A special welcome to my Proverbs 31 friends who read about the importance of gathering together at church.
Throughout my life, I’ve attended churches of all sizes…small, medium and large!
Perhaps you are looking for a new church because you’ve moved to a new town. Or maybe you see your children aren’t making friends or connecting with the youth group.
This list of questions is certainly not exhaustive, but I have found these 7 questions to consider when looking for a church helpful.
Is the church doctrinally sound? It’s so important that the church declares the Word of God. Read the doctrinal statement of the church and make sure you are in agreement.
Do you like the worship? When you come to service, are you drawn to the presence of God? Even if the style or volume doesn’t suit you, are you able to worship God? (Bonus if you do like the style and volume)
Are there good programs for your kids? If you have kids at home, this is a big factor. Young children need to be engaged in church with interesting Bible stories and loving adult leaders. Your teens need the camaraderie of other like-minded Christian kids and also the input of other adults. Your teen might think your advice is outdated, but when another trusted adult says essentially the same thing, he or she might embrace it.
Is the church near your home? If the church is far away (more than 30 minutes driving), you may not be able to get involved and connected to community. It’s better if the church is closer. You can go more often and meet others who live in your community and go to your schools. However if the church is far away, but there’s a small group that meets in your community, that could work well.
Is there a ministry there in which you can serve? What is your passion in ministry? Women’s discipleship? Outreach to MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers)? Youth group? If the church has a ministry which you have a passion for, that is a big draw.
Will I make friends here? A huge part of church is meeting new friends and growing closer through the years. If the church is big, how can you avoid simply arriving and leaving service unnoticed? How will you make friends? Are there small groups? Do you see people in the congregation that you can befriend?
Is the church a house of prayer? Do you see the pastor and congregation are dependent on the Lord instead of technology or the latest and greatest “church growth tool”? Are there prayer services held at the church? Do you see prayer prioritized in the services?
When you look around for a church, please don’t take a consumer attitude. When you’re buying a product, it’s all about you. How will the product serve you? Will it last? Is it nice?
If you approach church this way, you’ll find it falls short because no church is perfect. You’ll complain because no one greeted you warmly, the room was too cold or too hot, or the parking was too far away.
The church is the beautiful bride of Christ. We are all members of the church worldwide. We are to serve one another, not just sit back and wait to be served.
May God bless and direct you as you look for a home church.