Most of my life I never really had the need to pray for God to place me in the right church. Like most people, growing up I went to the church my parents attended and never really had a choice; not that I wanted to go somewhere else anyway
Then I moved to a different country for my studies and I happened to have a friend of the family who lived in the same city I was in. So I casually tagged along to the church she went to and settled there.
I was quite young and still coming to my own so I wasn’t necessarily bothered about choosing a right church. I had a very good first time impression by the church and didn’t even think a lot about it much less pray about it before deciding that was the place I’d settle in throughout the course of my studies. That was one of the best decisions I made though thank God.
Fast forward to four years later, I was done with my undergraduate studies and had made the decision to move. The move was a bit impromptu so I never really had the time to do enough research on the churches out there. Unlike before though I did know what I was looking out for in a church and was now very much aware the impact it would have on my faith should I get myself planted where the Lord didn’t lead me.
On moving there I searched the web for churches closest to my address and I came across this one church that caught my eye and decided to check it out. Again I had a very good first impression even though it was generally not what I was used to, I liked it.
Unlike before though I was more concerned now with making the right choice. Like I earlier highlighted I had no experience of actually seeking out a good church and I’m not necessarily a fan of church hopping. So I stuck with it for a few weeks and kept praying about it. At some point though, mostly because people asked, I decided to try out a different church. This other church was nice as well however I did find that my heart kept going back to the first church; so I continued with the latter.
With moving to a new city and all the hassle of settling in, the lack of assurance about the decision to fully commit to the church didn’t help matters. I was struggling. I finally decided to make a kind of prayer I usually don’t make mostly because I sometimes struggle with coincidences and God incidences; and I rarely had the faith to ask for something so precise from God.
I did though, I asked God to do something in a particular way at a particular time then I would know for sure whether or not it was His will. Few weeks later what I asked for had happened when I least expected it (I had forgotten about the prayer) and I only noticed when it was prompted in my heart and then I knew for sure that was the church I needed to be in.
Now there’s no direct formula on choosing a church, God is dynamic and works differently with different people. It just so happened the way it happened for me because God used it to grow my faith in him. For some it may take longer for you to really come to peace about where to worship and I think that’s okay.
I would say this though; there are basic pointers to look out for in a church. One of the main purpose of church is the opportunity to have true genuine life giving fellowship with other Christians not just on a group level but also on a personal level. So you need to check if there’s an opportunity for that. Another key thing is looking out for God; be it in the message, in the worship, in the people etc. and make sure you find the God/Jesus Christ you know and love. Try not to compare in bid to fault the church and given it is made up of human beings, there’s bound to be flaws.
One last thing, make sure to open your heart enough to allow God lead you to where he wants you to be (which may very well be different than what you’re used to) and believe that your Faith in him is just as important to him.
Love and blessings…