Friday, July 20, 2007

What Should I Look For in a Church?

My pastor put together this great outline for finding a church home. I hope you find it helpful.

Non-negotiable: Some traits you will look for are optional, but here are a few that aren't.

(1) Biblically-based. This is a must. A church can do a lot of things right, but if she doesn't stand on the Word of God, the other 'right' things pale in comparison. Does the church teach the Bible and practice it? Is the Bible the final authority?

(2) Loving/Friendly. A church that has the love of God in them will be friendly. Most churches think they are friendly. They usually are friendly to one another but what about toward the first-time guest? Jesus gave us the Great Commandment - we are to love one another as He has loved us.

(3) Evangelistic. The Great Commission is our Commander's marching orders to us. In order for a church to be obedient in the key areas, she must begin here.

(4) Full of Grace and Truth. The perfect Lord demonstrated the perfect balance between Grace and Truth (see John 1:14). If we lean too far toward grace at the expense of truth, the result is liberalism - anything and everything goes (thus the state of our Nation). If we lean too far toward truth at the expense of grace, the result is legalism - rules and regulations dominate everything. We must avoid the extremes. By the way, if you are looking for the perfect church, it does not exist. You may have additional "non-negotiable" traits, but this is my 'short' list.

Negotiable. If a church meets all the essentials, then you have a green light for some important personal concerns. That might include the style of music, the quality of the senior adult ministry or the student ministry, the preschool security, the educational ministry. Our stage of life often determines our personal concerns.

Begin with the essentials and then move on to the non-essentials. If a church doesn't pass the first test, move on. I'm confident that if you will depend on the guidance of the Holy Spirit, He will lead you to a church. I'm also convinced that God calls people to a church. You need to find the place that He has chosen for you to 'fit'.

There are many great churches around. If you are currently looking for a church, ask the Lord for wisdom and He will guide you.

No comments: