That is the question! With the recent rise of church listings in your area, it may be daunting to start the search for a Presbyterian church near you. If, like me, you want to know what the denomination is all about, this article will do the job. With so many options available, it’s important to have the right information to make the decision that is the best fit for you. So without waiting, let’s start to answer the question, “How do I find a Presbyterian church near me?”
How do I find a Presbyterian Church Near Me?
What is Presbyterianism and How Did it Become a Church Near Me?
The Presbyterian church was brought to life in Switzerland and Rhineland during the Protestant Reformation in the 16th Century. The movement was Calvinist in nature, prescribing to the teachings of John Calvin who thought that his particular style of church governance was equally Biblical and founded on the experience of the church. Although Calvin originally made no claim it was the only model of church governance which should be accepted, his followers later on in its history would. In Calvin’s view, the solitary authority in the church should always and only be Jesus. Under Christ, all the members of the church have equal standing and his ministry is tasked to the laypeople just as much as the clergy. If anyone was to be ordained or elected for a specific office, they would be chosen by the congregation they represented. This original structure has been adapted over time in various forms, but its essential skeleton has remained true. The Presbyterian governance structure often consists of four separate layers of authority: the congregation, the Presbytery, the Synod, and the General Assembly.
Taking a step back, the Presbytery consists of all regional ordained ministers alongside an appropriate number of elders elected by the church communities of that region. They are tasked with the ordination, removal, installations, and transfer of pastors across all regions. Although it’s true that a pastor is chosen by a congregation, their instalment must be agreed upon by the Presbytery for them to serve in that office. In the same way, their removal must also be agreed upon by the Presbytery. Although once a controversial topic in Presbyterian circles, the option to ordain women is now chosen by the particular congregation.
The Synod is a wide collection of Presbyteries, represented by a small number of elected delegates who represent each Presbytery at Synod conventions. The Synod today mainly serves as a judicial appeals court and coordinates church governance throughout the different Presbyteries. It is an annual gathering where the moderator is up for election every 12 months.
The General Assembly
The General Assembly gathers elders, pastors and commissioners once a year to form the church’s doctrines, operations, and assets. It also acts as the last line of authority where judicial matters are concerned.
So How Do I Actually Find a Presbyterian Church Near Me?
Now to respond to what got you here in the first place: How do I actually find a Presbyterian church near me? Well, the process of finding every listing in your area can often be quite daunting, especially if, like me, you’re not tech-savvy. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to find a Presbyterian church near you with the help of this page. Simply enter the zip code for the area you want to search in and it will produce a comprehensive list of all the Presbyterian churches in that area. But you don’t have to take me at my word, click here to find the perfect Presbyterian church near you!