The most fundamental aspect of the “right” church is that it be a Bible-teaching one. In 2 Timothy 3:16, the author tells us that, “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” The Bible is the main ingredient in any church’s effectiveness and it is also the key to our spiritual growth and enhancement. Ask yourself these questions: “Does this church’s principles line up with the Word of God? Are they actively and accurately teaching from the Bible, or basing their teachings on other sources?” Be sure you are being taught from THE source!
Read the church’s statement of faith
It is important to know what the church believes in and to make sure that you agree with those beliefs. Reading the church’s statement of faith should clearly explain the values and beliefs that church upholds. Much like reading a company’s mission statement, this will tell you what the church’s intentions and reasons for existing are. By reading their “mission statement,” you should be able to answer the following two questions: “What is this church about?” and “What do they believe in?”
Christ has called each of us to love each other as he has loved us. So how is the church you are considering loving others? Look into their community involvement and see how they are reaching out to a world in need. Is the work that they are doing producing fruit? Their love for Jesus should be evident to believers and non-believers alike. Church is the place that most people reach out to in their time of need, but it should also be the place that reaches out to them. Jesus went out to meet the sick, the needy, the broken, the hurting… he did not wait for them to come to him.
This one can be a deal-breaker for many first-time visitors to a church. Are they hospitable? If the first thing you see is judgmental glares when you walk in the door, RUN! It makes a world of difference if you visit a church—or bring a friend there—and you are greeted warmly. Church is about communion with other people and hospitality is at the forefront of that.
When it comes to church, size does matter. Some people prefer a smaller church, with a more intimate setting, while others opt for a larger church, with a bit more variety. It is a matter of personal preference and where you would feel most comfortable.
There you have it! You are now fully equipped to make a solid choice on which church to attend. Whatever church you decide to attend, make sure it helps you grow stronger to God—by challenging you, loving on you and teaching you. Happy hunting!