A question pastors often get asked is, “I am moving to __________. What is a good church for me to attend there?” This is a great question that members should discuss with their pastors to be sure. The problem is that it may be too late.
The question of where to attend Divine Service should be the first question that comes up. Before career opportunities. Before community amenities. Before school pedigree. Before distance to relatives. If you relocate to a community without a congregation that is faithful to the Scriptures, you are putting your family in danger of great spiritual harm. You are leaving yourself with the option of either attending a congregation that has watered down the Word of God or driving a great distance to attend a faithful congregation, which is an additional temptation to not attend at all.
Before you pick a university, pick a congregation. Before you consider applying for a career change that requires relocation, know what congregation you will attend in the area. If you are now in an area where you are surrounded by faithless congregations, find a congregation that preaches God’s Word in its truth and purity and administers the sacraments according to Christ’s institution and then look for all the others things that are necessary for life.
Too often, I have had the question asked of me, and there are no good choices at the given location, but the decision had already been made to accept a job, university, etc. The assumption has sometimes been that because there is a congregation in the new community that is in fellowship with us according to the synod, that such a congregation is in fellowship with us according to Christ. Sadly, with our divisions, that is often not the case.
One resource you can use is LutheranLiturgy.org. The site provides a listing of Lutheran congregations that solely use the historic liturgy, practice closed communion, don’t have women lectors or communion assistants, and maintain faithfulness to the Scriptures as confessed in the Lutheran Confessions.
Please do speak with your pastor about relocating. Just do it before your decision to move has been made. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and everything else you need for your body and life will be added to you as well.