Updated: Jan 30, 2021
When we began planning for a transition from sticks and bricks to full-time RVing, one of our top concerns was being away from our church family and finding a place to worship wherever we were staying.
This was only made more challenging during the COVID era, when churches are shifting how, when, and where they hold worship services.
If this is something that you see as an obstacle, too, I want to share a few resources that have really blessed us on the road.
We are members of a church affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, so the first place we always start is with SBC's church finder. By logging on to churches.sbc.net you can search by name if there is a specific place that, say, someone recommended to you. You can also search by location, narrowing the results from as close as 10 miles away all the way up to 250 miles! The map feature is handy, too, because when you first log on, there are little clusters with the number of area churches. You can click on one of those targets and the map will zoom in to the given area for a more refined search. After you have narrowed your location, a list of results will pop up under the map, and you can click on churches for address, contact and website information.
Up next is Founders Ministries church search. founders.org/church-search Founders is affiliated with the SBC, as well; but they work toward the reformation of churches, so their results will go beyond Southern Baptist circles. The Founders church search starts out as a dropdown menu of US states and countries with Founders Alliance Churches. Once you have selected a state or region, all of the results will come up in a series of boxes that contain information and links. There's no map function here, so you'll have to plug the address into a GPS or map website and see what's what.
The third website we will utilize is the CREC church finder. CREC stands for Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches and their affiliates are also spread throughout the globe. They can be found online at crechurches.org and the drop down menu to locate churches is located right there on the home page! Much like the other church finders, the listings provide address information, contacts, and links.
Finally, there is the Church & Family Life website churchandfamilylife.com/network/index This is formerly the National Center for Family Integrated Churches, so if you've got kiddos and you want to keep them in worship with you, this is a cool one to utilize. A quick personal testimony, on our most recent trip to Texas we narrowed down our search using this website, and combined it with the recommendation of one of our friends from Instagram. We were able to attend worship services that month with a thriving and welcoming local congregation at Grace Community Church in San Antonio. So, the church finder...this one's a lot like the SBC, in that you have a search feature and a map with bullseyes that cluster a number of results together. You can get specific in the search or click on various targets depending on location and sift through them in that way.
Hopefully, this is a blessing to you if you struggle to find places to worship on the road. I know a lot of campgrounds have services of their own, or have campers who will host studies or worship. That's great, and the Gospel is needed in that way, too; but, if you want to get plugged into the local community (no matter how long you'll be there) or attend worship with God's people in God's house, I encourage you to give these resources a try. - John