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Becoming Part of a New Church

Updated on January 23, 2014
That awkward moment when you're in a new church, and someone realizes you're making up words to the worship songs.  (Our God is an Awesome God he mmmm dooo doo hmm hmm with something else and stuff ..Our God"
That awkward moment when you're in a new church, and someone realizes you're making up words to the worship songs. (Our God is an Awesome God he mmmm dooo doo hmm hmm with something else and stuff ..Our God" | Source

A New Church

Movement happens for a variety of reasons, but no migration is far enough to remove you from the love of God. Feeling isolated, estranged, intimidated, and even paranoid are feelings that I had to deal with during my most recent move- and I tend to be very bold and fearless. Needless to say, if you are attending a new church, it may not yet feel like home. Below is some practical advice at how to integrate into your new place within the Body of Christ.


Remember, kicking it with the right crew is the will of God.

He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."

Matthew 12:48-50

1. Don't Just Walk into Any Church

Yes, if we believe in our heart and confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, we are saved. However, believing in your heart is something that happens at all sorts of different levels. You may be walking into a church with insane, backwards doctrine (like Westboro Baptist, or some other church that's worse than a trip to the DMV).

Or you could end up at a church that is simply wrong for you.

The first church I landed at after my move to New York was a wonderful church, with great doctrine and kindhearted people. However, I felt awkward and out of place the entire time I was there. The congregation was primarily one ethnic background, had all come from the same town, and had grown up with one another. I prayed for God's correct church match for me.

Then, one particular Sunday, my ride to church happened to be late. There was one late service left that I knew of: a 12 PM service in a more urban area, Queens. On my arrival, I noticed that the church was at least 10 times the size of my previous congregation...and there were two other services!

For some reason, though, I knew this would be my home church.

My advice, pray and trust God for a church, and keep an opened mind. He will give abundantly.


If this happens at worship, it may be time to pray for a new church

2. It's Not About You (this applies here)

Spiritual forces are vigilant to keep you feeling uptight and nervous, especially if you are approaching God. You may find your brain going on overdrive, and conjuring up all forms of self-centered insanity as you find your new church home. This includes the old pity party classics from your sad-sack mental jukebox, that may include:

  • Come, Now is the Time for Nervous
  • Our God is an Awesome God (who doesn't notice me here)
  • I Can Only Imagine...the nasty things you're thinking about me


The key to this type of thinking is to remember that it is normal to feel this way, and you never want to feel "normal." In fact, you have been freed from the agony of being and feeling "normal" ever again. These thoughts are self-centered in nature, and we're called to keep our eyes on the Lord.

He brought you here, and He will be faithful to fuse you to His body in this new location.

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.

– 2 Corinthians 1:20

...Much better!

3. Judging Others: Not Recommended

Each congregation is made up of 2-50,000 of uniquely individual anointed ones. Some will be mature like Paul or the woman that washed the Lord's feet with her tears.

Some will be like Peter, always jumping to conclusions and talking out of turn.

Others may have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Once at a new church, I had a guy tell me that all rock and roll music was from Satan. He was literally the only person I've ever heard that from in a modern congregation.

One person's opinion does not represent the opinion of God, Jesus, the church leadership, or the congregation. Don't let one or two misinformed ideas chase you from a body you believe God wants you to be a part of.

Similarly, you will most likely be encountering ethnic backgrounds and cultures different from what you are used to (because God is adamant about a unified body)! Get comfortable and enjoy something different. Marvel at what God is doing in all cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds.

The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

-Psalm 24:1

One Body!

Worship in Kampala, Uganda!
Worship in Kampala, Uganda! | Source

4. Mr. Lonely

So, you've made it through a few services, and you feel a new church may be home for you.

This is very encouraging! It is not everyday that you receive the blessing of many new brothers and sisters! Praise God!

...the only problem?

None of those brothers or sisters seem to be aware of your general existence. This can be disheartening if you've come from a close-knit church family.

Being a part of the same church is one of the most intimate bonds you can share with other people. I've met my most loyal friends, and friends that I've been most loyal to, through relationship with the Lord. Sometimes, as a person, it's easy to get caught up in the social circle you are a part of and not pay proper attention to newcomers.

