If you missed part 1 we would love for you to go back and read it.
So you say “I want to find a healthy church to raise my kids in, where do I start?” Typically my answer is “find a church that will not compromise what the Bible says and is passionate about reaching people far from Christ and teaching them to follow him.” That might not be the most helpful answer in this case.
If you are looking for a church to provide a community for both you and your children to grow in, here’s 3 things you want it to have:
1. Healthy Children’s Ministry
The idea children’s ministry is a place that’s safe, clean, fun, and well-staffed. You want to know your kids are well cared for and will be willing to come back.
I am a fan of children’s ministries that run the entire church service. This keeps you from having the service disrupted by trying to get your kid to class. Most of these programs will include worship and teaching so your kids are still getting music and learning but on their level.
Children’s ministry is the place your child will make friends. As a parent, it will allow you the break many desperately need.
2. Multi-Generational Congregation
There are between 5 to 7 generations alive right now depending on which ‘expert’ you listen to. Each has a unique perspective about the world (Andy Stanly just did a great podcast on generational diversity). A healthy church will usually have representation from each generation.
As you look for a church be careful of one that’s too top-heavy (read old) because your children will not have other kids to be raised with. Also, be wary of one that’s too bottom-heavy (read young) because it might show there is something the older generations see that we don’t have the wisdom to recognize yet.
Having people of each generation is necessary for us to learn, to encourage, and to teach.
3. Group Life focus
Different churches use different names but having a groups ministry where you can find people do “do life with” is huge. They may be called small groups, life groups, E groups, home groups, house groups, or more.
Any church with over 50 people is too big to really get to know everyone well. Having groups will allow you to know people well, connect in relationships and grow.
Stef and I have led a married small group that has been huge for building these relationships for us. Many times the deep conversations that we need don’t happen in the group, but the group breaks the ice so we can get to know the people who we really open up with.
Stef has also been leading a young moms group that just keeps growing. There seems to be a need moms have for a mid-week, during the day break. Children are cared for, and mom’s can ‘adult’ for a bit.
Find your home church:
If you live near Morgantown PA I would recommend Morgantown Community Church.
If you live outside of that area my favorite church finder (When on vacation) is from ARC.