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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Choosing a Church for Your Family: An Important Decision By: Amanda Zieba


My name is Amanda Zieba. I am a wife, mother of two and middle school reading teacher. I have earned my bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in education. I enjoy writing in my free time and have just recently started publishing online. More of my published work (articles about: education, books, crafting and families) can be viewed by visiting this site.  http://contributor.yahoo.com/user/1533842/amanda_zieba.html. 

In Addition, Amanda has published 3 children's books.  You can read more about them at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/amanda-zieba?store=allproducts&keyword=amanda+zieba.

Young families today are faced with many challenges and tough decisions. How do I make my household budget work? Where do I send my kids to daycare? Whose family do we spend each holiday with? It seems the questions never end. Another important topic to consider is where to go to church. Often times when people are first beginning their careers or married lives, they find themselves in a new city. Old rituals are forced to take a hiatus and begin anew. Whether you find yourself in a new city or just looking for a change, Sunday mornings also join this list of choices to make.

My husband and I found ourselves in this very position. We visited several churches in town, sat through a variety of services and silently suffered through the staring scrutiny of those who wondered who the new people were. We jokingly called our endeavor “church shopping” but knew it was more serious than that. So, having been through this process myself, I have some advice to offer.

There are a lot of things to think about when finding a new church. The first issue to tackle will probably be denomination. If you grew up in different faiths, I suggest trying out an assortment of types of churches, both those you are familiar with and those completely new to you. For over a year we lovingly called ourselves “Lutherlics” because we alternated each week between a Lutheran and a Catholic church. Things to consider when choosing a denomination are the conversion process (classes to take, ceremonies involved, etc.), rituals/sacraments practiced, and personal beliefs.

Another aspect of church that you may want to contemplate is the education. Children and adults alike need to grow in their faith knowledge in order to have a quality relationship with God. I am thankful that our church has an adult education hour and a high quality Sunday school curriculum for kids. My son (who is only two) is thrilled each week to join the other kids during the children’s sermon. His apparent enthusiasm for church, especially at a young age, is heartwarming and inspiring to me.

Some other aspects on our “church shopping list” included:

·    A kid friendly environment

·    A welcoming congregation

·    Space to spend time with in the church with others

Our amazing pastor was the final piece that completed the puzzle for us. Finding a faith leader that genuinely cares for you and your family can connect your life and your faith in a meaningful way is a treasure that I hope you can also find.

Take the important step of carefully choosing your church and begin your life as a family together as one firmly founded not only in God, but in a way and place that continually supports you. We are so blessed that we have found our place each Sunday and I wish you the best as you hopefully attempt to do the same.

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