Bible Answer

How do I find a good church?

Can you offer some instruction on how to find a good church?

The simplest answer to your question is that you should follow the Spirit as He directs you to the gathering of believers He has selected for you. Obviously, the difficulty can be in discerning the Spirit's leading, so there are some basic factors you should consider.

First, remember that you are a part of THE Church no matter where you congregate. A Christian is called to minister as a way of life, and attending a once-a-week event on Sunday mornings is not the equivalent to performing our Christian duty nor growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Hopefully, our weekly attendance will serve as a means to those ends, but it's rarely enough by itself.

So even as you search for a church home, we encourage you to maintain an open mind for how the Spirit may call you to participate in ministry. For example, our principle teacher, Pastor Armstrong, teaches in three different churches each week. Other members of our staff and Board of Directors attend different churches from one Sunday to the next - or no church at all some weeks. In general, we believe the Bible calls us to maintain a focus on serving the body of Christ wherever God directs without limiting our service to a single building to the exclusion of all other opportunities to minister.

Nevertheless, we understand the desire to find one church that can serve as your home church, and we can offer some simple advice on narrowing your choices. First, every church body is called to worship in Spirit and Truth (John 4:23), so look for a church where teaching through the Bible is a consistent, prominent part of the worship service and where reliance on the Spirit's leading and the Lord's grace is valued.

Secondly, the service is to be conducted in an orderly, God-honoring way without games or gimmicks that detract from the purpose of the worship service.

Third, look for elder leadership in the church and a pastor who participates within a plurality of leaders.

Finally, do your homework on their doctrines and beliefs. Ask the pastoral staff hard questions on points of doctrine, and if they can't (or won't) answer your questions forthrightly, move on.