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How to Stay Motivated When Looking for a New Church

How to Stay Motivated When Looking for a New Church

Everyone needs to be in community. Hebrews 10:25 says, “Do not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but all the more as we see the day approaching.” Yet sometimes, a change in churches is needed due to theological error or a church split.

However, the process of finding a church can be downright daunting. How do you know how to choose the church that is right for you? Here are 10 ways to stay motivated while you embark on your search for the right church:

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  • Set Goals

    Set Goals

    Where do you want to be spiritually in one year or five years? All Fortune 500 companies set goals of where they want to see their businesses in terms of growth within the coming years. While you are looking for a place to connect, set spiritual goals for yourself.

    Spiritual goals can take many forms. Much like setting goals to lose weight or save money, you must be as specific as possible. “I want to grow in my faith” is nice, but how will you do that? Instead, say, “I want to increase my Bible knowledge by studying one chapter of Scripture five days a week.” This will help you have something to look forward to when the church search gets too daunting. 

    Everyone needs to be in community. However, the process of finding a church can be downright daunting. Here are 10 ways to stay motivated while you embark on your search for the right church:

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  • Renew Your Mind

    Renew Your Mind

    As you visit churches, your mind may default to thoughts such as, “I’ll never find a good church” or “Maybe I should just quit altogether.” Satan wants nothing more than to see Christians stop living in fellowship with each other. This gives ample opportunity for Satan to plant more fears, doubts, and derogatory thoughts about the churches you attend.

    Instead, renew your mind by reciting positive statements. This is your best weapon against Satan’s schemes. Instead of thinking, “I’ll never find a good church,” repeat to yourself, “I want to take as much time as necessary to find a church where I can worship for a long time.” Reminding yourself why church attendance is important will help encourage you when you tire of church shopping. 

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  • Feed Yourself

    Feed Yourself

    Although church attendance should be an essential element of any growing Christian’s spiritual life, it is equally important to feed yourself with the Word the other six days of the week. If you are waiting to worship on Sunday, you’ve waited too long. In this technological age, good worship songs are easily accessible.

    Make a point to prime yourself for Sunday worship by taking time to worship Monday through Saturday. Other important disciplines are studying the word of God, prayer, silence, and solitude. You can even go the extra mile and commit to fasting, journaling, or other disciplines. Staying fed will help keep you nourished when the long time away from church can leave you starved. 

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  • Stay Connected to a Community

    Stay Connected to a Community

    Although you may no longer be able to keep in touch with the members of the church you are leaving, surround yourself with other Christians outside of your church who can pray for you during this important transition. Seek advice from those seasoned in the word of God so they can give you wise counsel regarding churches in the area that might be a good fit.

    Furthermore, you will want to still be in community with those who can keep you accountable regarding sin and make sure you are not attending a new church for the wrong reasons. Community helps keep you from going astray in your thought life and will maintain stability in a time when you feel you are alone in your search. 

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  • Assemble an Online Prayer Team

    Assemble an Online Prayer Team

    Not only are friends that you see on a weekly basis important, but also social media which gives you access to people you may have never met in person. They can serve as a great team to pray and to encourage you when you are discouraged during your search.

    Post on your feed or tweet that you are looking for people to pray for you consistently. Ask them for their email addresses and send out weekly emails with your prayer requests. To pay it forward, ask them for their requests too.

    Just because you have not met someone in person doesn’t mean you can’t be a source of prayer or encouragement to someone in need. And they may, in turn, be the same for you. Just as Moses had Aaron and Hur to hold up his hands when he was weary during battle, having people praying for you will uplift your soul when you become weary from being out of fellowship. 

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  • Avoid the Trap of Comparison

    Avoid the Trap of Comparison

    Not everyone who leaves a church is doing so because they are disgruntled. Sometimes, seeking a new church is due to a sudden move or life transition. This can be especially hard if you were really attached to your old church or have attended there for a long time.

    It may be easy to compare the new churches to your old one. If you are still stuck on your old church, you may find the new churches don’t measure up. You may find yourself criticizing the worship or not getting as much out of the sermons because the new pastor doesn’t have the same style as your other pastor.

    Even the disciples got caught up in the trap of comparison. Peter asked, “What about him?” in reference to John after Jesus told Peter he was going to be martyred for the faith.

    Resist that temptation. Your attitude about church will affect how you view the churches you visit. Vow to stay in touch with your friends from your old church and give the new churches a chance. Each church is its own individual entity and should be treated as such. 

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  • Watch Church Online

    Watch Church Online

    In this technological world, it is easier than ever to access church from just about anywhere in the world. While you are visiting the local church body, feed yourself with other sermons you can find online. Depending on your theological stance, you can choose charismatic congregations or more conservative. Whatever your flavor, you can still hear a good word on a Sunday in between visits.

    One word of caution: because we are so individualistic, it would be easy to use an online church as a substitute for real fellowship. No matter how easy it is to access, it will never take the place of the real thing. Additionally, you can’t use your spiritual gifts sitting at home. Use online services as a supplement to your local church, not a substitute. 

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  • Analyze Your Heart

    Analyze Your Heart

    Before finding a new church, it is important to establish why you are leaving your old one. If you don’t resolve your issues and any conflict, you will just carry your spiritual baggage to your new church.

    If you are leaving a church due to conflict, whether with a pastor or church member, you need to do your part to resolve it. First, go to God with your problems. Let him reveal anything in your heart that may be in error that is fueling your departure. Resolve it, asking God for his forgiveness. Make sure your heart is right with God before proceeding. 

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  • Consider Your Family's Spiritual Health

    Consider Your Family's Spiritual Health

    While searching, your family’s spiritual health might flounder. Initiate family devotion time at home to keep them anchored in the Word. Church isn’t just about meeting your needs; you do have an obligation to nurture your kids’ spirituality.

    Use your time wisely: take a spiritual gifts test and score it together. Consider it an adventure to find out new things about your kids. 

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  • Remember you are not alone

    Remember you are not alone

    No matter how long the process takes or how frustrated you get, know this: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God (Isaiah 41:10).” God is with you no matter what. He has had your life in his hands from the moment you were born.

    He knew you would leave your church and he knows which one you will choose next. There is no need to fret about which one to choose. God will guide and direct you, if only you will ask him.

    Finding a church is not easy. You may be tempted to quit searching altogether, opting to watch church on television. But forging ahead in your spiritual life alone is not God’s will. Persevere, and God will help you find the place that is perfect for you: a church that lets you serve as you grow in him. 

    Michelle S. Lazurek is a multi-genre award-winning author, speaker, pastor's wife and mother. She is a regular contributor for ibelieve.com and crosswalk.com and is a movie reviewer for Movieguide Magazine. She also is a literary agent for Wordwise Media Services. When not working, she enjoys sipping a Starbucks latte, collecting 80s memorabilia and spending time with her family and her crazy dog, Cookie. For more info, please visit her website www.michellelazurek.com.

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