When looking for a church home there are some things you need to consider. While there are definitely some churches you need to avoid, what are some positive things that you need to be looking for in a church?
CHURCHES TO CONSIDER:
- A WORSHIPPING CHURCH: The primary reason we meet together is to focus our attention on God, giving Him our worship, praise and adoration. This should be something that we have a strong desire to do in our hearts.
- A CHURCH THAT FOCUSES ON JESUS: Healthy churches talk about Jesus all the time. Their main focus isn’t their building, their budget or their bottom line. It’s Jesus (1 Corinthians 3:11). They don’t have gimmicks. They have Jesus. He’s at the center of everything they do and teach. Jesus was the main focus of the church in the first century … why should that change? Jesus, not issues, is at the center of a healthy church.
- A BIBLICAL CHURCH: The Bible is still the best book ever. It’s full of answers for people’s lives. To use something other than the bible is stupid. Don’t tell me that if you teach from the bible, people won’t come. Nothing is further from the truth. I think you know that first and foremost the number one thing to look for in a church is one that teaches the Bible.
- A CHURCH THAT IS ACTIVE: I’m amazed when people tell me that the church they attend simply offers worship services three times a week and nothing more. What about fellowship groups, service to the community, mission activities, outreach and others are all areas the church needs to be involved in. What does a church have to offer you in ministries, and what can you offer them?
- A CHURCH THAT HAS A FOCUS ON SPECIFIC NEEDS: If you have children you are going to want to seek out a church with a youth program. If you are single you might look for a church that has a lot of singles. If you are retired you might look for a church with a senior’s program. While programs aren’t high upon the list, they’re still important to you and your family.
- A CHURCH THAT TEACHES THE BIBLE SIMPLY: It’s important to find a church where the Bible is taught in a way people can understand. Nothing is more frustrating than spending time listening to a preacher that preaches over your head. Also, a lesson needs to apply. A lesson taught or preached without application is a big mistake. People must be challenged. People need practical lessons that will help in their daily lives. Can anything be more frustrating than taking the time to come to church on Sunday and getting absolutely nothing out of it? God didn’t make the bible difficult, so churches don’t need to either.
- LOOK FOR AN OUTREACH CHURCH: Churches should open their arms and lives to others. Churches need to not only be concerned about the spiritual needs of others, but also the physical needs of others. As the old saying goes, “People don’t care about what you know, till they know how much you care.” The church is not just about learning Christianity, it’s about LIVING Christianity. I want to be a part of a church that reaches out to the physical needs of the community around them AND the spiritual needs too.
- LOOK FOR AN APPROACHABLE CHURCH: A church should have an atmosphere where people will want to bring their unchurched friends. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard in the past, “The last place I wanted to bring my friend was to church because I knew the preacher would say something to embarrass them or me.” How sad. The church needs to be a safe environment where people know they can bring family or friends without them getting their “hides nailed to the wall.”
- LOOK FOR A CHURCH THAT’S A FAMILY: Again, it’s all about community, a place to belong and a place to grow closer to other Christians. The church should be a refuge for Christians and a place to find encouragement and accountability.
- LOOK FOR A CHURCH WITH STRONG LEADERSHIP: While we understand that Christ is the head of the church, we also know that the church has its earthly leaders as well. And the old saying is true “as go the leaders, so goes the church.” The church will only be as strong as it’s leadership. And it’s not uncommon for a church to take on the personality of its leaders. So, if the leadership is lazy, so goes the church. If the leadership is not concerned with outreach, so goes the church. And, if the leadership is balanced, working and involved… so goes the church. I think you get the idea that strong leadership is essential.
So we talked about what to look for in a church and what to avoid in a church, tomorrow we’ll look at “Finding the Right Church (Part 3)” and things you can do to prepare yourself for your “church search.”