Not so long ago a person could visit a church once or twice, listen to the messages, and discern whether the church was founded on the infallible Word of God or not.  Churches either did or didn’t believe in the Bible as inspired.  Those were your two options.

That is no longer the case.  It can be very hard to discern what a church really stands for.  Even when it does claim to be based solely on the Bible, there are many new and strange doctrines and practices entering the church.  Forms of worship, requirements for salvation, standards for living the Christian life, roles of pastors and leaders, over emphasis on certain spiritual gifts – these and other areas can be confusing.  No one wants to get their family involved in a church only to later find problems in the leadership, error in the preaching or unsafe situations for children.  How can we know what churches are sound and safe to commit to?  What should we look for?  Or, like many Christians today, should we avoid all churches and stay home instead.  Watching church on TV seems much easier and safer.

First, we should remember that no church is perfect.  All are in process (Matthew 16:18).  It’s been said that if you find a perfect church you shouldn’t join it, because then it won’t be perfect anymore!

Second, God commands us to become part of a body of believers, despite the difficulties that arise when sinners get together (Hebrews 10:25).

Third, the church must be based on God’s Word as their final authority in beliefs and practices.  Does it teach God’s Word in a way you can understand and grow spiritually (Deuteronomy 4:2)?  Does it live out the Great Commission, making evangelism part of their emphasis?  Are the leaders approachable, transparent and friendly?  Are they open to suggestions and criticism?  Is there a system of accountability for them?

Fourth, is it a church that you would freely talk to visitors or new Christians?  Would they be welcomed, even if they are of a different race, ethnic group or economic level?  Are visitors greeted warmly and made to feel at home?

Fifth, prayer must be an important part of the church.  The services as well as the lives of the people must be characterized by prayer.  Are there prayer groups you can join or go to for special requests?

Sixth, is there place for you to serve?  The church should be open to others coming in to help.  It can’t be a closed clique of people who control everything and don’t want new help.  Also, it should be a place where your spiritual gifts can be used.

Seventh, it must be a place where you are comfortable with the service, including the music and worship.  Are you able to worship freely.  Does the atmosphere of the service and the music lead you to worship?

In summary, it must be a church where you can worship, learn God’s Word and serve in a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere.  There must be a healthy atmosphere of acceptance, love and excitement about following Jesus.  Don’t be too quick to switch churches, for none are perfect and none will ever meet all your needs.  Only Jesus can do that.  But don’t stay in an unhealthy situation, either.  Your gifts and resources should be contributing to the growth of the body of Christ.  Listen to the Lord and follow His leading.

Acts 2:42  They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

Name some churches that have really ministered to you in the past.  Have you thanked them for the role they played in your life?  If not, do so today.  Pray for each of them each day this week.


Christian Training Organization

(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)

Copyright © 2023

Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View) Copyright ©1995-2024