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Finding a Church to seek and be saved in

Over the course of our ministry we have talked to many people who have been turned off church for a variety of reasons.

What is church really?

It is important to understand the following:

  • A congregation of people meeting in a specific place is not the Church.  The Church is the total number of people who have accepted Christ as their Saviour and Lord, also known as born-again believers.  As such there is only one Church known as the Body of Christ or the Body of Believers.
  • This Body of Believers can be found in the midst of many individual congregations and fellowships around the world.  These congregations are often referred to as a church (as opposed to the Church).
  • In a church, not every congregant is necessarily a member of the Church.  In other words, not everyone worshipping is a born-again believer in Christ.  Indeed, it can happen that a church has no true believers and is simply a place of religious practice devoid of any living relationship with God through Christ Jesus.
  • To the extent that a church is made up of mature true believers, to that extent will that church function in a godly and righteous way.
  • No church is perfect, but God longs for us to fellowship with other true believers in Jesus (see Hebrews 10:25).

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Relating to church

Many people are turned off church because they have not witnessed a fellowship of true believers and so have not experienced the true love of Christ in a church context.  Others have been hurt by some individual or individuals and allowed that to colour their experience of the whole.  Others, sadly, are simply avoiding God, preferring to live their lives their way as opposed to His way, which is always the best way.

There are good churches out there.  Godly churches.  Churches where people care about God and care about others.  There are no perfect churches, but with patience and perseverance, God can help you to find such a church where you can learn about Christ, and grow in Him.  Whether you are seeking to know who Christ is, or have come to faith and want to find a good fellowship to grow your faith in, finding a godly fellowship is the best thing you can do for yourself.

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How to find a good church

When looking for a good church to belong to, there are a number of criteria that can help you  in your search.

  • Does the fellowship teach a solid Gospel message, proclaiming salvation through faith only in Messiah’s crucifixion, death and resurrection?
  • Does the fellowship teach the whole Bible (Old and New Testament), proclaiming its inerrancy and its importance in matters pertaining to faith, life and practice.  Does it encourage the daily study of the Bible?
  • Does the fellowship encourage and practice regular communing with God through prayer?  Does it help you to do this?
  • Is the fellowship a caring community, loving God and loving each other?  Is it a community that shows this care by deed as well as by word?
  • Does the fellowship engage in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).  Does it reach to its community and beyond with the Good News of Jesus Chrsit?  Does it disciple (teach) those who have come to faith?  Does it encourage you to do the same?
  • Does the fellowship encourage you and give you opportunities to serve the Lord in some capacity?

The old joke is that if you find a congregation that is perfect don’t join it – it will no longer be perfect.  No congregation is perfect.  But these criteria will help you to determine if a church is right for you.  And where there are holes, remember:  God might be asking you to be the person to fill it.

Whatever fellowship you end up in – whether it’s Presbyterian, Methodist or Baptist (to name but a few) – if you are comfortable there, if it lifts up Christ, if it helps you to grow in your Christian faith, and if it helps you to serve the Lord and be cared for in the body of Christ, then it is a good church.  If you are patient and prayerful, God will connect you with the right congregation.

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