Not being surrounded by Christians or having opportunities to dialogue about how God is working in our lives have been hard for Daniel and I since relocating to the Gold Coast. Oh how we miss our Christian community in San Diego. It’s no one’s fault; it’s just the situation we’ve found ourselves in and also seems to be more common here with a smaller population of believers in this city. Or maybe they’re just hiding? With this significant void in our lives, it was a priority for us to find a church and be plugged into their community right away. Back in San Diego, we were blessed when we came across La Jolla Community Church. We didn’t realize at the time it was what we needed in our lives. Having come from a mega church where we grew in our faith (Daniel accepting Christ for the first time and me, an extremely lukewarm believer), we needed to be accountable, loved, appreciated, and in close community. But more importantly, we needed to be growing in our Bible knowledge, relationship with God, our marriage with Christ as the foundation, and personally so we were becoming more like Christ. Already you can tell that a church and its community had a tall order. For four years, LJCC fulfilled this bill and more. The amazing growth, experiences, and relationships that resulted from our time there have prepared us for our new life here in Australia. We know what we want in a church and its people, and we know we cannot settle. After visiting three churches, by chance I met a mother at a music class that shared with me about her church. I had heard about the church before but dismissed it based on a sermon we steamed. In my discouraged, ready to give up on church shopping for a bit state, we decided it’d be worth a visit anyways. We must persevere and trust God! Our first Sunday visit went well! Zane did amazing for the two hours he was in their childcare. When we returned, he ran up to me and was all smiles and hadn’t shed a tear or whine. There are many reasons we are starting to believe this may be our new church. Instead of going into a paragraph of details, the following are the points we are looking for in a church and how they were met at this church. Please pray for us that God clearly reveals to us whether this is the church we are meant to attend.
- Meet and have a chat with the pastor
- Moving worship and more than four songs
- Engaging sermon rooted in Bible teachings with practical application and relevant stories
- Organization with systems in place for new visitors, life groups, etc.
- Childcare for Zane that engages him
- Friendly people who are nonjudgmental and striving to live in and for Christ
- Gatherings to encourage community among men, women, mothers, families
- Encourages and inspires us to be alive and growing in Christ
- Congregation includes young families and diversity of ages
Maybe this list may help you in finding a church too. ☺