Discussing
New poll: how far do you live from your church?

Andy Rau

Matt Kirkland
May 30, 2008

Last year, living in Hong Kong, my flat was just about a fifteen minute walk from our church - and I loved it. Sure, you get pretty sweaty walking through a super-crowded city in subtropical weather, but it sure was nice not to drive!

STMarketer
May 30, 2008

1.1 miles according to Google Maps. My office is on the way to the church, they are about three blocks apart. I bike to the office as often as possible. We live in a pretty small town of about 14k, so it's not too far to anything.

Melanie
May 30, 2008

I live just a five minute walk from my church and I love it. When I relocated here it put me 45 minutes (by car) from the old one, and that was simply too far to allow me to be involved. So I began shopping around.<br><br>Being so close has had no negatives for me, and many other attendees are also reasonably close, although some commute in with a 15-minute or so drive. I love that I can go wander about my neighborhood or downtown and encounter my "extended family" on the way. I want to have the kind of church family that I'll see more than once a week!

Linda
May 30, 2008

I wish I was within easy walking distance - I was for a long time and then changed churches because of major problems with an unethical pastor. Now the church I attend has excellent pastors and a very good program for all of our family, but it is a new building on the edge of town (the other building that was in town burned down and rebuilding on the in town lot was not a good idea). We may be able to bike there, but of course that won't work in the winter. <br><br>I think being out of town has hurt attendance some - especially when weather is bad. We are now growing in numbers, and will have to see if participation grows also.

GoReal
May 30, 2008

Man, walking distance... I live a 45 minute drive from my church. That should clue you into its being a good church. Thankfully I have a friend who lives about halfway and also attends, so I usually carpool.<br><br>- A

PJames
May 31, 2008

Hi everyone, I don't comment that often but thought you might appreciate a different perspective on this. I live in France where I pastor a small church started some fifteen years ago as a result of a pioneer missionary plant. I live quite close to the church. I usually cycle and it takes about ten minutes. But then I'm lucky. Very few of our congregation actually live in town (one other family and two single ladies). The vast majority of our congregation of about 50 adults and 10 children drive between 15-20 minutes to get to church. Two families drive for half an hour (or slightly more) to get the Sunday service. This is not because they prefer our church to other churches in the area. We are the only church in our town and the nearest church for everyone with the exception of one family. This family lives almost equdistant from two churches but are probably closer to our partner church. However to reach this church they have to cross a mountain pass, not always possible in winter. So they come to our church. This means most of our weekly meetings are decentralised; we have three different cell groups for study, prayer and fellowship. The church elders live up to an hour away from each other. <br><br>Just thought you might like to see how things are elsewhere.

Eclexia
May 31, 2008

The church I attend now was the first one I've ever chosen to attend especially for how close it is to where I live. It's a Methodist church right in the heart of our town. I'm sad, now, to discover that they are eventually planning on moving a few miles outside of the town (Maybe when they move, I'll connect with the Presbyterian church one block away, in the heart of our town). In any case, for now, I'm really glad to be a part of a church that is a part of the community that I'm part of. Two posts which have shaped my thinking on attending an as-local-as-possible church are:<br><a href="http://familyhoodchurch.blogspot.com/2007/12/bloomers-pt-3.html" rel="nofollow">http://familyhoodchurch.blogsp...</a><br>and <br><a href="http://familyhoodchurch.blogspot.com/2008/01/blooming-outside-your-comfort-zone.html" rel="nofollow">http://familyhoodchurch.blogsp...</a>

Ed Bonderenka
May 31, 2008

Small church 5 miles away. Pastor lives another 5 miles further. Events on sundays and Wednesdays only, anyhow. What I believe is important is the sense of community when we are there, and away. I don't pick a church to save gas, I pick a church to serve God.

