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August 21, 2018

Church Hunting Tips for Millennials.

     If I had to give someone my age or a little bit younger than me (either a guy or a girl) three tidbits of life advice, these are the things I'd tell someone. 1.) Always keep $1000 in an emergency savings account, 2.) Don't be afraid to take a job in a new city or state, and finally 3.) Become involved with a church. In today's blog post, we're going to talk all about that third item!! The last time that I wrote specifically about church hunting on the blog was last spring, shortly after I moved to Vermont. That was more of a personal post about my own church hunting experience in Vermont. I've also written a previous blog post about why I think church attendance and community is important (especially for millennials). So in today's post, we're going to talk about the how-to's: how to find a church, and how to get involved in one!


    For a bit of background with myself and church hopping/hunting, I grew up attending three different churches over the years back home in Maine. My parents and I went to one from when I was a baby until I was seven or eight years old. My mom and I then started attending a larger non-denominational church in a neighboring town, and we went there for five years. I became involved in the middle school youth group in 6th and 7th grade, and this is the church that I consider to have found Jesus at. We then started attending a smaller church closer to where we lived when I was in 8th grade, in the Advent denomination (different from 7th Day Adventist!). lMy dad still plays in the worship team at this church, and it's the one I go to when I'm home in Maine.


     I had already had experience switching churches from growing up, so I wasn't too scared to find a church when I moved out of state as college freshman. I've now done church hunting on my own four times! First in the small town that my first university was at, next in Charlotte when I transferred colleges, third when I moved to Vermont for my first job, and finally, here in Virginia! I'm not sure if this is just a weird coincidence or a "God Thing," but each time that I've church hunted in these four different places, the third church I visited was "the one." Two of the churches I've gone to have been Baptist, and two non-denominational (currently at a non-denominational one now).



     Maybe you're new to faith and haven't found a home yet, or maybe you've been going to your family's church for decades but are ready for something new. Maybe you just moved out of state and have to church hunt for the first time! Either way, I'm so excited to share these tips and thoughts with y'all today:


Church Hunting Tips for 20 Somethings


{Photo from my trip to Italy in Spring 2017!}



     "Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is apart of it." -1 Corinthians 12:27 NIV (read verses 12-31 from this chapter)


     "So Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up." -Ephesians 4:11-12




     Things to Look For in a Church Home:



  • Other millennial aged people attending the services: There is so much more to church than just attending services on Sundays. Making friendships, getting involved in different ministries, and just being apart of the church family is crucial. Speaking as a single young woman, I'd find it very hard to be enthusiastic about continuing to go to a church if there wasn't anyone else near my age or in the same stage of life there. I think the best churches are diverse churches: with members being both diverse in ethnicity and life background, but also in ages. It's wonderful to see a vibrant church filled with everyone from babies to the elderly! A nice mix of a families, married couples, and singles. However, it could definitely be hard to feel really connected at a church if the majority of members are all much older (or younger) than you. In past circumstances when I've church hunted, I've found some that have thriving children's and youth ministries, but nothing going on for single adults, and few attending the services. The good news is that there are many churches all over the country with a high rate of millennials attending- you just have to find one of those! 

  • A friendly congregation: With both my church in Vermont and the church I attend now in Virginia, on the first day that I visited I met girls that ended up becoming my close friends. Both totally by chance- I was seated randomly near a girl who was friendly enough to say hi to me! I will admit that I'm not always the best at spotting new people in church after I've settled into attending one- it's so easy to just get caught up in the familiarity each Sunday. But I am trying to be better about that! One friendly face and hello could totally change someone's perspective on visiting a church- it definitely has for me.

