How to Find a Church
Dr. James Emery WhiteJames Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina; President of Serious Times, a ministry which explores the intersection of faith and culture (www.serioustimes.org); and ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture on the Charlotte campus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Dr. White holds the B.S., M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees, along with additional work at Vanderbilt University and Oxford University. He is the author of over a dozen books.
- 2019 May 02
Another one came this week. We often get emails from current attenders of our church who are moving out of the area, and want to know if we can recommend a church like ours where they are moving.
Here’s what the latest one said that was sent in to one of the members of our staff:
I hope you are having a great week. We spoke briefly on Sunday about a possible church recommendation from Meck for something in [our new city]. [We] love Meck so much, it’s one of the things we will miss the most when we move this summer. [We] are always talking about how much we will miss Meck… We intend to visit frequently but will also need something in [our new city]. If by chance someone on staff knows of a church in the same vein as Meck we would appreciate that input a great deal. Thanks a bunch and have a wonderful day.
The staffer on the receiving end queried a few folks if they knew of any churches in that area. I loved how another person on our staff responded:
I don't know of a great way to find one other than an internet search. I found this listing when I did a Google search that's Yelps 10 Best Churches…
What I would tell them to do is to use the internet search to find a listing, and then do the following:
1. Checkout their website to see what they can find out about them, particularly their doctrinal statement or anything describing their mission, vision and values. If they have sermons online that they can listen to, listen to several of them to see if they like the pastor's speaking style, and feel that what he's talking about is biblically sound.
2. Visit their Facebook/Twitter/Instagram pages - this will give them a sense of the things that they do and post about, and a general idea about the size of the church based on the number of people following.
3. In person visits. As they move down then check them out in person. They know what Meck is like and should be able to see if they are a welcoming/friendly church and will get the best feel for it once they're there.
That's my best advice for them. I hope that helps!
That’s pretty sound. Check out a church in terms of doctrine, mission, vision, values. Listen to talks online. Check out social media feeds. And then, if/when you visit, check it out in terms of friendliness/community.
P.S. If moving to Charlotte, just come to Meck. :)
James Emery White
About the Author
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His latest book, Meet Generation Z: Understanding and Reaching the New Post-Christian World, is available on Amazon. To enjoy a free subscription to the Church & Culture blog, visitChurchAndCulture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.