5 Practical Tips for Finding a Church in a New City

Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Charleston, SCMoving to a new city can be daunting. Between finding appropriate housing or discovering the best schools in the district, sometimes “church shopping” feels like another overwhelming task on the list. Yet we’re all built for community, and when you’re new to an area you want (and need) a church home quickly.

So what’s the best, easiest, and quickest way to find your church home? Though everyone’s journey to find his church home is different, here are a few tips to help you quickly narrow your search, so you can find the church community that’s been waiting for you.

  1. Listen to sermons online
    Many churches post their sermons online, so you can begin listening to sermons even before you’ve moved to a new city. Listening to sermons can help you narrow your search dramatically and quickly especially in southern cities that have a church on every corner. Sermons can give you a sneak peek into the style of preaching at a particular church (e.g., topical, expository) and the depth of theology preached from the pulpit. Without even spending a Sunday morning in the pew, you can determine in a few short hours whether a church is possibly the right fit for you and worth a Sunday-morning visit.
  2. Read through websites
    Most churches have a web presence. Explore a church’s website, including their list of beliefs. Read through the website top to bottom to find pictures of their members, stories of their ministries, lists of staff and leadership, etc. You can quickly narrow down your search of area churches by accessing their public information available online without even visiting on a Sunday morning.
  3. Ask for recommendations
    Before you move, ask your friends, family, and coworkers if they know anyone who lives in your destination city. Small connections between friends of friends can reveal a church option you may not have tried or heard of otherwise. As you meet coworkers, realtors, neighbors, even fellow grocery-shoppers in your new city, tell them you’re new to the area and interested in finding a church. If they go to a church, they’ll gladly share that information with you or at least tell you some of the churches they’ve heard of in the area. (Then you’ll have another church or two to add to your list.) Be sure to ask why they like their church because a personal story and recommendation can help give you a sense of what that church is like. If your new neighborhood or apartment complex has a Facebook group, that forum can be a good place to ask for church recommendations.
  4. Seek out directories
    Many cities have local listings of churches, and most denominations have online lists of churches that are part of their denomination. The online Yellow Pages also lists many churches. Visit the local Christian radio station’s website where many offer lists of local churches. If they don’t have an online church directory, many radio stations will email you a list if you ask. “I look on Christian events pages to see what events are in the area and who is hosting them,” Lauren Moore, a military wife and experienced mover, said. National Christian organizations, such as The Gospel Coalition, often have church directories available on their websites.
  5. Double your exposure
    Sunday morning only comes around once a week: If you have a long list of churches to check out in person, consider visiting one church on Sunday morning and another Sunday night if it offers night services. Perhaps the church offers small groups or Bible studies during the week that you could try out before you spend your limited Sunday mornings sitting in their pew.

With these quick and effective tips for narrowing your list of good churches in your new city, you’ll be enjoying the fellowship of your new church family before you’ve even found all the good restaurants in town.

For this Sunday, Mar. 29

Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Charleston, SC, Easter Week 2015 EventsJoin us for Palm Sunday tomorrow, March 29 at 9:15 am in the Fellowship Hall for our special class for the whole church family.

During our worship service at 10:30 am, our senior pastor will continue the mini Easter sermon series, focusing on Luke 19:1-10 this Sunday.

Here’s our electronic bulletin for Sunday that’s easily viewed on any tablet; we do offer paper bulletins (including a LARGE PRINT edition) on Sunday morning as well. Use the song lyrics and sermon passage to help prepare yourselves and your families for worship this weekend. You’ll also find a schedule for who’s serving in our various nurseries, a list of how to get involved in current ministry opportunities, and other details about our worship service and church life. Or read the current edition of our weekly email newsletter below:

3/26/15 – Redeemer’s Email Blast

If you’re new or visiting, welcome to Charleston and Redeemer! We hope you’ll join us, and be sure to check out our details for Sunday worship including important information about parking.

Spring Gathering Encourages Women

Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Charleston, SC, Palmetto PresWIC, Church Creek PCAWomen from Redeemer Presbyterian Church and other PCA churches in the Palmetto Presbytery gathered for their annual Spring Gathering last Saturday, March 22 at Church Creek Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC. Here are some impressions from Redeemer women about the the morning’s event:

What I loved most about it was the opportunity to fellowship, build bridges with, and encourage other women from our own denomination! –Leslie

It was a great time of gathering with other women in our community that share a joy to learn more about the Word of God. I personally met some new women and was very blessed by their friendliness and encouragement. –Amanda

Mark your calendars for our next women’s fellowship event: A double baby shower of blessings for two dear women from the North Area (Wednesday) Community Group on Friday evening, April 24. Invitations coming soon!

Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Charleston, SC, Palmetto PresWIC, Church Creek PCA Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Charleston, SC, Palmetto PresWIC, Church Creek PCA Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Charleston, SC, Palmetto PresWIC, Church Creek PCA Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Charleston, SC, Palmetto PresWIC, Church Creek PCA

Christ & Culture Class, Week 9

Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Charleston, SCThis past Sunday, March 22 during the Christian-Education hour at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC, we continued our science discussion as part of our Christ and Culture class. Use the handout from class to do your own exploring over the next few weeks.