Dons
May 31, 2008

I live about five miles from my church building (we really should say it that way, but that's another conversation). Most of our members are "local" (it's a "semi-rural" community), but a few come from a significant distance because they've been "burned" at other churches and feel "accepted" in our fellowship.<br><br>To me, it's not necessarily the distance, but being part of a church based in the community in which you live. I respect those who feel led to traverse a significant distance for the doctrines, programs, etc. (or the above-mentioned consideration), but if we're trying to reach our neighbors and build disciples following the "Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria" model, why would we not try to find a fellowship close to home?<br><br>If a Bible-believing church does not exist in the community (and all will be imperfect), I would be part of a church with a plan to plant one in my community...

Kristi
May 31, 2008

A little bit opposite approach from some others - rather than choosing a church based on its proximity to us, we chose to buy a house close to our church building. I love walking the two blocks with my family to church - and yes, we are there often during the week because it is so convenient. A number of other families have chosen to do the same, so we live within blocks of each other. This gives us a great sense of this truly being "our community" which we are praying and working to win for Jesus. It also helps with sharing childcare! :-)

Michael
May 31, 2008

I am quite happy with my current distance from church. According to Google Earth, I live 1.8 miles door-to-door. I can walk there in a little less than a half hour (carrying my book bag last night, I got there in 27 minutes, all uphill). Living in suburbia, this seems normal to me. A city is planned to be situated about its commercial and/or civic center, so I live about a mile from the outer edge of the city (that edge being waterfront), and the church is towards a major a state highway and Interstate 5.<br><br>I have some friends who live about the same distance away from church as I do and some who make a 40-minute commute to get in on Sunday mornings. We are by no means a megachurch, so I suppose this is a testament to our drawing power, or at least congregation loyalty. I wouldn't say this affects the day-to-day life of the church in any significant manner. Whereas some small groups use the church facilities to meet, most use private homes. "Events"--worship, youth group gatherings, pot lucks, etc.--are attended by all, but since worship is weekend-specific, I wouldn't call this "day-to-day".

Tim
May 31, 2008

Since becoming a Christian, I've been able to walk to the three churches I've attended, however my first two were roughly 2 and 3 miles away, so they weren't the shortest walk. This year I was employed by my current church, and it's only half a mile away. I still drive often though.

Boone
May 31, 2008

I do unstand your thoughts, right now we are rebuilding my church, I have to go an extra 10 to 15 mile to church, for the past 7 months I have. to keep in mind that it's God that I am servicing so I have to think and to make my way to the house of the lord because when it's time to work I get up, and be on time for my job. and God gives me the strenght to do so, when I think about the goodness of Jesus and all that he have done for me my soul cry out I thank God for save me.and I get good word when I go to church

Frank Chiapperino
May 31, 2008

Great question! I recently posted on this topic myself. I currently live almost 12 miles from our church and I do sometimes wish I lived closer. Most of our congregation does live a little closer to our building. I wonder if gas prices will have an impact on church attendance?

Robyn
May 31, 2008

I recently changed churches. The first one was 45 minutes away. The second one is also 45 minutes away, but it is in a different area. I have never been to a church (i've lived here 7 years) that was a close drive. I'm not saying that there aren't good churches around me, its just that I haven't tried. I also only attend non-denominational churches. There are none of those aroune me at all! So, I checked this new place out and became a member. I loved it right away. It was so awesome. I love everything about it, the people, the worship, the preaching (I feel like Im always the only one there with God). I love to drive! But, either way it wouldn't matter. I get to pray more when I drive more. I get to worship more when I drive more. I'm also somewhat involved....But needless to say, Id probably be able to go to church on WEds. nights also if I wasn't so far away. Oh well, maybe in the future I can move closer to the church. ( I live in PA in the middle of nowhere, so Im blessed to be able to find an awesome church only 45 minutes away!)

Maureen
May 31, 2008

I wish I could live close to my church. I can't afford the neighborhood it's in, but it's the right place for us right now. When we needed to find a new church we sat down and asked ourselves what our dream church would look like, this is the closest we could find. Plus, our teen is really involved in the music and his school friends attend. It's the first time he's been so jazzed about going to church and we'll drive as far as we need to drive no matter how high gas prices get.

Steve
June 1, 2008

When our kids were small we always appreciated the 25 minute drive to church. Getting everyone up and ready was a chore and the time in the car was always a time of preparing our hearts and mind for worship. Now, I wish it were closer, but not finding an adequate place in our suburb, we travel about the same distance.

