What to look for in a church
So often I come across folks on social media looking for a church. Each time, I’m amazed by the “referrals” so many people give for their own church. They attempt to draw the seeking person with the activities of their “church’. Things like….
Children’s ministries, Mom’s Ministries, Teen / youth Ministries, Suppers, Movie nights And more….
Seldom do I see a recommendation based on the scriptural description of the church. What does the Bible, the word of God say about a good church? Here are some questions I would ask if ever I need to find a place of worship….
What does it teach?
- Does it teach a Pure gospel? Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
- Does it teach only the Gospel? Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
- Does it teach what the Apostles taught? Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37 ¶ Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Does it teach Sound doctrine?
- Doctrines of God or of men? Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
- Doctrines of the Christ through the Apostles? Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. [Matthew 28:18-20]
- Teaching the truth, rather than to appease? 2Timothy 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. [2John 9]
Does it Teach Scriptural / Spiritual Worship?
- In truth? John 4:20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
- On the right day & remembering the Lord’s death? Acts 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
- With the proper singing? Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. [Ephesians 5:19]
- With Prayers? Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
Do they follow the pattern of the New Testament?
- The Pattern for Leadership? Acts 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed. [Acts 20:28; 1Timothy 3:1-3]
- In Love? John 13:4 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
- In Unity? John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. [Ephesians 4:1-6]
- In scriptural Fellowship (righteousness, peace and joy)? Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. 19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. [1 Corinthians 11:22]
- In Humility, respect & forbearance? Philippians 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
What do YOU expect from a local church? There are other things that we could also consider like the scriptural name or the scriptural work. If you’re looking for a movie night, go to the theater. If you’re looking to understand and do the will of God, read your bible and find a sound church.
1John 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Can we help you answer these questions? CLICK HERE to find out more about Franklin St. Church of Christ, we would love to have you visit with us.