In the olden days, Christians gathered in their houses to speak about religion, preach, and communicate with other believers. The Greek word for these gatherings is ekklesia, which simply means to assemble, join, come together, or gather when used in the church. That is how the word congregation came into being.
The landscape of Christian churches has shifted considerably in recent years. For example, Christians in the United States can pick among hundreds of Christian groups and traditions, including certain cities housing multiple Christian churches.
While the Bible advises Christians to congregate regularly, new Christians and long-time followers may be perplexed about how to choose the “ideal” church. This article will provide some insight for selecting a Christian church that feels right and fits your belief system.
It’s crucial to understand two key Christian characteristics before getting into specific recommendations for finding the right church. The Christian church exists in two forms: visible (local) and invisible (global).
The apparent church is made up of actual assemblies, which are frequently held in houses of worship, but the invisible church is comprised of Christians who have fought for their religion throughout history. There is just one intangible or universal church, but many visible localized churches exist.
Because Christians are, by essence, Disciples of Christ, every Christian is a member of the universal church. As a result, they are parts of His body, the church.
Rather than focusing on selecting the “correct” church for you, work on securing a place in a church that upholds divine truths as expressed in the Bible and throughout church history.
How to Pick a Church
It’s vital to know what a specific church believes and preaches. This is called the “doctrine.” Although Christian traditions allow for a range of church and worship practices, for example, all Christian churches have committed to a core of important beliefs concerning God, Christ, humankind, redemption, and so on over the years.
Choose the Divine Truth over Emotions
People are readily swayed by emotionalism rather than the facts when it comes to church life. There could be a number of reasons for this, including sentimental attachment to a facility, lengthy family representation in a certain church, confidence in a particular faith, and so on.
Doctrinal integrity frequently plays a secondary role in such emotive appeals. People are much more likely to honor their traditions than the Lord in these situations, which is why it is essential to set your priorities.
When choosing a church, remember that it is the religion you wish to seek and excel in, rather than emotional attachments to an organization or its people.
Pick a Church that Focuses on God’s Word
The Scripture is God’s message for his believers, and you may be disobeying God if you ignore his message.
Is the service focused on the Bible? Is the Bible being read, preached, prayed for, and sung at your church? Is the pastor manipulating the Bible in order to cater to the congregation’s perceived needs? You can be sure that God is not present in that voice or worship session if the teaching of the Word is not dominant, as it is the principal means of grace.
Ask yourself these questions when you visit a church.
- Is the Bible the primary source for preaching in said church?
- Is the church convinced that the Bible is God’s true and inerrant message?
- Is the Bible the final authority in all matters pertaining to the church?
Discipline is Divine
The church is not meant to validate those who commit sin. Allowing others to remain in evident sin without discipline is not love. In reality, churches that welcome those migrating from other churches due to past sins bring God’s wrath upon the entire congregation.
As a believer, you are instructed to exert sacramental confession and discipline on individuals who have deviated from the doctrine or the right path, and discipline is an act of compassion in the hope that the sinner may repent.
Many individuals have no notion of what church discipline is in today’s world since it is perceived as uncompassionate and spiteful. On the other hand, if one turns away from Jesus and lives a life of unrepentant sin, the church’s willingness to exert discipline should be exhibited.
When you pick a church, ensure that its people will guide you to the right path should you lose your way.
Religion vs Entertainment
Entertainment is worldly, and humankind engages in various forms of entertainment to keep themselves occupied for six days of the week. However, the seventh day is a day of rest from earthly pleasures and demands the worship of Christ.
If a church is entertainment-centered, tempting its members with what they want to hear while employing worldly means in an effort to be relevant, then the Lord’s worship has been undermined by worldliness.
Each Sunday, churchgoers must put their worldly impulses for amusement aside and join the sacred congregation of believers with such a longing to worship the Father and celebrate Christ’s sanctity.
Choose a church that focuses on religion and preaches to its members using the Bible. Entertainment shouldn’t be a tool the church has to use to remain relevant; if a church is a right fit for you, their preaching and concentration on God’s word will captivate you. While community-building activities are pleasurable, Sundays are strictly for celebrating Christ and honoring his message.
Here are a few tips that can help you find the right church.
- Look for a church near you
- Research online
- Attain referrals from family and friends who follow the same belief system as you
Choosing a church is the most significant decision you make, as religion guides you and provides you with direction to live your life. However, how to pick a church remains an important question. When choosing a church, you must ensure that it focuses on the Bible and preaches God’s word.
A church that reminds you to remain steadfast in your belief and disciplines you when you wander astray is the right church for you, as it will help you become a better believer and earn God’s love and appreciation.
Pick a church that aligns with your belief system and remains linked with said institution to build a relationship with its members and understand the Divine truth.