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What should I be looking for in a church?

We must first understand God's purpose for the church—the body of Christ—in order to know what to look for in a local church. There are two important truths to know about the church. To begin with, "the living God's church [is] the pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15). Second, Christ is the only one who can lead the church (Ephesians 1:22; 4:15; Colossians 1:18).

In terms of truth, the local church is a place where the Bible (God's one and only Truth) reigns supreme. The only infallible rule of faith and practise is the Bible (2 Timothy 3:15-17). As a result, when looking for a church to attend, we should look for one where the gospel is preached, sin is condemned, heartfelt worship is practised, biblical teaching is taught, and opportunities to minister to others are available. Consider the early church's model, as described in Acts 2:42-47: "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayer." They broke bread in their homes and ate together with joy and sincerity, praising God and basking in the favour of all. And the Lord added to their number those who were saved on a daily basis."

Christians should attend a local fellowship that declares Christ's headship in all matters of doctrine and practise, according to the second truth about the church. The head of the church is not a man, whether he is a pastor, a priest, or the Pope. All men pass away. How can a dead head exist in the living church of the living God? It's impossible. According to the Scriptures, Christ is the church's one supreme authority, and all church leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship are appointed through His sovereignty.

The rest of the factors (buildings, worship styles, activities, programmes, location, etc.) are simply a matter of personal preference once these two fundamental truths are established. Some research is required before attending a church. Doctrinal statements, purpose statements, and mission statements, as well as anything else that reveals what a church believes, should be thoroughly scrutinised. Many churches have websites where visitors can learn more about their beliefs on the Bible, God, the Trinity, Jesus Christ, sin, and salvation.

Visits to churches that appear to have the fundamentals in place should come next. It will be beneficial if you attend two or three services at each church. Any visitor literature should be thoroughly examined, with particular attention paid to belief statements. The principles outlined above should be used to evaluate churches. Is the Bible the sole source of authority? Is Christ exalted as the church's head? Is there a strong emphasis on discipleship at your church? Did you feel compelled to worship God? In what kinds of ministries does the church get involved? Is the message evangelical and biblical? What was your impression of the fellowship? You should also feel at ease. Have you been made to feel at ease? Is the congregation made up of true believers?

Finally, keep in mind that no church is without flaws. It is still, at best, full of saved sinners whose flesh and spirits are constantly at odds. Also, don't overlook the significance of prayer. Throughout the decision-making process, praying about which church God would have you attend is essential.


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