For the next two Sundays during the Christian-Education hour, we’ll take a break from our Christ and Culture class as we celebrate Easter. Join us this Sunday, March 29 for a special Palm Sunday lesson with the whole church family starting at 9:15 am. Then we’ll enjoy breakfast together on Easter Sunday, April 5. See details about all our Easter Week events here.

Easter Week Infographic

Sunday Notes from Mar. 22

Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Charleston, SCAt Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC, this past Sunday, March 22, we continued to share the experiences with Jesus as he goes to the cross, during our Sunday worship service. These last moments and miles will be freshest on the minds of his followers, and we need to understand him better and become better followers. So let’s hit the road with Jesus.

From Matthew 20:17-28, we see Jesus predict his death for the third time which Matthew follows with the request of James and John’s mother. Jesus is focused on the cross, and she and her sons are focused on the crown. These “sons of thunder” have a fiery zeal that’s harnessed under Jesus’ teaching, and their fiery faith–that Jesus will be king despite no outward indications of power to overthrow Rome–is a good thing, though their faith is out of focus. And we see that Jesus is exceedingly patient with them. Often we want the crown but not the cross. Listen to the whole sermon here.

Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Charleston, SCWe had the privilege of seeing Kyle & Shari Babb’s little girl baptized this past Sunday, too.

Walk for Water Results, Pictures

Water Missions International, Charleston, SC, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, WMI, No Running, 9th Annual Walk for WaterRedeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC, boasted two teams in the Walk for Water this past Saturday, March 22. Some of the “not Downtown CG” Team is shown above prior to the walk.

Water Missions International, Charleston, SC, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, WMI, No Running, 9th Annual Walk for WaterSome of Redeemer’s second team, the “Downtown Community Group,” is shown above. Between both Redeemer teams, we raised over $800 for Water Missions International!

With nearly 4,000 walkers this year, this 9th Annual event was their biggest yet–and Redeemer’s best participation, too!

Water Missions International, Charleston, SC, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, WMI, No Running, 9th Annual Walk for Water Water Missions International, Charleston, SC, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, WMI, No Running, 9th Annual Walk for Water Water Missions International, Charleston, SC, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, WMI, No Running, 9th Annual Walk for Water Water Missions International, Charleston, SC, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, WMI, No Running, 9th Annual Walk for Water Water Missions International, Charleston, SC, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, WMI, No Running, 9th Annual Walk for WaterWater Missions International, Charleston, SC, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, WMI, No Running, 9th Annual Walk for Water

Check out pictures from previous Walk for Water events.

For this Sunday, Mar. 22

Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Charleston, SCJoin us tomorrow, March 22 at 9:15 am in the Fellowship Hall for coffee and our continued discussion as part of our Christ and Culture class for adults during our Christian-Education hour. And Redeemer Kids will continue in their Catechism learning, so parents can help their children review here.

During our worship service at 10:30 am, our senior pastor will continue the mini Easter sermon series, focusing on Matthew 20:17-28 this Sunday.

Here’s our electronic bulletin for Sunday that’s easily viewed on any tablet; we do offer paper bulletins (including a LARGE PRINT edition) on Sunday morning as well. Use the song lyrics and sermon passage to help prepare yourselves and your families for worship this weekend. You’ll also find a schedule for who’s serving in our various nurseries, a list of how to get involved in current ministry opportunities, and other details about our worship service and church life. Or read the current edition of our weekly email newsletter below:

3/19/15 – Redeemer’s Email Blast

If you’re new or visiting, welcome to Charleston and Redeemer! We hope you’ll join us, and be sure to check out our details for Sunday worship including important information about parking.

Special Palm Sunday Class

Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Charleston, SC, Easter Week 2015 EventsAs Easter Week approaches, Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC, makes plans for engaging your whole family in the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Join us for a special Christian-Education class for the whole church family on Palm Sunday, March 29 to kick off Easter Week.

Similar to our Advent celebration, our children will begin with music at 9:15 am in The Children’s Room before joining their families in the Fellowship Hall for a time of learning together with our church family. We look forward to learning and worshiping together as we begin our Easter Week events.

Seder Bridges Tradition, Resurrection

Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Charleston, SC, Easter Week 2015 EventsRedeemer’s Seder, which has become a cherished tradition for our church family, bridges the traditional Jewish Seder with the reality of Christ’s resurrection. The Seder, planned for Wednesday, April 1 at 6 pm, begins with a potluck supper at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC.

Then about 7 pm we’ll celebrate Passover with a Seder meal, a traditional Jewish celebration of God’s faithfulness and goodness to his people. This family-friendly event asks, “Why is this night different?” God commanded his people–prone to forgetfulness–to remember at the first of every year His deliverance, from oppression and bondage under Pharaoh, into the freedom of His ways. Likewise, we must worship by commemorating what God has done to free us from slavery to sin and futility in death by drawing us near through life in Christ. Experience the difference Christ has made by reliving God’s day of deliverance as we enjoy the Passover meal together as a church family.

If you haven’t given an RSVP to your community group leader, then contact Gray Morgan if you’re interested in attending. In addition to potluck dishes, each adult attendee will need to bring a wine glass. For children under 3 a nursery will be provided during the Seder, and our 3K-Kindergarten-aged children will enjoy a special, separate class that will help them engage with Easter events. Our older children (from 1st grade and up) have a special role to play in the Seder meal.