As you are searching for a church? Pray for God’s guidance. He will help you on your path. You will never find the “Perfect” church. Every visible and local church consists of a mixture of members, all of whom are flawed to one extent or another. Even though you will not find a perfect church, do your best to find a solid church that honors the Bible and the essential beliefs of Christianity.
We’ve all heard that the choice and purchase of a home is one of the most significant decisions a person will make. In this temporal world, that may be true. However, choosing where you and your family will learn the things of God and serve the Lord Jesus Christ has eternal ramifications.
Though these questions aren’t the only ones to ask, they are important. They don’t stand alone, but together they create a crucial decision-making framework.
What does the church believe?
The idea of becoming part of a church that doesn’t love, preach, and teach the gospel is absurd. Far too much is at stake. If the gospel is not merely the A-B-C into the Christian life, but the A-to-Z of the Christian life, then the gospel changes everything. To see just how and why the good news is such good news requires us to see how it shapes and defines all of life. Make sure the gospel is preached, prayed, sung, celebrated, taught, applied, lived, and loved; week in, week out, day in, day out, 24/7.
How do they behave?
What is the nature of the church. Church isn’t just a building you enter, it isn’t just a meeting you attend, it is so much more. Church is a covenant community created by the gospel and for the gospel. It is an outpost of heaven; a light through which Christ shines and brings life. Church is the people of God, as they perpetually gather and scatter for the purpose of making Christ known. Church is the means of both discipleship and mission. When you’re looking for a church, make sure the vision of what it means to be the people of God shapes the activities and structures of the church you are considering.
Another thing to consider when looking at the church is a couple of the things they have to offer that you will be exposed to every week. You need to think everything through as you are making your decisions.
Allow me to apply this point briefly to two controversial areas. First, style of music. Musical style has more to do with personal preference than with theological conviction. They may sing old hymns more than contemporary songs, but in light of eternity, that’s incidental. Don’t let music determine whether you join a church or not. Ask questions by all means, but do not allow it to become primary.
The second thing is kids’ programs. Your kids are important, but an all-singing, all-dancing kids program isn’t. In fact, lack of programs may be the best thing for your kids. It gives you a great opportunity to teach them the true nature of both gospel and church. What better chance to disillusion them of the notion that they are consumers and that church is all about them! You won’t get a better opportunity to teach them about the nature of the gospel, what the church is, and what it really means to follow Jesus.
So you have found the church. You have decided to join. Now what?
Get in among them, to love them, and serve them and live in the world with them, for the glory of God and the fame of Jesus by the power of the Spirit.