How to Find a Supportive Church

If you do not have a church home...or your church is not supportive

Get out the Yellow Pages, and decide which church or churches to call.

If you call a large church, a secretary will probably answer the phone, and she can give you the information you need. Ask if there is a support group for women. If not, ask if there is a Women's Ministry director, and get her name and number. Call this lady and make an appointment to see her. When you meet with her, ask her how the church and the pastor handle domestic violence cases. If it seems promising, you might see if you and she together can meet with the pastor. Or take a girlfriend. Never make an appointment to see a man alone.

If you call a small church, you may get an answering machine. Don't let this discourage you. Many small churches can't pay a secretary to be there during the week, and the pastor likely has a fulltime job to supplement any pay the church can provide. But small churches are often wonderfully supportive, so make an effort to contact someone there.

Most pastors have had little training in dealing with domestic violence. A trustworthy man will be honest with you about his experience and education on the subject. He may refer you to someone with more training.

The key thing is, if those you talk with seem concerned primarily with your safety, health, and wellbeing, want to know what you'd like to do and how they can help, are encouraging, listen to you and believe you without blaming you, you have probably found a supportive church. You still need to be cautious and keep praying always, but a supportive and caring congregation and pastor are worth their weight in gold!

Other possible ways to locate a good church...

If you contact a local Christian organization involved with domestic violence, they may be able to tell you which churches in your area work with and support victims of abuse.

If you live in a small community, check with your local law enforcement for their suggestions, or ask a trusted church friend.