Campus Blog

The search for a church

October 11th, 2012 | Ian Richardson

Reminiscing last Sunday night as I returned from church, I was whisked back to last year at this same time. It was the second month of my freshman year, and I was still in the process of finding a new home church. As a pastor’s kid from a small town in rural Iowa, I had literally grown up in my local Assemblies of God church. It had always been — and still is — a place where everyone is like family; even if you don’t walk in that way, you leave that way.

It is a place where all generations attend the same service, and potluck dinners are a monthly staple. The worship service is a blend of hymns and modern choruses, and yes, we actually open the hymnals. So, as I moved to Evangel, I found myself wondering how I could ever replace this experience — the only church home I had ever known.

At least there wasn’t a lack of choices in Springfield. I’ve heard that you could attend a different AG church each Sunday for a year and still not reach them all. That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much. After a few weeks of trying some different places, I found myself at Central Assembly of God. I’ll never forget that first Sunday morning. Right away I was struck by the fact that there were twice as many people on stage during worship as there are in my entire congregation back home. But, as I looked around, I saw people of all ages. Even though it was entirely different, there was something about the place that reminded me of home.

Looking back, I realize that I will never be able to replace what I had growing up. But I have found a church that I can love for different reasons. Though Central may not have church-wide potluck dinners every month, the qualities it shares with home are even more important: sound preaching and a passion for worshiping God.

When moving to college, it is vital to plug into a local church. No amount of Evangel Chapel services or online podcasts will replace experiencing God in the church setting on a weekly basis. But when it’s time to make the move, don’t be intimidated. Ask around and try a few different places. Take friends. Pray about it. You probably won’t replace home, but you will find a place that God can use just as well in new, exciting ways.

Want more? Read how local churches have partnered with Evangel’s Adopt-a-Student program, which connects students with local Christian families and provides a “home away from home” for the students to visit.


Ian Richardson

English Major | Class of 2015

Ian is a senior English major from Afton, Iowa. He lives in Scott Hall and writes for the Evangel University website and the Lance. Ian says the thing he loves most about Evangel is the sense of community.

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