meeting in person. Don’t give up looking for the right church until you’ve tried all of this process, because each step is necessary to achieve the best results:

If you are looking to connect with a church:

Attend – You have to make a decision that this church is part of your weekly routine. It needs to become a habit. I personally believe you should support the services the church offers in order to get the most benefit from the church. If the church meets on Sunday or Wednesday night you should support those services too as much as you can. Many of the inner workings of the church will most likely happen then. Our church limits the number of services per week, but attending regularly is the first step in connecting with a body of believers.

Commit – Decide this is your choice for a season. Stick with it long enough to form a habit of attending. You can break the habit easy if necessary…people do it everyday…but for now, unless you know the first week the church is not a fit for your family, if you’ve been a couple times and are still interested, try to stay committed for a long enough period to give the church a fair chance. Many churches experiences get “better” as you begin to see the church as your church.

Serve – Find a place to serve within the church. You’ll get to know the people involved and feel that you are a genuine part of the church. You’ll love a church more when you serve within that church.

Give – Become a financial investor in the church. If you believe in the mission, then be a part of funding it. You’ll grow to love the places where you invest your money.

Listen – Pay attention to the message then follow up with personal study or reflection. I suggest this regardless of whether you enjoy the style of the preacher or not. You chose the church and he or she worked to prepare a message. If you can’t be present in person listen online or by tape if that’s an option. Keep up with the teaching and know where the pastor is leading the church at the time.

Pray – Decide to pray regularly for the staff and church. God may surprise you with a deep love and appreciation for this church as you learn to pray for it.

Invite – Bring some friends along with you next time you attend. Invite your neighbors and family to join you. You’ll feel proud when someone you care about joins you at church and your love for the church will grow.

Have you ever had to look for a new church? How did you handle the process?

Bonus question: What is the first few things you look for in a church? What brings you back?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 17 Comments

  • I like how you said to stay committed to going to church. It’s easy to write something off after one try, and you want to avoid doing that. You’ll get a better feel for it if you go multiple times.

  • thanks for sharing.amazing post.

  • adebisi olaoye says:

    i enjoyed reading this blog and it blessed my heart. it really minister to me, but i have a question and that is if you will be able to answer it. the question is why do you limit the number of services per week.

    • ronedmondson says:

      Simply a matter of logistics. Every service takes a lot of manpower and there are only so many people to do them.ย  โ€”Sent from Mailbox for iPhone

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  • D. Gene Lakin says:

    Excellent introduction to Finding a good Church Experience. How true it is that you must give in order to receive. Give of your best then evaluate the rest: 1. Are you Christ Centered, and Bible Based?; Are you in His Kingdom, and not just A Fellowship?; 3. Are you into His Word, and Praying for His Will?; 4. Are your sins Forgiven and His Promise Received?; 5. Are you Alive and Growing, or just Living and Dying?; 6. Are you Reproducing after His Kind, and not Your Own?; 7. Are you Living Out the Church, and not just IN IT?. MAY CHIST IN YOU, BE YOUR HOPE OF GLORY!

  • Mrs. W. says:

    These are great thoughts. I would add just one; don't join immediately, especially if your last church experience was not good, and you are just tired of shopping.

    We had an unhappy exit from a church we had been committed to for years. It felt like a divorce to leave. In our grief, we thought a quick decision would make the pain quit hurting.

    It did not.

    It took us 3 1/2 years to figure out that we had made a bad decision. We kept trying to work harder to justify our original bad decision.

    Follow Pastor Ron's advice, but give yourself time to heal before actually joining the new church.

  • Rob Rash says:

    Great thoughts Ron. I'll be sure to pass them along!

  • Laurinda says:

    I'm convicted. I stopped looking a while ago and joined a church. It seemed pretty cool. I got involved and hated it. But I haven't left. I show up late, leave early when I attend. The original pastor left after 30 years and the new pastor is cool. They've been going through LOTS of changes and it's very unsure of it's identity. Most of the changes are good but there are growing pains. I just started looking again.

    I've been involved with 2 churches that had major scandals. One was 10 years ago, where the pastor was physically abusing his wife & kids & his extra-marital affairs. Church had just celebrated it's 25th anniversary. I had been a member for a little over 5 years. But I left before it all came out. I just knew his sermons were too angry and blaming us for all his issues. We didn't pray and that's why the deal on the new church building fell through. Yeah right.

    The last scandal was 5 years ago. I love that church. But it's amazing what you see when you get involved. It was a very controlling atmosphere and as much as I liked the the pastors teaching, he had the air of a street hustler. I left and 2 months later I saw the pastor on the 5 o'clock news in hand cuffs (some kind of ponzi scheme).

    Needless to say, I really look at the head pastor. Does he/she have common sense? Does he sacrifice his family for what he calls "the work of God?" Does he have good business sense? If not does someone on his staff have good business sense?

    I've always felt that God honored all my giving (money , time) and commitments in the churches. But it's still not a good feeling to have been in leadership in a church that in the end hurt a lot of people.

    • ronedmondson says:

      Wow! that's awesome to share yourself in such honesty. Thank you Laurinda!

  • Becky

    The first thing I look for in a church is their website. If they have no website, or a poor one that doesn't draw me or give me much information I'm very unlikely to attend unless I know someone there personally and they draw me in that way.

    I might ask, "do I feel welcome here, are these people friendly, or do they ignore visitors and no one notices you are there?"

    What they offer for the kids, youth, and my age group, their style of worship and what they believe or teach is also important.

    First impressions are huge to me, but like you also said sometimes we have to come back several times and try to become a part before we like give them a chance. In my opinion first impressions are everything. Get them there, make them feel a good job with first impressions, and then everything you said!