As Christians, it is very important for us to find a good church. However, there are so many churches around today that it can be hard to make a decision. So, how do you go about finding a good church for you and your family? Here are some things that you should do whenever you are looking for church to join.
- Before you do anything else you should take some time to pray. Take time to seek the Lord's directions. After all, the Bible does teach us: "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:6)
- Find a church that is in a good location according to where you live. Looking through your local newspaper or phone book will help you locate nearby churches. Another option is to ask a good Christian friend. Find out where they worship and what they like and dislike about it. Ask if they've worshiped anywhere else in the area and, if so, why they moved. Recommendations are usually the best way to get a list of good potential churches.
- Spend some time visiting the churches that you have selected. Go and worship with them to find out more about the congregation and their beliefs. While you're there keep an eye out for things you're looking for in a church and things you know you want to avoid. Make sure to stick around after the service to talk with members of the congregation. See if you get along with them and whether you share the same beliefs.
- Learn about the church's history. You should ask how and where the church began. This will help you understand any affiliations that they may have. After all, you want to make sure that the church is accountable to someone so that you are sure that you're not joining a cult.
- Be certain that you know and understand the church's government and discipline. This should be Biblical and you can see what that means by reading Hebrews 13:17; 1 Corinthians 5; 2 Thessalonians 3; 1 Timothy 1:19-20 and Titus 3:10.
- Take some time to meet with the minister. Since the minister is the leader of the church, you should ask him about the congregation's beliefs. While you can discover this simply by reading the church's statement of faith, it is much better if you and the church's pastor can sit down and talk for a while before you join the church. This way you will get to know the pastor outside of the church setting. While this is not the first thing that you should do, if you're seriously considering joining a church it is a must. You do not want to blindly follow someone.
- Do not rush into joining a church. Instead, spend some time fellowshipping with the church members. Remember, a church is not a building; it is a body of people who make up the body of Christ. These are people that are going to need to love and accept you and, of course, you are going to have to love and accept them too. So you will want to make sure that this is the right place for you and your family before joining the church.
Once you have found what you believe will make a great church home for you and your family, it is time for you to pursue joining that church. Of course, this should be a decision that you make only after going through each and every one of the above steps. Good luck and God bless!