Finding Your Village: Church

For many reasons – jobs, education, economy, etc. – many of us find ourselves needing or wanting to move from our native soil into areas where we might not know a lot of people. Going this route alone is hard, but what are parents to do when this move involves children?

Not too long ago, we started a “mini-series” of sorts here on MomVesting about finding your village; you know, how to surround yourself with those who will help see you through the trials, tribulations and triumphs that is parenthood when you find yourself away from your natural family. First, I examined how moms with young kids can benefit from the wonderful organization of MOPS. Today, we’ll take a look at how a church or religious setting might help you in your child-rearing years and how to go about finding that church that will fit into your village.

Why a Church?

So how can a church help you find your village? First off, churches typically have a nice smattering of generations within their walls. From grandparents down to babies, even smaller congregations are bound to have older generations who can help pass their wisdom on to you as well as their hands to help you out. In addition, you’ll be able to connect with other families.

Next, the routine of church can be a comforting anchor for your family in unfamiliar territory. Often, young children thrive on a sense of routine; adding the consistent presence of a church into family life can help kids realize and recognize stability.

Today's Churches

Today’s churches are also as varied as the families that populate them. If your family craves a small church with traditional Sunday services, chances are there is one that will fit this bill nearby. However, if you are looking for service times that fit in with your schedule, say a Wednesday or Saturday evening, you’ll probably be able to find this as well. Church seems to be evolving from the Sunday-only mentality into the ever-growing 24/7 that is a large part of our society.

It can be daunting, though, to take that first step and actually get to a church, especially in an unfamiliar territory. Here are a few tips on finding a church in a new community:

  • Reach out to your roots: If you’ve recently moved from an area and were involved in a church, see if your former pastor or congregation can give you recommendations on what church might fit your needs and style in your new town.
  • Check the internet: In this day and age of cyberspace, many churches have their own websites, complete with what you need to know including location and service times. Some might even have samples of past sermons so you can get a feel if the belief system meshes with your own.
  • Try it on: Pick a church and give it a try. Physically visiting a church will probably be the best shot at knowing if that church is right for you and your family. You might find the gem with your first try, or it might take a whole month of Sundays to get to the right place; keep it up and don’t get discouraged; there is a place for you out there!

As a side note, I do realize this post could get some less-than-favorable feedback; after all, there are many out there who forgo church or anything remotely connected to religion. I get that. This is simply a bit of my experience and ideas. The church, for myself, my hubby and girls is along the same lines as an extended family; I’d feel remiss if I didn’t put it out there as an option in the “finding your village” theme.

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