Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 20 of 56 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
445 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, this might seem like a silly question, but I truly don't know how to do this! My mom was in assisted living/nursing home for about 8 years, she passed in April :-(. While she was there, though, I attended the church service with her at the nursing home every Sunday--the pastoral duties were rotated among the various churches in town, so it was non-denominational, kind of (i.e., when a Catholic was in charge, it was a Catholic service, and when a Baptist was in charge, it was more geared towards Baptists, but kind of generalized for all). Prior to this, I did not have a "church home" in town as I had not been attending for a few years.

Now, my mom is gone and although I think about going back to the church service at the nursing home, it's just too painful still. But I have come to the time in my life when I want/need a "church home". I think I have found a small church in the next town over that I would like to join. But I'm not sure how to go about it. Do I just show up for Sunday services as if I'd been going all along? Do I call the pastor and say "I'm interested...."? How have you done this in the past? Right now it's this petty "fear" that is keeping me from going on Sundays--in a small town, I don't want to be the talk of the congregation for not going about things in the expected way. (I know it's petty and if the congregation is that small minded, etc....), but I'm anxious in my heart about it no matter what my brain knows.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
512 Posts
You should be able to just show up for service without calling ahead. Most churches publish their service schedules in the newspaper, so I'd take that as an open invitation. You can then decide after a service or five whether this church will be a good fit for you, and proceed from there.

You may feel like a fish in a bowl the first time or two, or conversely like the invisible man, try not to take it personally. Some folks are just so thrilled to see a new face at church that they can't contain themselves (and some are just plain busybodies), others prefer to give a new person breathing space (or are just naturally reserved).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,862 Posts
Just go ! I went church shopping you will know when you find the right place for you. It just feels right. No calling just know the right time for service or sunday school, first one i went to I thought sunday school was allways the first thing then church service, so I sat though sunday school adults, that was a bit uncomfortable so I would recommend doing the more impersonal church service then if you feel like you fit do to sunday school adult thingie.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
980 Posts
Whenever my family and I have moved to a new place, we had to "church shop". My wife and I would look for churches in the denomination that we are, and would attend service at each one. After attending the various churches, we would then make a "short list" and attend those churches again. It sometimes takes a month or two but that is how we go about it.

Now if you are in a small town, there may be only a handful of churches and all may be of different denominations. Then my suggestion is to attend each one and see which one(s) you like.

Not sure if this helps or not. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
Look them up online to see if their philosophy fits yours. We found a new church a year and a half ago... it only took us 2 tries. Knowing their basic beliefs will keep you from walking into something you know nothing of!!
You're feeling the tug by the Holy Spirit. It's good that you are heeding that call... as time is getting VERY short now until we are called to heaven!

God Bless You!
Debbie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,205 Posts
If you really want to get a feel for a church, show up dressed down and see how they treat you. If they shun you, start talking about you, etc that's not a church you want to attend. But, if they welcome you w/open arms, and have the same beliefs that you do, it just might be the church you're looking for.

When I started going to my present church, I showed up for an evening service dressed down and on my motorcycle. No one raised an eyebrow. I visited a few times on a Sunday evening and liked what I was seeing, so I went on a Sunday morning. Liked what I saw. They had a Thursday morning Bible study, so I went to that and liked it. I didn't let on for awhile that I knew anything about the Bible cuz I wanted to see how I was treated.

After attending the Bible study, I made my decision. This church was what I was looking for. I was unhappy where I was going, and dreaded Sundays cuz I didn't want to go to church but had things that I did there. So, I let the old church know that I was leaving in a couple of months and have been attending the new church since. I love it there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,830 Posts
If you really want to get a feel for a church, show up dressed down and see how they treat you. If they shun you, start talking about you, etc that's not a church you want to attend. But, if they welcome you w/open arms, and have the same beliefs that you do, it just might be the church you're looking for.

When I started going to my present church, I showed up for an evening service dressed down and on my motorcycle. No one raised an eyebrow. I visited a few times on a Sunday evening and liked what I was seeing, so I went on a Sunday morning. Liked what I saw. They had a Thursday morning Bible study, so I went to that and liked it. I didn't let on for awhile that I knew anything about the Bible cuz I wanted to see how I was treated.

After attending the Bible study, I made my decision. This church was what I was looking for. I was unhappy where I was going, and dreaded Sundays cuz I didn't want to go to church but had things that I did there. So, I let the old church know that I was leaving in a couple of months and have been attending the new church since. I love it there.
At our Church most wear jeans and regular shirts be hard to dress down there .:angel: We don't care how you get there just so you do . All are made welcome .Small country church under 40 most times .Come early if you want a back seat :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,916 Posts
Try it out - you can sit in the back. Ease in slowly. Try not to worry about what others think, but I know it's important to feel comfortable and accepted. :)

