FINDING A GOOD CHURCH- Introduction
Many Christians don’t know how to go about finding a sound, orthodox church. What guidelines can we follow to help us choose a biblically based fellowship?
FINDING A GOOD CHURCH- Do Your Homework
Because there are so many churches and denominations today, Christians need to exercise caution in choosing a church home. Thus, we strongly urge believers to deepen their understanding of the Scriptures and to sharpen their theological and spiritual discernment. This can be done by pursuing serious Bible study, as well as by reading books discussing the essentials of the Christian faith.
FINDING A GOOD CHURCH- Know Your Traditions
Also, a firm knowledge of the various traditions within orthodox Christianity, along with their distinctive doctrines, should prove valuable in deciding which church to join. Believers should consider whether the church will adequately meet their spiritual, emotional, and social needs. In addition, of course, it should provide them with an opportunity to be of service to other Christians, as well.We also urge Christians to make sure that the doctrinal statements issued by the church are in line with Scripture. They should not hesitate to ask specific questions on issues where the church’s position may not be clear to them.
FINDING A GOOD CHURCH- Find out about the Church Leadership
Because organizations generally take on the characteristics of their leadership, knowing something about the church’s background can be very helpful as well. Find out whether or not the leaders of the church have consistently upheld essential Christian doctrines. See if the church affiliates with other Christian ministries or conversely maintains ties with pseudo-Christian cults. We also would suggest that churches belonging to the National Association of Evangelicals or the World Evangelical Fellowship will generally be doctrinally sound.
FINDING A GOOD CHURCH- Pray for Guidance
Above all, Christians should pray to God for guidance in finding the congregation that is best suited to help them grow in their faith. And remember, that a healthy, well-balanced church is one which not only provides an atmosphere of fellowship, but also one that will equip you as a Christian to communicate the good news of the Gospel to a lost and searching world. On finding a home church, that’s the CRI Perspective. I’m Hank Hanegraaff.