Raising your child to learn Christian values can happen at their preschool, but it really takes root if they are being raised by a community of believers. This community is found in the local church. If you’re looking for a church home, we know it can be overwhelming trying to find the right place. That’s why we’ve put together a list of five important things to consider when choosing a church home.
Your child is your most special treasure and their safety is a priority. You are entrusting your child to people you don’t know, and it’s okay to do some research to make sure you feel comfortable. Ask questions about the team, policies, and procedures. First, learn the building and what security structure is in place to keep the kids’ area safe. Also, find out if the volunteers are background checked and trained. It’s also good to make sure the check in and check out system is secure, ensuring no one else could pick up your child.
The curriculum that the church uses to teach your child about who God is and the truths in the Bible is important. That’s what truly makes it church for your children and not just childcare while you are attending services. Find out what lessons teach and make sure it is God-centered. Also, is the curriculum and the ministry on board to empower you as parents as being the primary spiritual leaders of your child? See to it that the kid’s ministry is designed to partner with you in raising children who will grow in Christ.
3. Church Beliefs
There are so many churches with different beliefs, values, and statements of faith. It’s important that those beliefs and values line up with yours. Thankfully, the internet has given us the ability to do research to learn about a church’s culture. You can check out beliefs and recent messages online to see if it looks like a good fit. Be sure to check out their views on worship, prayer, and their statement of faith. Going to church is a whole family affair and, while the kid’s ministry might be a homerun, if the church as a whole doesn’t align with your beliefs, it’s probably not a good fit.
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a church is the community of believers. You want it to be a place that is not only great for your child to get fed and poured into, but also a place for your family to all get plugged in. Is the church culture one where people are volunteering and giving back to the community? Are there active small groups that are kid-friendly? Is the community of people there living with the mindset that they do life together and support each other in times of need? After all, life is better when we are connected with other believers and sharpening each other.
5. Family Buy-In
Keep in mind, it may take your kids some time to buy in to a new church. They may love it one week because the dancing was fun. But then hate it the next week because they didn’t get the candy they want. However, if your child is overall enjoying going to church, talks about it, and looks forward to going on Sundays, then it is a good sign that you can grow there. If the whole family has “buy-in” for a particular church, it will be a pleasant experience that can set up to open the hearts of those in your family that will allow God to transform and grow you spiritually as his followers.
Don’t worry if you can’t find the perfect church after all of your research. The perfect church won’t exist because every church is made up of flawed people who all need Christ. Otherwise, why even have the church? But by using these five areas as a starting point, God will bless your choice to include him in raising your children, and you can’t go wrong by pursuing a God-centered family!