Finding a Good Church
Finding A Good Church
Mary Ann Collins
|This paper is a response to people who have asked me how to find a good church. Following are some suggestions.
The first thing to do is to pray for God to lead you to the right church. Keep on praying until you find it.
A good church is a place where people believe the Bible, have sound doctrine, and are full of love for God and for one another.
Sound doctrine is important. There are some doctrines that are non-negotiable. If a person doesn't believe them, then they are not a Christian. These include the Incarnation (Jesus is both God and man), the Atonement (Jesus died for our sins), the Trinity, and the Resurrection. However, there is far more to Christian life than just sound doctrine. In Revelation 2:1-7, Jesus is speaking to a church where the people rejected false teaching, did good works, and had patience and courage under adversity. However, He rebukes them because they let their love fade. This was such a serious problem that Jesus told them to repent and rekindle their love, or else He would deal with their church.
People have different personalities. So do denominations and pastors and congregations. As a result, individual churches have different personalities. You can find out about a church's doctrine with a phone call to their office. But to get a feel for a church's personality, you will have to visit it a few times.
If you are not comfortable with a church that you try, pray about it. The lack of comfort might be because there is a problem there, or it could just be because you are not used to it. If the church is challenging us to grow, that can be uncomfortable. Some discomfort is just culture shock. Any Protestant church will be different from what we were used to as Catholics.
All of us have strengths and weaknesses. So do pastors. So do churches. There are no perfect churches. It is probably a good thing that there aren't, because knowing human nature, if we found one, we would probably make an idol out of it. Not being able to find a perfect church makes us depend on God. And that's good.
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