In 2010, we were expelled from a church we'd called home for over 10 years. At first, the very thought of going through another set of church doors was nothing short of nauseating. How could we trust another church after being burned by the very people who professed to love us like Christ does?
The months passed, and the children asked every Sunday if we could go to church. Any church. For a while, we attended the church of some close friends. This transient experience was necessary both for us to heal and to start a conversation about what a comfortable church home would look like to our family.
I imagine there are others out there facing the same questions. Here is the process we went through when selecting a new church home. It is our hope and prayer that our careful approach to finding a new church will protect our family in some measure from the mistakes and wounds of the past. So, here's how we did it:
- Make a list of necessities
- For us, this included the Gospel preached clearly and often; pastoral accountability; a grace-filled congregation where all were welcome; and a place that felt different enough from our last church that we weren't hit with a panic attack as soon as we walked in the door.
- We hoped to find a church that was egalitarian, had high quality children's programming through which the Gospel was proclaimed, showed musical excellence, and followed a traditional liturgical style of worship