Rejoice Ministries
Singing Evangelist
Marianna Esworthy
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What Church Should I Go To?
      It goes without saying that every believer should have a church home where he or she attends
regularly. If you are not a part of such a fellowship, the following advice will be invaluable to your search.

1) Look for a church prayerfully. As is the case with all other aspects of a Christian's decisions, you
should begin your search for a church by seeking the Lord's direction. The Bible promises, "In all your
ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" (Prov. 3:6).

(2) Look for good prospects. You might search for listings in the newspaper or in the yellow pages.
Always seek the congregation which is evangelical and Bible-based. A referral from a trusted Christian
friend is the most frequent way people are introduced to a church. A visit or two is helpful, but there is no
way to really evaluate a church without attending most services for a month or so.

(3) Look for a fellowship of believers. A church is not a building, nor is it merely a ministry, it is the body
of Christ. So seek people who love the Lord and who love each other — people that will love you and
people to whom you can give your love.

(4) Look for the church that preaches the Bible. Seek the fellowship that has sound doctrine,
proclaims the whole counsel of God's Word, and sincerely lifts up the Lord Jesus Christ in worship and
in all they do. Much of this can be discovered by observation, but most fellowships have a printed
statement of their doctrines they will provide to you upon request. For clarity, you can speak with the
pastor or leadership about their beliefs or practices when you're trying to find a church.

(5) Look for a church that has good character. Seek a loving, peaceful, stable church which has a
pastor devoted to
godliness, prayer and the word, which are more important than his eloquence,
education or charisma. This is how to find a church.

6) Look for a church that will help draw you closer to Christ. It might be nice to find a church where
the music is flawless, where the seats are padded and the minister dismisses promptly at noon. But
more importantly, you need a church that cares about you and will help meet your spiritual needs —
that will inspire you to grow, and will motivate you toward the aspirations of God. You need a church
whose preaching and teaching will not merely appease or entertain you, but will boldly challenge you to
advance beyond your comfort zones to live toward God's high ideals.

(7) Look for a church where you can become committed. In many ways, your relationship with the
church is similar to a marriage — what you get out of it depends on what you put into it. The only church
in which you will ever grow and mature spiritually is the fellowship where you will commit yourself and
get involved — where you will care about more than your own self-centered needs and reach out to
minister to the needs of others — where the people submit themselves to God and to each other, and
where they will both encourage you and hold you accountable.

(8) Seek that fellowship that is attempting to reach lost souls. Find a church that is seeking to bring
lives to Christ, both in their community and on foreign mission fields. Such a church understands its
purpose on the earth and will provide a healthy environment in which to grow.

(9) Find  a church where you can contribute. I've often heard the comparison made between a church
and a restaurant — a place where you get served a meal. But actually, the church is more like a pot
luck dinner. What you bring with you to church is added to the content of the meal. Your contribution to
the gathering helps to make it what it is. Therefore, seek the church where you can roll up your sleeves
and help them to minister to others. Don't look for a church that will only "serve you," but look for a church
in which you can "serve." Always remember, a church is the combination of what its people are. So if you
want your church to be the best it can be, you must be the best you can be. A church can never rise
above what its individual members are.

(10) Be ready to accept the individuality of a church. Frequently people look for a church like the one in
which they got saved, or like one they see on TV. But this is futile, because even though a church might
have the same beliefs or similarities as another, every church is distinct and different in its personality,
just like people are.
Always use the Bible as the standard to measure a church — not other churches.
This is how to find a church.

(11) Look for a church with reasonable expectations. Don't bother looking for a perfect church,
because there aren't any. In every church you will find people who are wonderful and some who aren't.
Jesus taught that it was common for weeds to be found growing together with the crops (Matt. 13:24-
30). Also, in every church, you'll find some things done well, and others that are not. Don't worry about
finding a perfect pastor, either. Trust me, they're all human and will make mistakes. But look for a pastor
who is sincere, who is trying his best to live a godly moral life, and who is proclaiming the
uncompromised Word of God. In short, be content with the church that is doing the best they can. That's
how to select a church that's going to met your spiritual needs..

There are probably many good churches in your community. Trust the Lord to guide you to the fellowship
where he wants you, and become faithful there. Don't be a church hopper — bouncing around to one
church after another each week. God wants you to be submitted to the accountability of spiritual leaders
who will help you and even correct you when necessary (Heb. 13:17), and this isn't possible unless you
are rooted somewhere. Don't have a neglectful attitude, going to church only when you feel like it. Attend
faithfully and show up on time. Serve your church at least as diligently as you would your employer.
Remember, the Lord views your attitude toward His church as your attitude toward Him (Matt. 25:40), so
serve the Lord in a way that if He were your employer, you wouldn't get fired. I hope you now know how to
find a church.

This article is copyrighted © by Dale A. Robbins, 1995, and is a publication of Victorious Publications, Grass Valley,
CA 95949.
How To Find A Church That's Right For You And Your Family
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