A Christian friend finder is an Internet service that provides a participating online community the ability to search for and develop relationships with other individuals of similar interests and faith convictions. Many sites are not only geared toward those interested in romance but also cater to those looking for a friend with whom they can become a pen pal, a Bible study partner or prayer partner. Some of the more popular web sites that interest Christians are free and allow a participant the ability to create a personal profile as well as to control outgoing or incoming information and contacts. Powerful tools allow users to find a match to any criteria they set in their profile and can be assured that there will usually be a close match found among the thousands of databases compiled worldwide.
Various other features are oftentimes offered within a community such as ezines, blogs, chat rooms, and email. Some advanced options are offered through many sources such as upgraded premium accounts that must be paid for by participants. Typically, a new user begins with a free Christian friend finder service before choosing to upgrade to more features. Free accounts generally require a user name and password in order to log in to a new account. Basic features offered to beginning users are more than enough to satisfy their networking experience until they are proficient enough to move on to advanced features. Some people are content to continue with a basic account and are pleased to find the match that they are searching for without upgrading.
For long time users, an upgrade can provide extras such as speedy customer support, regular data base searches, emailed matches to criteria and anonymous email services. Customer support can be very important especially for paying customers who are having billing problems, technical difficulties or instructional issues when looking for a friend through a professional service. Some sources offer varying upgrades that provide degrees of customer support according to the type of account. Participants who have upgraded to a premium account with most sources generally receive the best customer support. An automatic database search that is performed regularly by a Christian friend finder service is usually an upgrade feature that many individuals find helpful.
According to particular criteria required by an individual who is in search of a likeminded person, an automatic search is executed daily or weekly for the closest match. Automatic searches make it easy for people who are looking for a friend with specific interests, characteristics and religious beliefs without having to weed through them personally. The more specific the criteria a person enters into a database system, the more likely an automatic search will yield the best results. While nothing can really take the place of human intuition, face-to-face interaction and spiritual sensitivity, this method can essentially 'cut to the chase' by eliminating obvious mismatches. Criteria such as denominational preference and whether or not a person drinks or smokes are some of the most basic requirements that many Christians wish to address early on before choosing to initiate a casual relationship with anyone.
Just about any preferential issue can be entered by a Christian for consideration within a finder search service. For those interested in dating or marriage, religious beliefs rate at the top of most people's priorities within any Christian friend finder source, but other considerations such as physical size, ethnicity, looks, occupation, hometown, country, hobbies, education and income are very important to most. While some issues are negotiable, others are not, and an accurate search capability is highly appreciated by those who have upgraded accounts. When a possible match is found, the person receives an emailed notice regarding the find and where to contact the individual. There is no obligation to contact the match and a person may check them out further through their profile and other posted information. If and when a person chooses to contact the match is entirely up the user.
Other types of matches for participants may not require nearly the mammoth amount of data that the dating and marriage area generally requires. Those who are looking for a friend with whom to share a spiritual conversation or with whom to become a prayer partner may only require from a possible match a basic faith commitment which rests on the biblical understanding of the gospel. In other words, a personal salvation experience that is based on the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ for the redemption of those who would believe can be a necessary criteria for a Christian friendship. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
Whether for marriage or friendship, this is the basis of any long term, quality relationship really for anyone. Other preferential issues can be problematic of course, according to the person, but as a believer, this is the place to start. Anonymous email is also offered for those who have full featured accounts. This allows a user to send or receive email notices without allowing the recipient the ability to find them or track them. The anonymity this provides is a safety feature since the cyber world can be riddled with unsavory characters trolling friendship sites and searching for an easy target. Reputable Christian friend finder services provide as many safety features as possible to insure a user's protection.