For the past year, we have been without a church home. In other words, we're not currently part of a local body of Christians where we serve and worship regularly. Naturally this is not what we desire for our family. We want to be and need to be part of a local church.
But how do you find a church? How do you determine what criteria to use in determining whether a particular church is right for you?
As I was pondering these questions, I ran across this article from Stand to Reason that nicely summarizes the four factors that should be considered in choosing a church.
First, does the church have a high view of the Scriptures? Is the Bible treated as the Word of God and that is authoritative? Is Bible study a central activity of the church? If the church has a high view of Scripture you can bet there is a lot of time in energy spent on study and application of God's Word.
Second, is the church a place where you can be useful? Too often Christians view church membership as a one-way relationship meaning they are taking in all they can without giving back to the church. Church should be a place where you can be used.
Third, is the church a place where you can be accountable? Church is not simply a place to show up on Sunday morning for worship. It is a place to build relationships with fellow believers who you can encourage and be encouraged by as we walk together as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Finally, is the church a place where you can be fed? This, for me, is a question to be answered before I can determine whether the church is a place I can be useful. If I'm serving without being nourished spiritually at the same time I'll burn out quickly. So it is just as important to make sure that the church is a place that we can be fed. We need to have the freedom to worship God without worrying about what others may think. We need to be challenged by the teaching we receive.