Importance of finding a good church in which you can grow and serve

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

One of the very first things you should do when you start at university is to find a good church. Why?

Well, for most people it’s really hard living away from home for the first time.  With the challenges and excitement of Freshers events, new friends, studies, societies and sports teams, it’s all too easy to get distracted and carried away with other things and find yourself either hiding your faith or soon drifting away from your faith.

God does not intend for us to be just individual believers in isolation, but to be part of a wider Christian community in which we can both grow and mature in our faith and help to serve others.  When you are far away from your home and family, it’s so important (and such a blessing) to have a church family who can support you in your faith and to whom you can belong.

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Hebrews 10:24-25

What should I look for in a church?

It’s important to find a church which will help your faith to grow – one which prioritises clear biblical teaching and can help you to mature as a Christian.  Are the services bible-focussed? Is the Bible taught faithfully? Is the worship reverential?  Is the church’s teaching on marriage and sexuality biblical? Do they seek to share the gospel clearly and would you feel confident inviting non-Christian friends to the services?

Whilst it’s important to make sure the church you choose is a good bible-teaching church, don’t waste too much time though on “church-shopping”.  No church is perfect (or exactly the same as your home church!) so it’s better to try and commit fairly early on if you can, so you can get stuck in, build friendships quickly and start to serve.  (Getting some good church recommendations from your minister, parents or other trusted Christians before you go to (or apply for) University can be really helpful to narrow down the search so that you can settle into a good church more quickly.)

It’s really helpful to be part of the Christian Union as well, but CUs are not churches and cannot replace being part of a church.  Rather CUs can be really helpful in order to be part of an outward-looking mission team with an amazing opportunity to share the gospel with other students.  CUs have special access and opportunities on campus that a local church would not have so easily, so do get involved with the CU so you can make the most of this unique opportunity to share the good news about Jesus with students who may have never heard it taught clearly before.

 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  

Matthew 28:19-20