Assessing a Good Church, Pastor and Congregation.
Begin your search for a good Bible believing church by seeking the Lord’s direction.
Find a fellowship and congregation that is committed to the Bible as God's inerrant, living Word. The foremost is that they uphold the Bible as their authority, being the word of God. Do they teach through the Bible, not picking certain doctrine but leaving others. Do they teach the whole counsel of God.
Is the gospel proclaimed regularly from the pulpit. A good church will teach the doctrine of the Trinity. This means that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are three distinct beings but are one. Do they believe Jesus is the Son of God and is Christ fully God and fully man.
Seek a loving, peaceful, stable church which has a pastor devoted to godliness, prayer and the word. Are they Christ centered and preaching the gospel of grace through faith alone for salvation.
Is there a spirit of worship, love and devotion to Him in their gatherings and in their ministry? Seek a fellowship that has sound doctrine, proclaims the Word, and sincerely lifts up the Lord Jesus Christ in worship and in all they do.
Is the pastor or minister the only one who can do anything "spiritual" or is the Holy Spirit allowed to minister through others too? Is this Church bound by traditionalism or a denominationalism that God isn't allowed to move? Do they seek to work out their faith in practical day-to-day living?
Does the congregation exude an attitude of loving and caring each other. That is part of what we are to be as Christians, and it doesn't come naturally. Find a Church that has a loving atmosphere to breathe. Are they open to fellowship with other Christians.
In this Church are the people all-week or Sunday only Christians.
Does anyone care if you fall into sin, and what will they do about it? Are the steps of Matthew 18:15-20 followed? Accountability need not be threatening.
A church is not a building, it is the body of Christ. You need a church whose preaching and teaching will not entertain you, but will boldly challenge you to advance beyond your comfort zones to live toward God’s high ideals.
The only church in which you will ever grow and mature spiritually is the fellowship is where the people submit themselves to God and to each other. Every church is distinct just like people are.
Always use the Bible as the standard to measure a church not other churches. Find the fellowship that is seeking to bring lives to Christ, both in their community and on foreign mission fields. Such a church understands its purpose and will provide a healthy environment in which to grow.
Learn about the church, talk with the pastor, sit in a Sunday School class, read the doctrinal statement, and asking a lot of questions.
Is ‘giving’ freely encouraged but with no pressure on tithing and raising money. Is there any teaching that your ‘giving’ earns you any favour with God or buys you into Heaven. Are there an open record where the money goes.
Is the church mission-minded. Are sheep producing sheep which will turn into growth for the Church, or are they relying on the leaders or pastor to do the work of the ministry.
Do they accept you for who you are without any conditions and are willing to help you mature in Christ.
A church can be warm and friendly, but later find they are theologically off. Ask for a statement of faith. With a drive toward ecumenism and tolerance among churches, many denominations have been watering down their beliefs in order to fit in with the world.
If you find a church that is actively pursuing these things then you have probably found a healthy environment for your spiritual growth in Jesus Christ- you have found a good church home.
The Christian Counter
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