For years I prayed to find a church that would offer me a sense of community. I was desperate to find friends who would help spur me on in my walk with the Lord.
During this season of loneliness, I never could have imagined what God had in store for me. God’s greatest gift to me has been One Community. Since first attending church there and going to its young adult ministry, The Table, my life has been transformed.
Instead of feeling like I was alone in my battle against sin, I suddenly had all of these friends who were fighting right beside me. Seeing how hard they were chasing after the Lord has pushed me to chase just as hard.
In bible study my friends hold me accountable for being in the word on a daily basis. In discipleship my mentor encourages me to invite Jesus into every moment of my day. In church Duane, the pastor, instills me with new wisdom every Sunday to help me follow the path of the Lord.
Every time I even begin to be led astray or distracted by things of this world, it is my church that keeps me steady and helps me place my focus on things above. They offer me encouragement and have given me confidence in who I am as a child of God.
Now in my daily prayer time, instead of desperate pleas for finding fellowship, I pray in thanksgiving that the Lord blessed me with such an amazing community. I pray over the church, that it would continue to grow and reach out to people who are just as desperate for community as I was.
Benefits of Belonging to a Church
Surround yourself with encouragement: We should hold tightly to unity and not give up on meeting with other Christians. Our faith is beautifully expressed in how we love God and others in community.
Fellowship and do life together: Belonging to a church gives you an entire community of people who care about you. Who will walk alongside you in your journey of growing closer to God one step at a time, each day.
Serve God’s mission: Whatever your gifts are, you should use them to faithfully serve others. I think this is often done in churches committed to serving one another and seeking the lost.
Finding a Church
In Southern Missouri there are churches on every corner, and it can be hard to know which one is the right one for you. While I am definitely biased to my own church and would encourage anyone and everyone to come, I think it is important to simply belong to a church in general.
Many people argue that while looking for a church you should search for one that aligns with your own views and opinions. While this may be true to an extent, I think it is far more important to look for a church that is teaching directly from the Bible and not just telling you what you want to hear.
According to Hebrews 13:17 it is the job of church leaders to watch over the souls of their church members. This means a good church will not sugar coat the truths written out in the Bible and will help You walk the narrow path with Jesus.
Overall, there are many different things that can make a church right or wrong for you. Maybe you’re looking for a church with a great missions program, for a church with a lot of people your age, or for a church with a children’s ministry for your kids. Regardless of what you’re looking for I encourage you to keep an open mind.
And if you haven’t found the perfect church, I’ll let you in on a little secret, you aren’t going to find it. Every church is made up of broken people and while they may all be striving to know and love Jesus, we are all flawed.
So instead of searching for a perfect church, do your best to find a solid church that honors the Bible and the essential beliefs of Christianity. Pray for God’s guidance and ask Him to place you where He wants you.
Taking the First Step
To truly join a church you have to work up the courage to show up, go in, talk to people, and introduce yourself to friendly faces. All of these things require a lot of courage, but the majority of churches are always looking for new faces with hospitality teams ready to greet you and help you get acquainted.
Stepping outside your comfort zone can be a difficult step to take, but that one step can be the difference between loneliness and finding the community you long for.
P.S. If you ever need a church buddy to walk with through the doors that first time, hit me up! I love making new friends and I know it can feel very scary to walk into a building full of unfamiliar faces, but I promise in a good church community those faces will all be smiling right back at you.