Finding the perfect church is similar to finding the perfect place to live. In a church, you want to feel comfortable, like you’re apart of something much larger than yourself. Unfortunately, there are many churches out there that don’t welcome new people, and that don’t value their place as the center of a specific company. To be fair, there are hundreds upon hundreds of churches out there that do. Finding the right church is important, because it is the place where you will be getting in touch with your spirituality, so it’s crucial you feel comfortable in the church. Here are the top five things to look for in a church.
1. Community. This is perhaps the most important thing to look for in churches, and it’s two-fold. First, you should find a church that looks to create a sense of community with the people that attend it. This type of church will look to organize events for church members, with the purpose of bringing them closer together. Churches that hold frequent pot lucks and charity fundraisers typically are churches that value building the community within the church. Community also means valuing the community they are apart of. Look for churches that give back to the community they are in, and that try to build a safer, more loving community for everyone to live in.
2. Multiple Ministries. Also, look for a church that offers multiple ministries, e.g. for children, women, men, students and more. Churches that offer multiple ministries are really trying to connect with each type of person in their church. It shows that they really care about your spiritual development.
3. Charitable Giving. Third, you should be sure to choose a church that values charitable giving. In the world today, there are many people that are simply better off than those around them. It is important for people to realize this and to help their fellow person where they can. Churches that look to donate some of their offerings to local charities and organizations are churches that care about everyone.
4. Openness. The fourth thing to look for is openness. The church you choose should welcome you into their church with open arms. These churches are easy to identify. When you attend, there will be multiple people introducing themselves to you and asking you questions about you and your family. Be sure to select a church that does this, as you will always feel welcome there.
5. Engagement. The last thing to look for in a church is engagement. This means they are actively trying to engage you critically in aspects of the Christian faith. Churches that hold readings of the Bible for adults and such are typically churches looking to engage their members.
One Santa Monica church that fits all five of these traits is Calvary Church of Pacific Palisades. They value engagement, they are incredibly open, they understand the importance of charitable giving, they have ministries dedicated to each group of person within their church, and they value their community and the larger community they are apart of.