It is important to give any isolation you may feel, as well as a desire for brothers and sisters, to the Lord. If your focus is on him and you surrender your desire, the Lord will do what he always does.

Provide the greatest possible outcome for your desire. I was able to keep this focus at my new church, and have found myself making several new friends each time I pray for one. And, sometimes I meet them at locations that are nowhere near the church!

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us

Ephesians 3:20

Hallelujah!

Look for Him anywhere!
Look for Him anywhere! | Source

5. Be Aggressive for God

There are three ways approach the church environment:

  • You can "do you," and be a church superstar while seeking accolades from people
  • You can "do you," and stand on the sidelines out of selfish fear

OR:

  • You can draw near to the Lord, aggressively pursuing His heart like David


My new church is, I would say, on the smaller side of the "megachurch" category. The services are large, the ministries are many, and the music is bombastic. I felt that the Lord was trying to make me understand that if I didn't take personal responsibility for my own discipleship, I easily could get lost in the flock.

Remember this:

And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

Matthew 9: 20-22


The woman was not healed because she was passive. That bad chick UFC fought her way up to Jesus through a packed congregation that was crying out, bleeding and all, yanking on his garment! She definitely wasn't sitting in the balcony, hesitating over an altar call.

When we need Jesus, we need Jesus. Especially after a life event as significant as a move.

If there are life groups offered, find one fast. Speak with the pastors, introduce yourself to leadership, and smile on Sundays. Offer to serve when you feel convicted to do so.


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    • profile image

      Brenda Durham 3 years ago

      Thanks for the hub! Rated Up and beautiful and interesting and useful. You've given some good advice and posited some good points for such a young person. Hope you continue to grow in the Lord's will and enjoy church even more, and be a blessing to all you come into contact with!

      I enjoyed reading this very much; I just wish my computer speakers were working so I could see what the videos are about........

    • BigJulesMags profile image
      Author

      Julian Magdaleno 3 years ago from Queens, New York City

      Much appreciated! Yeah the top video is hilarious. It's one of those cheesy new-age worship things where they try to christianize a secular song. In addition, the worship leader has everyone take off their socks and wave them over their heads.

      Some great things going on out in New York City! I wish everyone who thought Christianity was only for rednecks could see how it is out this way. Thanks, be blessed.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Great advice and sounds like you have it together. Bet you would enjoy "Love Song" if you have never heard them. The most beautiful gospel music I have ever heard. Welcome, I am sure I will enjoy reading you. Voted up and shared.

    • BigJulesMags profile image
      Author

      Julian Magdaleno 3 years ago from Queens, New York City

      I am always far from "having it together," haha. I do know what I know, however.

      Much appreciated! There's usually a splash of divinity in most things that I write, but sometimes I'm trying to catch everyones' ear. Thank you for your interest and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Awesome hub here! Love that song too. We just started attending a new church and you have given great advice here.

      Welcome to HP!

      Voted Up ++++ and sharing

      God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 3 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      I just started attending a new church about 4 or 5 months ago. I appreciate your very well written hub on this. voted up and across the board. I am not however, waving my stinky socks in worship. Lol.

    • liftandsoar profile image

      Frank P. Crane 3 years ago from Richmond, VA

      This is a great piece, BigJulesMags. As a retired pastor, now working outside the church, I have a special love for folks who have been alienated by the church. You combine stellar theology with personal experience and delightful humor. No wonder you made it to HubPagesWeekly! In fact I had thought that HP avoided religious hubs. Glad to see they haven't. Can't blame them though. There's a lot of religious trash out there. But yours is definitely not in that category. I'll look to see what else comes from your pen. (Oops, that dates me :-) What else comes off your finger tips.

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      Great advice, well written, and thought provoking. Thanks for sharing, voted up and across.

    • BigJulesMags profile image
      Author

      Julian Magdaleno 3 years ago from Queens, New York City

      Your comments are appreciated. liftandsoar, I actually aspire to be a pastor and believe I am called. This is actually the early seed of my teaching ministry.

      My newest article is about what the church has done to dating and courtship to discourage marriage (based on my recent experience with finding a wife and dealing with church leadership). I think you will very much enjoy that as well. I am following you back, also.

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