Feb 6

Wisdom for Moving and Finding a Church

2015 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Resources

As a church in a city like Albuquerque we have the blessing of fellowship with believers who have relocated here from around the country. This also means we say goodbye to people from time to time who relocate elsewhere.

If the time comes for you or someone you know to move, hopefully the question of finding a church comes up right away.

In his article, “Two Factors to Consider Before You Move,” Deepak Reju offers these two points of counsel:

1. If you are considering moving, make sure there is a good church in your new location before you make the final decision to move.

If the local church is one of the key sources for your spiritual growth (Eph. 3:10; 4:11-13; Heb. 10:24-25), why would you take a risk and go some place without knowing first if there would be a good church near you?

Don’t make your decision to move based solely on criteria like:

  • This new job will be good for your career.
  • Education will give you better job prospects in the future.
  • You’re dissatisfied with your current job so you need to move on to somewhere else.
  • You’ve outgrown your current house, so you want to move to a bigger one.
  • You want a bigger home just because you can afford it.
  • You are about to start having kids and want to move closer to your family.
  • You would rather live in a city or the country or where the pace of life is different.

2. Consider, at some point in your life, committing to a church long-term.

If you’ve found a church where you are growing spiritually, then you’ve found a good thing. Why give it up? If you stay in your church over the long-term, you have the benefit of:

  • Getting to know the leadership of the church much better and allowing them to get to know you.
  • Getting to know the local community better (which will help your evangelism).
  • Sitting consistently under preaching that is benefiting you spiritually.
  • Building a kind of depth to relationships, which you achieve over 10 or 20 (or even 30) years that you don’t get if you move every 5 years.
  • Being known by others who have had the chance to see your needs, challenges, and sin patterns over time, which in turn enables them to speak meaningfully into your life and care for you in a way that those you just met couldn’t.
  • Earning trust among leaders in the church so that you might be assigned various responsibilities.
  • Earning trust among leaders and others generally that you might be speak into their lives in significant ways.
  • Having the opportunity to minister to the children of others as they grow from infancy to adolescence to adulthood, and having the ability to help form in those children’s minds a model of godly adulthood.
  • Building greater unity within the church by growing up with the church.
  • Providing a kind of stability in the church by staying and giving an example of commitment through thick and thin.
  • Being sanctified through being at the same church during different seasons . . .
  • Witnessing long-term spiritual growth—what it is like for God to make people more like himself over decades.

If in God’s providence and for good reasons you are headed to a new place, check out the TGC Church Directory, the 9Marks Church Search, or the Acts 29 Church Finder. There are other networks and ways to find a fine church, but these are three that we recommend regularly.

Finally, here are four things to look for when you’re getting to know a church either through a visit in person or to their website:

  • What do they believe? This is available on most church sites or at an information counter.
  • What’s their diet? Check out their sermon archive to see if they preach topically or through books of the Bible in an expository fashion.
  • How are they led? Are they led by biblical qualified elders/pastors?
  • What’s important to them? This takes some perceptivity, but, for example, are they engaged in the spread of the gospel locally and abroad?

You won’t find a perfect church in DSC, and you won’t find one anywhere else. Each church will have its areas of strength and it’s areas of needed growth. In the Lord’s wisdom, every Christian and every local gathering is a work of his grace in process. But perhaps these links and counsel will help you find a good fit if and when it comes time to move.

If leaving DSC is hard, then you’ve done it right. That says as much about God’s grace to commit you to this church as it does the body you’ve grown to love. Wherever you land, involve yourself with that same love and commitment.