There are over thirty churches in my little town of 16,000 people.

For those of you who don’t attend Sunday services, that’s a lot of churches. The problem is finding one that fits.

Questions I mentally ask:

  • Are the people friendly?
  • How’s the music? Upbeat, somber, old-school (hymnals)
  • Is there a mix of young and old people?
  • Did the pastor engage me?
  • Did I have to stand too long?
  • Was I called out as a first-time visitor and forced to stand? (A no-no for this introvert)

Beyond all the above, which sounds shallow, how did the church feel? What was the vibe?

It’s an effort to find a new church in a new town.

Some may ask, “Why bother?” I have several reasons why I like belonging to a group of people who attend the same church:

  • It’s a great place to make friends when you’re new in town
  • I love sitting in church next to my husband – I feel close to him when we hold hands during prayer
  • Singing with other people who believe like I do is good for my soul
  • A good sermon challenges me
  • It’s Scriptural – Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 11:25

So far, the Great Church Search has yielded the following:

Church #1 – Good music, friendly people, comfy seats. The downside – two hour service.

Church #2 – Good music, comfy seats, reasonable service length. Preaching was okay.

Church #3 – Friendly people. Lengthy message, slow  music.

Church #4 – Upbeat music, friendly people, great sermon. Worth a second trip.

Lest you think I’m shallow, much prayer also goes into each Sunday. Where does God want us to go? Where can we serve? How can we help?

Have you ever found yourself in the same situation – having to hunt for a new church? It’s mentally and spiritually exhausting. We were so plugged in to our Sacramento church that every other place is a distant second. I miss my friends. I miss the banter between people who’ve known each other a long time. I miss the pastor’s sermons and the powerful music. I miss sharing my life with my small group of 12-15 people.


Guess I’ll keep looking. Four down, twenty-six to go.

Jane S. Daly is the author of two nonfiction books and seven novels.

Jane is addicted to coffee, purple pens, and her husband, not necessarily in that order. A self-proclaimed introvert, she enjoys the solitude of riding shotgun in Rigsby, her 37-foot motor home. But when they pull into a new campground, her favorite thing is to make new friends and find hangouts featuring local musicians. Her fantasy involves writing lyrics for country music songs and hearing them played on the radio. In the meantime, she’ll stick to writing novels. And seeing as much of the country as possible.


  1. I can empathize! It took about a year and a half to find the right church fit when I moved to California. It’s good to keep praying about the right church. God has the best one in mind for you and your husband — one that needs your talents and that will feed you spiritually and emotionally, too.

    One of the testing parts for me is communion. If communion is uncomfortable (I have food allergies that often crop up in communion bread and also don’t love drinking from a communal cup), I’m not likely to feel very much at home there and will probably not go back.

    Blessings to you as you continue your search!

    1. Thanks, Hope! I know what you mean about communion. I sincerely hope it doesn’t take us a year and a half to find a church. I just want to pick one and settle in.

  2. I know this pain! It’s so hard finding a new church. Once when we were looking I sat and cried through an entire church service. But, we’ve got a great one now. Praying you find a new one soon.

    1. I can relate to the tears! I miss our old church with a huge ache. We will find something here, I know we will.

  3. Sheila Stockton says:

    Hang in the Jane! You will find the right place that God wants you. Even though we miss you greatly, where God wants you is the important thing.

  4. Jane – thanks for writing this! Church in it’s very essence comes down to people and we all want a place not just to believe similar things but to really belong and do life & mission together. I’d love to hear more of your experiences!


    1. We’ve narrowed the search down to two finalists. I feel shallow even saying that! But good music is toward the top of my list. we visited a very friendly church, but the music was so slow that it almost put me to sleep. Sigh.

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