How to Find a Great Local Church?
In this blog, we are going to discuss how to find a great church and the reason it is important to attend a local church. When looking for a church the best thing you can do is to pray and ask God where He would have you to attend and for His guidance to be upon this extremely important choice in your life. God does have a perfect church for you that will encourage you to grow in your relationship with Him right where you are. Let’s start by defining what church is: there are two churches, the local church that is in your community and the “Big C” Church which is made up of every believer (Romans 12:5). The local church is what helps make up the “Big C” Church and I believe that the local church is crucial to the life of every believer. The Bible in fact tells us, we should be in a local church, in Hebrew 10:24-25, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” The church is a meeting of believers that encourages one another in all areas of our Christian lives. In this passage, it says, as the coming of Jesus gets closer we should be meeting together more often. If you have not been attending church, commit to attending a bible believing church this Sunday.
In-Person or Online?
For those that are looking for a local church and do not know where to start, I recommend using www.churchfinder.com to find a church in your local area. This will provide you with basic information about each church: such as pictures, mission statements, and church websites. It is a great tool to use to find your own local church or a church while you are on a trip. If you are looking for a church family, then I recommend that you start by watching a past Livestream or two from the church or churches that you are interested in visiting. That way when you attend in person, you will feel more comfortable. Also, this gives you a feel for the atmosphere of the service before you attend and information about their clothing attire. Because very few churches have the same attire expectations, even in the same denomination. Although I do not recommend attending online exclusively, I did that for two years due to 2020 and I really missed the in-person worship, fellowship, and serving. Remember that the local church’s goal is to help you grow in your relationship with Jesus, encourage you in every area of your Christian life, and fellowship with other believers in serving your local community.
What makes a Church Great?
Alright, if you are looking for a local church to attend here are some good things to keep in mind. There are several major pillars in finding a church, these are things that I consider absolutely necessary in order for a church to be a great local church. The first pillar: is the church’s focus on Jesus, the gospel, serving, discipleship, and missions? Without all of these the church will lose its path, but as long as the church keeps its eyes on Jesus, everything else will fall into focus. Equally as critical to the first is the second pillar: does the church believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God. The next thing to keep in mind is how does the church doctrines and beliefs align with the Bible. Now we would not want to miss where God wants us over semantics or minor things, but in saying that we have to be clear about what is crucial to believe. First, God the Father, Jesus the Son who is our Messiah that died for everyone’s sins, was raised from the grave, is coming back again, and the Holy Spirit, the Helper which Jesus sent after His ascension. Another important belief is the literal meaning of Genesis. Jesus believed that Genesis was literal history and so should we (Matthew 19:4, Matthew 24:38-39, Luke 11:50-51, John 1:1-9, Mark 10:6). If you have questions or want to learn more about Genesis as literal history I recommend answersingenesis.org/. Finally a great church does not condone perpetual sin of any kind, but welcomes all to attend church.
Consider this before picking your Church
Now, I think that there are many personal preferences when it comes to choosing a church. First you want to consider if the pastor preaches through books of the Bible showing you details and explaining it (Exegetical/Expository), does he pick Biblical topics to focus on, or does he preach based on what is happening in the world. I think the best churches utilize all three of these styles, where they preach through the books of the Bible and when relevant topics and cultural issues present, he expounds on them. Second, you might want to consider what kind of worship music you enjoy, hymns, traditional gospel, or contemporary. Another area to consider is whether they encourage home groups, Sunday school classes, Bible studies, as well as other fellowship and serving opportunities. You should also consider what size church is right for you. Some prefer larger churches, while others like smaller ones. I do not want to sway you either way, because I believe God calls people to different size churches. Whatever church you choose, make sure that it always aligns with the grain of scripture. I believe the best way to find a church is to pray for God’s guidance.