3 Reasons the church you're going to doesn't feel like home

I have tried my fair share of churches in the few years that I've been away from my growing up church. When Andrew and I got married we were SUPER inconsistent church goers. We started just going to my parents's church. We quickly tired of the 30+ minute drive when our first baby came along and chose to try to find somewhere new to go.

Most often Andrew worked Sundays. All of them. If he didn't, it was unusual and we just didn't want to have to leave the house and use half of our day going somewhere that we just didn't connect with.

While Andrew was off at basic training I went to a local church in New Richmond and I had a really hard time feeling like I belonged there. I was rebuked by a friend for not reaching out well enough but in all reality, that was not my problem.

The church that I was attending was good at connecting with people that had a connection there already. It was hard to make a connection because everyone had their place there already. Reason 1 that your church may not feel like home. It's super hard to feel at home when you aren't being welcomed. Sure, the pastor is welcoming from up front and he has great things to say and people smile in your general direction but when you already feel like an outcast, you have no active connection to your faith that still exists but needs some fostering, if you don't have someone serving you in the hospitality part of church - it can be painful to go. And that's where I was at.

I kept trying to make that church home and while Andrew was at basic I even joined a Bible study. I was all alone, new mom, didn't know anyone but I put myself out there and went. Remember the rebuke from earlier? Yea, I was actually trying. I went, weekly - even when I wanted to quit going, I pressed on. It was fun and I enjoyed it, I really like the girls in it but the connections made had no depth. You can go until you have no more go left in you but if the connections you are making aren't sincere and meaningful, they won't last. After the study was done, I tried to catch their eyes at church - before or after service - but they went about their day to day.

Andrew was gone again a year later for more training and I was just worn out from all of my attempts to make the local church work. So I began going to church with my friend Kenna.

The church was wonderful. I loved everything about it. They had a BILLION groups to get involved in, an easy way to find them, sincere greeters, great nursery workers, etc. The problem with this church? It was out of my own community and therefore I didn't make local connections that I was desperately craving. Reason number three. I needed something within my own community to find people that were local, available and easy to connect with outside of Sunday service. Most of the people that went to that church were more in the Twin cities, Minnesota, than me, in New Richmond, Wisconsin. There were a few Wisconsinites that attended but it was hard to find them. To make things more difficult, we weren't making very much money, we barely had enough for me to drive there and back on a Sunday, let alone to connect with people outside of the weekend.

So, for as much guilt and hurt that I've had about making a church work for me from that one comment, really it's how the churches weren't working for me that made everything difficult.

the accidental nomad life blog's three reasons the church you're going to doesn't feel like home

I'm happy to say that Andrew and I are completely, utterly head-over-heals in love with our church home right now. I've been able to connect, it's big enough but small enough, the people genuinely want us to be involved and desire to connect with us there. It's a complete 180 from the churches that we had been visiting. I think partly we were being protected from connecting too deeply so we had less heartbreak when we had to leave the New Richmond area.

Have you had to do church hopping? How did you know that the church you call home was HOME?

5 comments

  1. Amen sister! Travis and I have tried our fair share of churches too, once you find one that you align with theologically you then have to find a good personal fit. It's not easy! Thanks for sharing your experiences!

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  2. I have been going to the same church my entire life. It is so full of great people and have have life long friends there. It is the best!

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  3. Finding a new church is definitely one of the hardest parts of moving so frequently! And then, just when it really starts to feel like home, it's time to move again :(

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  4. That's so wonderful!!! :) I grew up in the same church my whole (memorable) life. Once you find it, you got it. I love having a church HOME! :)

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  5. Absolutely! We are finally feeling like God has us where He wants us. BUT, you never can know. Hopefully we will be here for a while yet. My parents just left the church they called home for YEARS because they had to move. It's like leaving two families at once.

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