Let’s say you move into a new community, one in which you know no one other than a person or two with whom you will be working your day job, and you are left to your own devices to pick a church. 

What criteria would you use?
Hunter.jpgIn reading Todd Hunter, Giving Church Another Chance: Finding New Meaning in Spiritual Practices I got to thinking about that very question. Todd has moved from Vineyard to house church and now into the high church, Anglican Church.
What criteria would I use? What ranking would I give the criteria? What would be first? Or is there such a “first”? Would it come down to one or to a constellation?
In reading Todd’s book, which focuses on formative practices of a church and which therefore focuses on ecclesial formation, I wondered how many would choose the formative power of ecclesial practices. 
Like going to church, the doxology, reading Scripture aloud in public, sermons, following liturgy, offering, eucharist and receiving the blessing. 
If I were to choose a new church in a new community, I’d consider at least the following items:

1. The significance of fellowship and community to the people already there.

2. Respect for the Great Tradition in the church, made manifest in how much attention to such elements in the church services.
3. Eucharist — how often? I prefer this weekly.
4. Worship.
5. Teaching ministries: what’s important to the teaching?
6. Missional presence.
7. Sermons.
8. Public reading of Scripture.
9. Growing church — via evangelism and catechesis.
10. How many 20somethings and 30somethings are present?
How about you? What’s on your list?
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