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Shopping for Church: Searching for Christian Community, a Memoir (ebook)

Shopping for Church: Searching for Christian Community, a Memoir (ebook)

My wife and I move. Now we need to find a new church. How hard could it be?

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Who would have thought finding a church home could be so hard?

Peter and his wife have a strong marriage. But when it comes time to find a new church after they move, their differences couldn’t be more pronounced.

At first, their aim is straightforward. He’ll write a book about the churches they visit. She’ll choose the one they’ll embrace as their new spiritual family.

It sounds like a simple plan, but this Christian couple soon discovers their quest for a home church is far more difficult.

An entertaining, poignant memoir for Christian believers, Shopping for Church will give you fresh insight into the state of today’s churches in an ever-changing world.

This authentic read is part of the Visiting Churches Series by acclaimed Christian author Peter DeHaan. These books take you behind the scenes into congregations that are far different than your own … and some that feel just like the church you grew up in.

If you’re a spiritual lurker curious about what goes on beneath the steeples of America’s churches, a seasoned church member looking for some fresh insight, or a pastor trying to engage newcomers, this book is for you.

Buy Shopping for Church today for an impactful spiritual read that is guaranteed to make you reflect on the places, people, and gatherings we call church.


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Visiting Churches Series, book 6 (can be read out of order)

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Church Shopping

My wife and I are looking for a new church. I never thought we’d be in this situation. My assumption was we’d go to our church for the rest of our lives. So much for assumptions.

While writing my not-yet-published memoir, God, I Don’t Want to Go to Church, I realized I’d picked every church Candy and I have attended over the years. I’d have my favorite; she’d have hers. Unable to agree, I’d effectively decide because I drove. She’d go along, grumbling a bit as we went, but eventually we’d settle into life at our new church.

For our last church, I committed us to be part of a church plant without consulting her. I assumed she’d be as excited as me. I was wrong. Eventually she embraced my choice as we immersed ourselves with giddy excitement into the allure of creating a fresh faith expression, working with a like-minded community of spiritual mavericks and misfits, rejects of today’s church culture.
I later apologized to her for always picking our churches. I promised she could pick the next one—even though I assumed there never would be a next one.

A few years later, after our yearlong sabbatical of researching and writing 52 Churches, we returned to our home church. We picked up where we left off. Friends welcomed us back, excited about our return. A few, however, never knew we were gone. This reminded me of how big and disconnected our church had become. Faithful regulars, even with a visible presence each Sunday, could slip away for a year and not be missed.

In his book The Barbarian Way, Erwin McManus wrote about being barbarians for Jesus, of not settling for a civilized acceptance of the religious status quo. We started our church plant as passionate barbarians, but in eight short years we had settled into a civilized acquiescence. We had become like other churches, just with edgier music and more attendees from society’s fringe.

As we became organized (civilized), there was less room for my maverick soul to find solace. An all-too-familiar ache resurfaced, that spiritual yearning for more. This unanswered pang in my spirit left me again asking questions about what it means to truly follow Jesus and how his church should function. Church is not to assure our comfort, but to insure his kingdom.

Our daughter and her family went to this church with us. We persisted in attending to be with them. But then our son-in-law switched jobs, and they moved near our son and his wife.

The pull of family caused us to ask an unexpected question: Should we move too? After consulting with our kids and receiving their blessing, we did just that.

Now we need to find a new church.

Meet Author Peter DeHaan

Peter DeHaan, PhD, often makes religious people squirm, but spiritual seekers cheer. He’s not trying to be provocative, but he seeks truth, even if it makes some people uncomfortable. He yearns for Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

Peter earned his doctorate, awarded with high distinction, from Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary. He lives with his wife in beautiful Southwest Michigan and wrangles crossword puzzles in his spare time.

Learn more about Peter