It’s that time of year. Your mailbox is probably full of invites. Lawn signs are popping up all over the neighborhood. Each notification an invitation to attend a local church service for Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Let me quickly say that I absolutely support this movement. There are so many great churches. Honestly. Each one has so much to offer. The decision where to go can sometimes be overwhelming. Especially if you are considering where to put down roots as a family and call that church your “home.”

Several years ago I read one of the most important books I have ever read. It’s worn, torn, folded, underlined and sits where I can quickly grab it. It’s a book that is written by John Ortberg called “Everybody’s Normal Till You Get To Know Them.” Besides a wicked cool title, it’s a book that focuses on the fact that each of us were built and long for community. For each person, the word “community” may look different. In the context of church, I am convinced it is critical.

To experience community is to know the joy of belonging, the delight at being known and loved, the opportunity for giving and growing, the safety of finding a true home.

Wow. As I said earlier, there are so many great churches. Some offer small, intimate settings. Some offer big productions and loud music. Some have great children’s programs, teen programs and group studies. Many have all of the above. Most offer a “come as you are” policy and just about all of them have coffee on tap. Visiting each one offers some of this and some of that. Assuming all are bible based and theologically sound how is one to chose? What’s the baseline to start from?

Might I suggest the quote above from John Ortberg?

It is my experience that those who love their church and call it “home” will say something very close to what Mr. Ortberg said. This isn’t promoting one church or another. I’m also not knocking churches. I’m simply recommending using this as a possible way to help filter the many choices that exist. Once you’ve determined that they are theologically sound and bible based, begin to pray that God will order your steps to that church where…..

You experience the joy of belonging

You delight in being known and loved

You find the opportunity for giving and growing

It is then you will know you have found the safety of finding a true home.