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[ Tips for finding a church ]

With A-level results day upon us we thought we would share some helpful tips for finding a church when you go to university. It can be so easy to get swept up in the fun of freshers week, getting to know your hallmates and exploring the place you have moved to, but often less thought is given to finding and engaging with a good church.

We love Plymouth and we’re sure you will too, there are some great churches here and all of them would be grateful to have you join them. We’re so glad that lots of students choose to join the family here at Redeemer Church during their time in Plymouth and some of them even stick around after uni. We know that not every student will feel at home at Redeemer Church, but we do want to you get plugged in somewhere, and fast. The University Of Plymouth and Marjon’s Christian Unions run a ‘church surf’ where over a few weeks you’ll get to visit a number of churches in the city. This can be a really helpful resource and if you’ve no clue where to start in looking for a church in Plymouth then join the surf, it’s coming to Redeemer on the 24th September so I’ll see you then 🙂

Beside’s the church surf here’s 5 quick tips on finding a church when you arrive at university.

1. Take the advice of a few good friends;
If you are already in a church back home then you will hopefully have some great friends and leaders who know you and want the best for you. Grab a coffee with them and talk about churches! They might be able to get in touch with a church before you even get there and link you with someone before you arrive.

2. Pick no more than three churches to visit and listen to their preaches online first;
With so many good churches in Plymouth you can easily spend almost a third of your first year trying out all the different ones. Pick a couple of churches you would like to visit and check out their websites- listen to some of their preaches online. (Tip – try to listen to something from the person or people who preach most regularly rather than just the most recent, that way you’ll get a better feel for what its normally like). Look for a church who open the Bible and preach the gospel at every opportunity.

3. Be a contributor not a consumer;
When you pick a church, look for somewhere you can get stuck in and serve, don’t just look for a ‘good Sunday experience’. The Bible speaks about church as a body where each plays their part, don’t look for somewhere where just 1 or 2 will work hard to entertain you. Join a life group (home group, cell group- whatever the church calls them!), serve on a Sunday team and get to know older people and families in the church. Many students look back at their time in Uni with fondness because of the friendships they made outside of the Uni Campus bubble.

4. Don’t ‘shop around’ for the sake of it;
If the first church you visit is solid, teaches the Bible, is welcoming and there’s space for you to get involved then don’t feel like you have to ‘shop around’. When it comes to style there’ll be bits you like and bits you don’t but don’t place too much emphasis on those things. They will change over time and so will you, you won’t always think the ‘vibe’ is cool, but you will always need to hear the Bible preached and you will always need people around you who will encourage you and challenge you and spur you on in your relationship with God.

5. Don’t forget to pray about it!
Choosing a church can be hard but remember, God wants you joined to a body of believers. Pray about it before you head to uni, with family and with friends.

By

Owen Hayward

Redeemer Church Office | St Barnabas Terrace | Plymouth PL1 5NN

Tel: 01752 568400

Charity No : 1125216   |   Company No : 6390847