How To Choose A Church

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all - Ephesians 4:4-6

Is this church right for me?

What is the biblical criteria you need to be aware of when considering a new church? Compare the search for a church to the search for a new home. When looking for a home, people typically ask: How much does it cost? Does it meet the needs of the family? How well is it built? What kind of neighbours are there? Do you have a warm and homely atmosphere? Is it conducive to hospitality? Similarly, before choosing a new church you need to consider its foundation, structure, function, and environment.

Before we consider these important components, please realize that no church is ever to be perfect. Some local churches may appear to be in excellent condition, while others may be in obvious decline! Many fall between the extremes. You must seek God's will and be led by the Holy Spirit in selecting a church. You also need to assess how much you and your family can contribute to that ministry, so that it is not just another church, but a true church.

The Bible clearly shows us that the "church" is not a structure or temple, but rather a body of believers.

Hebrews 10:25 says, "Not ceasing to gather together, as some are used to, but exhorting one another."

This Bible verse emphasizes the fact that followers of Jesus should meet regularly. The local church is usually where these types of meetings will take place.

So the church (body of believers) is very important to the life of a Christian. So choosing a church is one of the most important decisions one can make in his/ her life.. perhaps second only to choosing a spouse to marry.

Your church, in many ways, helps shape who you are and your relationship with God. Many of the things that you will learn about the Bible will come through your church.

This article talks about the general ways a true Christian need to choose a church.

The authority and infallibility of the Bible

This means that every word in the 'Church' should be words that are in the Scriptures and that are the words of God and if we are going to disobey them, we are disobeying God. Ask the following questions...

Is the Bible the main resource for preaching and teaching in the church?

Does the church believe that the Bible is the inspired and infallible word of God and is the final authority in all matters?

A Place That Encourages You In Worship

Every church should encourage you to worship God.

This point almost seems too obvious to mention. The church brings you closer to worshiping God the Father. This is what we are for.

He created us to worship Him. Jesus makes this point very clear when the Pharisees ask him what the first commandment is. Jesus says:

(Matthew 22:37 and 39) “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind… You will love your neighbor as yourself.”

Worship is not just about sitting through a worship service or singing songs. The center of

worship is intimate communication with God.

The church should help in this relationship with God not only with the weekly Sunday Service, but throughout your life.

A Place That Will Support and Empower You to Grow in Discipleship

A disciple is someone who is learning to live like Christ.

A healthy church is concerned with membership growth more than membership numbers. Growth is a sign of healthy church life.

The author of Hebrews emphasizes the importance of growth (discipleship). It is said in:

Hebrews 5: 12-13, "Because you should be teachers, after so long, you need to be taught

again what are the first rudiments of God's Words; and you have become such that you need milk, and not solid food.

God is glorified by growing churches. Growth is not only numerical but through people growing as evidenced in service, or by getting involved in missions, or by giving financially (perhaps for the first time), by sharing the Gospel with others .. and the list goes on and continues.

A Place With Healthy Doctrine

We all have to be very careful what we teach others when it comes to salvation. There are many doctrines floating around out there. According to the scriptures, there is only one faith:

There is only one body and one Spirit, as you were also called in the same hope of your vocation; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all " Ephesians 4: 4-6.

Sound doctrine is important.

You should look carefully at this and see if it agrees with Scripture and hopefully what they believe as well. A good doctrinal statement will explain your positions on at least these issues;

Expository Preaching

This kind of preaching believes our previous point about the authority of Scripture. This is the oldest style of preaching around and it never goes out of style.

The goal of this preaching is to expose what is said in a particular passage of scripture and carefully explain the meaning by applying it to the congregation.

The authority of the expository preacher begins and ends with Scripture. The expository preaching message is often the catalyst for growth in a church.

Pray for your pastor to be committed to studying Scripture, carefully and seriously, and that God will lead him to apply the message of the text to his own life first and then to the church body.

Evangelism Life

This topic can be covered at least partially, in the doctrine category, but I think it is so important that it needs a special mention.

The attitude that a church has about evangelism and salvation is very important. A simple definition of evangelism is presenting the good news of Jesus openly and trusting God to "convert" people (see Acts 16:14).

One of the primary calls of the church is to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, so that those who do not believe have the opportunity and that those who believe have courage and faith in doing so. Every Christian church must preach the Gospel regularly and faithfully.

In reality, there are some churches that do not preach the good news of salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus, as they do not preach the good news of salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus, as they do not actually believe this. They have replaced this Gospel with another, perhaps "God loves and accepts everyone, period" or something like that.

Today's culture wants religious tolerance where all views are fine, but that is not what the Bible teaches. We must always show love to people, which is the only one way to God.

There is no perfect church, but there are some things that are so important in finding the right church for you.