You'll know you're finally *home* when during the week going about your chores you find yourself humming hymns and looking forward to Sunday.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,916 Posts
At our Church most wear jeans and regular shirts be hard to dress down there .:angel: We don't care how you get there just so you do . All are made welcome .Small country church under 40 most times .Come early if you want a back seat :D
That's so funny you mention that as when we were living in TN and looking for a church home, all the ladies were wearing fancy hats and the men were in suits. This was in 1995 so maybe times have changed...or we were looking in the wrong area! We stuck out like sore thumbs..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,830 Posts
That's so funny you mention that as when we were living in TN and looking for a church home, all the ladies were wearing fancy hats and the men were in suits. This was in 1995 so maybe times have changed...or we were looking in the wrong area! We stuck out like sore thumbs..
I think in those years people always dressed in their Sunday finest :angel:Lots of folks I knew did to, most men around here only owned one suit and Sunday was the only day they had to show it off other than funerals or weddings . Me I wear what the wife lays out for me and an't afraid to admit it.Not even sure I have a suit if I do it is one someone gave me :grin:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,714 Posts
As a pastor's wife, here is what I would recommend:

* Visit the church's website. Many churches don't have a good website but if they have anything decent, you can get a feel for the place, their beliefs, their staff and that sort of thing.

* Attend services. No need to call ahead - we have people coming in blindly regularly and we welcome them with open arms. :) See if this is a place where you feel that you can attend and make this maybe your more permanent church home. There is no need to rush to membership and oftentimes, people attend churches for years without being members. Membership is great but make sure this is your church home before you do that.

* If you want, speak to the pastor after the service and introduce yourself. Go ahead and fill out the visitor's card although some churches use that as a way to begin to hound you. We use it as a way to contact everyone in case of any issues (bad weather, problem with the church facility, etc.) and we will only call if you indicate you would like a phone call.

* If you seem to be liking the church, begin to attend some of their other activities. This is where you really begin to get to know people.

I really hope this helps and I hope you are able to go soon and find yourself a special church to be a part of. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,916 Posts
As someone who's moved around a lot, we kind of do it stealth mode..usually can tell pretty early on if it's a place we care to go back to. I've learned not to leave any personal info until we're 100% committed. We're now at a church we love and have been attending for 4 years.

I once had a pastor show up on my doorstep unannounced - it was a church we had visited one time and left only our name and street. He had knocked around, I later found out. That sure didn't sit right with me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,205 Posts
Sawmill Jim, people wear all different kinds of outfits where I attend. Everything from nice suits or dresses to shorts and a t-shirt. And we're a small country church as well w/less than 40 people. I cannot imagine any other church that I've ever attended having the minister start his message by talking about butchering chickens as a lead in to his sermon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
It sounds as if your mother raised you with a church in your life. I am
no one to follow but we did somewhat the same and went back to our
faith we were raised with. As for as what to were we were taught that
you wear the best God has provided you because that is what He did
for me He gave his only Son.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
671 Posts
I am on the opposite side of the dressing up issue. In my mind, going to church is a formal event where reverence should be shown for God and His institution on Earth. The church I attend is full formal. Everyone wears full suits year round. I think of it this way: When you go to a wedding, you dress up because two people are making an exceptionally important promise. When you're at church taking the sacrament/communion you're renewing an equally important promise each week. To dress down seems to me to be treating it as a lesser event, which I would argue it is not. When people show up to my church dressed down, we welcome them with open arms. They generally realize that there is a more appropriate way to dress and change their attire accordingly for the second visit without us ever having to say anything. It's awkward being the only one in jeans and a t-shirt when everyone around you is dressed in 2 and 3 piece suits ;)

I recommend just showing up and playing it by ear. Different churches all have very different styles. Any recommendation that we give you isn't really going to help because you have to decide where the best place is. I'll still offer my advice though: Consider how large a part of your life you want your church to be. Christian churches do have varying levels of intensity. Some require a much larger commitment than others. The one I am a member of is on the intense end of the spectrum, meaning that being a member is like having a 15-20 hour a week part time job. It's a daily part of my life and I have significant responsibilities to fulfill and people would notice if I failed to carry them out. There are other churches where you can get by just showing up for Sunday services and popping in to a church picnic once in a while. Definitely factor the intensity that you're looking for into your decision about where to attend.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,092 Posts
Matthew 18:20 -
“For where two or three have
gathered together in My name,
I am there in their midst.”

Above all else, remember this: 'Church' isn't a building; it's people!

And Christianity isn't a religion; It's a relationship.
 

·
de oppresso liber
Joined
·
16,876 Posts
Best thing I can tell you is to think of finding a church like finding a spouse. You don't (or at least shouldn't) get married after a couple of months of going together therefore don't go joining a church just because you have been going there for a few months. It takes time to really see how the church is ran and if it is truly following God's word or some man's version of it.
 

·
Very Dairy
Joined
·
14,609 Posts
If you really want to get a feel for a church, show up dressed down and see how they treat you.
Ha,,, I was thinking something along the same lines ... show up looking (and smelling) like a homeless person, and see what kind of reception you get. That should tell you everything you need to know. :pound:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,916 Posts
v-nh, I wonder how many people simply do not come back after a first visit? I would venture to guess there are others like me who simply do not have fancy clothes. I just have no need for them working from home and attend no formal events. I have been to a few churches over the years where clothing seemed to be nothing more than an outward show of wealth (not meaning yours- just speaking in general terms here). Those were the churches we did not return to. I want a church to accept my insides, not my outsides. :)
 
1 - 20 of 56 Posts
Top