For many Americans, finding a church can be a difficult task. With so many considerations to make and with complicated personal tastes often making the process overwhelming, one can easily find him or herself visiting many houses of worship before settling into one that fits individualized specifications.
Plainly stated: The task of church selection isn't an easy one to undertake.
Enter FaithStreet, a unique, New York City-centric (although other cities may be coming soon) web site that takes on the monumental task of assisting people with their church-finding needs. Think Yelp meets Match.com meets the Yellow Pages.
But this isn't your average, run-of-the-mill search site. FaithStreet combines the power of personal experience, knowledge, a diverse set of search items and an easy-to-use platform to provide a comprehensive look at all of the worship options available to New Yorkers.
To the right, see all of the categories one can search when looking for the most fitting house of worship. From congregation size to type of music, tailoring one's church experience is easy with this interactive tool.
On its website, FaithStreet describes its aim:
Our goal is to cover every congregation in Metro NYC with a basic, user-friendly profile. We combine in-the-know church member recommendations, enhanced church-generated content (like videos and pastor bios) and a category-based search tool to bring people and churches together.
Founded by former attorneys Sean Coughlin and Ryan Melogy, FaithStreet is a powerful medium that provides churches with a virtual presence that is like non-other.
Through their work, Coughlin and Melogy open technological doors for pastors and congregations alike. New York is an extremely diverse city with hundreds (if not thousands) of churches that operate under the radar (i.e. without the masses even knowing they exist). But with FaithStreet, these churches can now be easily discovered.
Additionally, the site brings Christian believers to one location where they can communicate, share reviews, advertise events and outreaches and the like.
Recently, The Blaze caught up with Coughlin to speak further about his motivation to leave his career as a lawyer to delve into such a unique (and like all start-ups, financially-risky) project:
Below, he talks more about his personal story and what led him to create FaithStreet:
So far, Coughlin says that reaction to the project has been very positive. In a bustling city with so many people who are on the run and who may not have time for intensive church visits, the tool has proven very useful thus far.
The Blaze caught up with Casey Hurley who has personally used the platform. Hurley praises the site's objective reviews of churches and says that it "makes the task of finding a church a lot less daunting when you have a whole group of people doing the same thing." Watch her comments, below:
FaithStreet is certainly a unique idea. While it's currently only available in New York City, it may be a good idea to check out the features and to begin to tinker with them. You never know -- the site may be coming to your city next.