When going off to college, you have a fantastic opportunity to visit churches on your own– without your parents or anyone else to guide you. This may seem scary, but finding a local church home in your college city really isn’t all that difficult.
1. Visit churches.
But really! Actually visit churches, don’t just talk about visiting churches.
Visit a church on your very first Sunday of college. I know it’s scary– I was terrified. But if you don’t start visiting right away, it will be harder later.
Try visiting with friends. Ask around and see if anyone would like to visit *insert church name* with you.
I don’t know if there’s a “magic number” of churches you need to visit before you find “the one.” If you find a church that fits you on your second Sunday, don’t be afraid to stick around. If you have to visit a bunch before you find it, don’t give up.
Just don’t stop going to church.
2. Set yourself a deadline.
…of two-three months, one semester tops. Once your time limit is up, pick a church and stick with it.
This will prevent you from falling into the trap of “forever church hopping” –that is, hopping from church to church without making one your home.
Visit a bunch of churches, yes. Never commit, no.
3. Remember that churches are all on the same team.
Don’t get caught up in comparing this church to that church that you forget that in the end, they’re all on God’s team, and so it’s not a competition of finding the best church. Instead, it’s about finding a place to call home- a place where you can serve God and serve others.
On that note…
4. Choose somewhere that you can serve.
Find a church that provides opportunities for you to serve the church itself, and also the community outside of the church.
And once you find that place, plug into it. If there’s a children’s ministry program on Wednesday nights and they need volunteers, volunteer! Or volunteer with the youth group. Just find a place to serve that fits your individual gifts and abilities, and get involved.
5. Choose somewhere that teaches the truth about God’s word.
Ultimately, if a church seems awesome, but what they’re teaching doesn’t line up with the Bible, go to a different church. Period. The church you attend needs to line up with biblical truth. That needs to be your plumb line.
And that’s it!
Just get out there, visit churches, and find one at which you can serve and learn about God.