Finding the Right Church
Pray, asking God to show you which church He wants you to be in. This is no small matter. God has exactly the right place for you within a local worshiping community. We don’t choose a church the way we might choose a supermarket – it’s not primarily the most convenient church or the most exciting church, or the church with the best worship band that we should go for. The main question “Does God want us here?” should always be uppermost in our mind. That being said, there are a number of factors that need to be worked through, including items 2 – 10 on this list.
Visit any new church for 4‐6 weeks. Every week is likely to be different and you need a broad experience of the church’s ministry and fellowship before making a decision to settle in the church.
Make sure that you know what the church believes and teaches about things that matter to you and God. If, for example you are passionate about adult baptism or a particular view about the second coming, its unlikely that you will feel comfortable in a church that teaches a different view. If in doubt, talk to one of the leaders and ask for the church’s position on these things.
Make sure that the church’s programme meets your family needs. If you have children or teens, make sure that there is something in the programme that is geared to meeting their needs. However, please be open to the idea that every Sunday School or Youth Work has to start somewhere! It may well be that there is an experienced team of youth or children’s workers already in the church just waiting to get started.
Make sure that you feel comfortable with the church’s style of worship. If you are used to a traditional service you might need some time to adjust to a more contemporary, spontaneous style and vice versa. Both have value, and given time you might be surprised to find that your tastes can change.
Ask yourself “Do I feel at home in this church?” This is a question that often clinches it when it comes to finding a new spiritual home. Although a little subjective in nature, the answer might reflect the level of acceptance you feel in the church.
Ask yourself “Can I expect to grow closer to God in this church?” Growth often involves being challenged and stepping out of your comfort zone. Challenging sermons and opportunities to serve in new ways can help spur you on to new levels.
Ask yourself “ Can I expect God to use me in this church?” According to the Bible each local church functions like a human body, with each member doing its part. When you are in the right church, you will find that you have a role to play in serving others just as others will be able to serve you. Please be patient though, It can take time to find your unique place in the bigger scheme of church life.
Think about the people in the church. Are they warm and friendly to you and loving towards each other? Every church has times when the best and firmest relationships feel strained, but Jesus told us that the hallmark of true discipleship is love for one another. It makes sense to look for that hallmark when considering joining any worshipping community.
Think about the Pastor. Can you “receive” from him? How do you feel when he preaches? If you have found the right Pastor you have probably found the right church! Preaching has been defined as “truth communicated through personality” and it goes without saying that every Pastor has a different personality and therefore a different style and feel to his preaching. No one style seems to suit every listener and we need to be sensitive to how our hearts respond while sitting under someone’s preaching. If you come away from a service feeling that the message did you good – that’s probably a good sign!
We love and serve God.
As a church we seek to live our entire lives in relation to God. It is our goal and passion to find our deepest satisfaction in Him. Because of this, when we come together it is to worship God “in Spirit and in Truth”
The fact that God answers prayer is a vital part of our individual lives as well as our life as a church, and we have plenty of stories from our own experiences that can support this claim.