“As a quiet and shy person, going off to university and making new connections is really difficult for me. My faith life is really important to me and I really want to find a church that I can go to but I don’t really know how to find one, or where to start. How do I find a church and how do I know if it’s a good church?”
It is very important to ask this question and to find a solid answer to it! I am so thankful you want to know. My first advice 🙂 would be to find a local FRC church. It would be one of the things to look for when considering a university. At university there will be professors determined to strip you of Christian belief and morals. It is absolutely vital that you seek the company of God’s people to resolve your doubts and questions in the light of His word.
I would also consult with your parents or a godly person in your current congregation who knows you well. Ask your pastor for his help and advice – as a pastor I am delighted to receive such requests and to do my best to answer them. Pastors also love to ask their fellow pastors, please look after this sheep of Christ’s while he/she is in your area. Perhaps he can guide you to the congregation of a PRTS graduate he studied with or help you figure out where else to go. As a parent, when I start taking my children through their list of university options, church will be at the top of my list.
God loves to stretch quiet and shy people by putting them in a new setting and demonstrating to them that He is able to make new connections for you. So bring this need and concern to Him in prayer regularly. University can also stretch and grow your ability depend on Him. God often gives friendships during university not just with fellow students but also with fellow believers of various ages in that local church that become a life long blessing.
A good church is one where the word of God is preached, practiced, and loved. It is a church where the Reformed confessions are seen as the best summary of the word of God, unashamedly and unapologetically. It is a place where a biblical diet is given. Law and gospel, admonition and encouragement, exposing sin and proclaiming Christ, feeding Christ’s sheep as well as seeking the lost. The Bible is such a treasure of answers to all the big questions of life. A good church is concerned to give such answers and to delight in them. A good church will have people who are looking out for you, concerned for you, and who gladly show you hospitality and make you feel at home.
I wish you God’s richest blessing as you begin this exciting time in your life!
Pastor Eric Moerdyk