My Dad and family are in the unenviable position of having to choose a church. They have just moved to Lanceshire UK after 10 years in Calgary Canada. On Sunday we found ourselves visiting “a church on their list” to try. On the way over I was pondering, well how on earth do you make a decision on which church you want to go to. What is it exactly, that makes a ‘good’ church? How much is personal preference, how much is biblical guidelines, does it really matter anyway, as long as you have a good time? Is it really possible to cross one off the list after only 1 visit? I figure there are a few things that everyone observes, and probably I guess everyone has their own priority list.
1) Worship. At least this is pretty high on my list. (type of songs, quality and style might be of interest)
2) Word. Teaching, how is it done, what level, how deep, how long!
3) Welcome. Did anyone talk to you? How friendly were folks?
4) Coffee. Another one for me. Maybe it is an interesting indicator of how much the church REALLY cares for its members. I like good coffee, don’t’ have much patience for cheap coffee.
5) Demographic. Are there people like me in this church?
6) The toilets. Often overlooked, but on Sunday the gents had an 8 x 6 bit of stainless steel behind the urinals. Not sure what it means, but it did strike me as odd!
7) Notice sheet and Mission notice board, give a good insight into church life and what happens during the week as well as the mission focus or lack their off, gives and indication of the churches focus.
8) Children’s ministry. WE have a 6 year old, so it features for us.
I am sure there are LOADS of other things, these are ‘Sunday morning’ church things, I mean, small groups would probably be on that list somewhere.
So in this craziness, how would you prioritise all the various stuff and pick a church? Bit like a marriage, there is going to be compromise involved. But what about the website? What about opportunities to serve in the Church.
AHHHH i’m glad I am not on the open market looking for a church! It does make me wonder abotu what impression does our chruch give to people who are visiting. I love the fact that we now start at 1000 wtih coffee and donuts, and nice coffee too!