How to Strengthen Your Relationship With God By Choosing the Right Church - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)
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September 30, 2016

How to Strengthen Your Relationship With God By Choosing the Right Church

Whether you've attended the same church your entire life, bounced from church to church with your parents, or never attended church at all, you're in for a big change when you start college. You've chosen a Christ-centered college, but now, it's time to choose a congregation capable of providing a spiritual home while you're away at college. This decision could very well shape your next four years -- and your long-term relationship with God -- so take your time and don't jump hastily into a new congregation. Keep the following factors in mind as you make this important decision:

Determine Your Needs

While every church's goal should be to honor God and build a stronger spiritual community, each church has a different means of arriving at that goal. Different Christians have different ideas of the ideal church, and that's perfectly okay. Some people prefer traditional sermons and hymns in an intimate setting, while others thrive when surrounded by hundreds of believers swaying to modern Christian music. Some are willing to go the non-denominational route, while others feel more comfortable with the denomination of their home church. Only you -- and God -- know what you need, so spend some time in prayer before drafting a list of your priorities.

Research Online and Through Word of Mouth

After you've determined your vision of the ideal church, research the options in your area. Nearly all churches have websites or social media pages these days, so it should be easy for you to get a sense of what each church on your list has to offer. Take a close look at each website and take detailed notes about how each church matches up to your list of ideals. Once you arrive on campus, feel free to chat with other students -- especially upperclassmen and graduate students -- about where they attend church and how they like it.

Think About Student-Friendliness

Some churches are better equipped to handle the unique needs of college students than others. While researching your top choices, look into options for students. Is your favorite church within walking distance of campus? If not, does it offer a carpool or shuttle? Are there specific Bible groups or religious associations for students or young people in general?

There is value in being surrounded by a diverse community with people from all walks of life, but you may be more comfortable in a church with programs specifically designed for college students. Some churches even match students with families, thereby allowing them to feel more connected to the established congregation.

Test Run

There's nothing wrong with testing out a couple of churches before you make a big commitment. If the idea of randomly showing up for service makes you nervous, convince your roommate or a classmate to join you for a church date. Don't be afraid to chat with the pastor and congregation members to get a true sense of what life at your new church might be like.

Ultimately, your church decision is between you and God. Do your research and visit multiple churches, but most importantly, dedicate some time to prayer -- and let God lead the way.

For more information on how Geneva College can help you pursue your spiritual, academic, and career goals, contact us at 855-979-5563 or