  • Bible based preaching: I truly do think it's wonderful that there are so many denominations of church. Some people prefer to worship one way, some prefer a certain type of preaching, some prefer more ritual, etc. I really do believe that there is a type of church for everyone! 😊But with that said- when you're checking out a church, no matter the denomination, make sure that the preaching and messages given are truly bible based. There is unfortunately a trend right now, especially in some evangelical mega-churches, to preach a "prosperity gospel" (more on that in this article!). If the messages coming from the pastor or other church leaders sound "too good to be true", they probably are. On the opposite note- if a church is preaching or promoting anything that is too legalistic / traditional and makes you feel uncomfortable, that's not a good sign either. Find a church that sticks to the bible, but in a welcoming and loving way! 

  • Lots of ministries: You don't just want to go to church, you want to be the church! It is wonderful to find a church with both lots of internal ministries (ways to serve in the church body directly), and also external ministries in the local community, country, and world! Different people have different spiritual gifts, so the same ministry won't appeal to everyone. But that's the beauty of it! Examples of ministries to get involved with would be hospitality, children's, youth, outreach, administrative, media, and so many more! I was on the hospitality team at my church in Vermont for a few months of my time there, and this summer I have been praying about finding a new ministry to get involved with in my church here in Virginia. It's also great to find a church that participates in service projects or local missions to the nearby community, and that supports foreign charities or missionaries as well!

  • A wide array of small groups: It is so important to make some close friends in your church community! Not everyone who goes to your church will be your best friend (that would just be weird!), but at the same time, church is a family and you should have people within that family that you're close to! Look for a church that has a wide array of small groups or bible studies to join. I've been in a small group at three out of the four churches that I've attending since moving out of state, and all of those groups have been such blessings to me! I've been in both all female and co-ed groups- both have their strengths and weaknesses. Ideally find a church that offers both for your age group and see what you prefer! 


     Both big churches and small churches can have the four things that I listed above! I went from attending a mega church in Charlotte to a very small church in Vermont, and I still felt at home spiritually in both. I would absolutely love to hear your story in the comments about church hunting and how it's played into your faith journey! Have you found a church home as an adult? Still searching for one? 




     God Bless,



      xoxo Annaliese 
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13 comments

  1. Awww I love this post! I am not a big church go-er myself but a lot of my friends have been struggling to find their church home and this post would be perfect for them!

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  2. These are such great tips, Annaliese! I haven't gone to church regularly in about 10 years, but my church community was a massive part of my childhood. I went to the same church from when I was an infant to around 21 when I moved away from home. You make a great point when you say to look for other millennials -- the community there is important!

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  3. I recently started going to this new small group for college students in my area and I really have fallen in love. I am so excited to dive more into it and meet new friends. Having a good christian community truly brings so much good into your life. Loved this post and sharing with my friends!

    <3 Theresa Ann
    www.blessedbrilliantbeautiful.com

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  4. These tips are wonderful thank you! I am moving to a new town in a few days and will need to church hunt again. These are great things to keep in mind!

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  5. going to church is not my strongest quality - this was super helpful! i'm always afraid of joining anything new!

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  6. This was interesting to read! I'm not religious but my family is and my parents recently moved to South Carolina for retirement. I know they're not millennials but I know my mom's been struggling to find a new church. I should email this to her!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

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  7. Church can be such a great way to connect with your new community! Glad you found a church in Virginia to plug into. Leaving a good church can be one of the worst parts of moving :)

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  8. This is such a great post! Church-hunting is *so* tough, but so, so worth it! I definitely echo the sentiment about small groups. Andy and I joined a small group back in January and it honestly has changed my life!

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  9. This is such a great guide! I plan on moving next year and I am so concerned about finding a church home since I love my current one so much.

    -xo, Azanique | www.lotsofsass.com

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  10. I love this so much. Finding the right church fit can be a struggle. Almost like find a spouse. I'm moving abroad this fall and one of my biggest worries is finding a church I'll feel comfortable in.

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  11. These are some really good tips! Finding your church home can be a little hard especialyl when moving to a new place!

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  12. great tips! I remember moving to a new city and looking for a church home. I liked that there were tons of people my age and that the teaching was Biblically sound.

    www.iriechic.com

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