How can I find the right church?
Three questions to ask as you look to join a community of God's people.
Many new Christians often wonder, “How do I find the right church?”
The search for the perfect church will only be over once we are safely in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. In the meantime however there are some aspects that we need to look for as we think about where to meet with God's people.
1. Is God's Word at the centre?
Church is a place where the Word of God is opened, explained and responded to. This has been the basic pattern since the time when Israel first assembled at Mt Sinai to hear God speak and responded in fear and trembling (Exodus 19). We too meet to hear God speak. This is the charge which Paul leaves to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2; “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction”. Find a church that first and foremost teaches and upholds that the Bible is authoritative word of God in all matters of godly living.
2. Where can I serve?
When talking about church, 1 Corinthians 14 uses the language of building up other people. Take for example verse 12: “Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church”. This is important as it takes the focus on meeting together off ourselves and our needs, and focuses it towards others.
And so the question then becomes, where is the best place for me to serve?
This may take a while to discover at a particular gathering of God’s people. And as people get to know you and you get to know them, then you will be able to serve them all the more. Speak to the church pastor or leaders, and find out how you can use your gifts to be a blessing to the congregation.
3. Can I commit?
Church ‘hopping’ from one place to another week after week will do you and others no good.
If you're looking for a church, find two or three local Bible-teaching churches (if you can!) and attend for a few weeks before making a decision to attend one. No church will be perfect, so once you've chosen, commit to your church and the people in it.