[email protected]
June 1, 2008

21.7 Mi

Gbrad
June 1, 2008

Ever since I can remember I've had a drive to church. Other than chapel at the college I attended. So driving to church is kinda natural for me. I just wish I could walk sometimes.

Cmf
June 1, 2008

I'm only 3/10 of a mile from my church, which makes me unusual in the congregation. The town itself is small, but close to a military base, so many of our members live on base. Among the civilian members, no one wants to live in this town because it has a poor reputation. Our mayor has worked very hard, often influenced by our former paster, and the town has improved a great deal. But that bad reputation is stuck on with crazy glue. :( We could do so much more if more of the congregation lived here instead of on the other side of a military base.

Paul In Canada
June 1, 2008

Despite the fact that The Church (capital letters) is a mix of young and old, rich and poor, etc., most of the churches (lower case letters) on my radar are not exactly a heterogeneous mix. We tend to collect around people who resemble ourselves.<br><br>I was once taught the axiom that, "the BEST church is one you can walk to." My current church home is just a 15-minute walk, (but the route home includes going up a steep hill, so I take the car!) and I've been there two years and I really like the pastor. However, I really feel I have little or nothing in common with most people there. This morning I wanted to go back to a former church home (about a 15-minute drive) where I feel more invested in the lives of people (and they, in turn, invested in my life) but that gas price is getting prohibitive. (Mind you, that's the community where I work...)<br><br>I wish I lived within walking distance of THAT church; though I know people who moved (one a distance of about 50 miles) to be closer to a church, only to find that their relationship to that church changed over time.<br><br>Most of the larger churches that are "attractive" to me and others tend to be regional churches, not neighborhood churches; which means people travel a distance to be there, which in turn makes the mid-week small group thing more vital.

SolShine7
June 2, 2008

There was a time in my life when I was walking distance from my church and it was awesome!

YT
June 2, 2008

I do not like the content or the direction of this topic - distance to your church - it can mislead people from thinking the right reason why people go to church<br><br>I am talking here for a bible teaching and sound doctrine church. I see my church is my own family, where I belong, where I learn and grow, where we worship together, etc ... etc.<br><br>If we have these kind of reasons, will the "distance" prevent us from getting together in church? Nope! We have a bond of love and family in Christ Jesus<br><br>A church is a place for worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ, having a fellowship together within the body of Christ Jesus, and etc.<br><br>We should be aware of and cautious for certain people trying to commercialize or socialize the church ...<br>

Candace Williams
June 4, 2008

I attend a country church and most of the people have to drive to get there. We're all spread out but there are lots of people who come more than 25 miles to get there and pass fine churches to go to ours.<br><br> I've always puzzled over that commuting a long way to church habit. But as time goes on I see more reasons why some folks go far away to a church in another community..

Gaylafoster
September 27, 2009

I commute approximately 10 minutes - door to door. The convenience allows me to be more active in weeknight events, as well.

Amy Lively
October 27, 2009

Can I see the results of this old poll on how far do you live from your church? Thank you!

Jerod
October 27, 2009

Hi Amy-<br><br>Here are the results from the archive.<br><br>How far do you live from your church?<br><br>I don't attend a church. (5%, 14 Votes)<br>More than 20 miles. (10%, 28 Votes)<br>11 - 20 miles. (21%, 56 Votes)<br>5 - 10 miles. (29%, 78 Votes)<br>1 - 4 miles. (20%, 53 Votes)<br>Easy walking distance (less than a mile). (15%, 41 Votes)

Amy Lively
October 27, 2009

Thanks so much, Jerod! I needed this for an article on home-based Bible studies. Good news: you were on the front page of my Google search, even a year after the post.

Wilson0291
September 3, 2010

What were the results of this poll.<br>Thanks

Jerod
September 3, 2010

Easy walking distance: 41<br>1-4 miles: 53<br>5-10 miles: 78<br>10-20 miles:56<br>20 or more miles: 28<br>I don't go to church: 1

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