Everyone needs to be part of a family of faith. The Bible calls this group a “church.” When Peter stated his confession of Christ as the Messiah, Jesus declared, “…I will build My church and the forces of Hades will not overpower it” (Mt. 16:18b, HCSB). But choosing a church can be difficult. Whether you are new in town or looking for a church for the first time, here are six keys to include in your search for a good church.
PRAY. It almost seems redundant to mention this, but I am amazed by how many people skip this step. Paul reminded us in Romans 12:12 to be “persistent in prayer.” When looking for a family of faith, make sure God is guiding and directing you from the start.
RESEARCH. Our time is more valuable than ever, and most of us pass 20 or more churches every day. Just dropping into churches without knowing who they are can be a frustrating experience. Ask friends about their churches and do some online research. Most church websites will give you some indicators to let you know if it is a church to be visited or avoided.
IDENTIFY. A great deal of diversity exists in the body of Christ.
Doctrinal viewpoints, styles of worship and missional vision are just some of the things that need to be considered when choosing a church.
Be sure to identify a group of churches that seem to match your beliefs and values before you start visiting.
WORSHIP. Visit a congregation to see if you find yourself able to worship there. Worshiping the Lord in Spirit and Truth is one of our most important purposes in life. Attend a church where you can truly worship.
GROW. Ask yourself if this church looks like a place you can grow. We are reminded that another key purpose is to “…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18a, HCSB).
Keep in mind that growth does not mean a place to just sit and soak up what others are saying, it’s a place where you learn and put into practice what you are learning. Choose a church that will help you grow.
SERVE. Does this church look like a place that trains and utilizes members as servants, or is it a church run by a tight-knit group of controllers that will prevent others from serving? 1 Peter 4:10 reminds us that we have spiritual gifts to “serve others.” Find a church that will give you the training and opportunity for service.
What are you waiting for? If you are not already a part of a local church, get started this week on your search for a church!