Finding the right Church is the most important part of your journey as a follower of Jesus. Not to diminish the individual walk we are all on, but submitting to the authority of God based on Jesus' establishment of the church is key to our growth, in spite of the imperfections of the churches we go to. And, as our pastor, Greg Johnson at Restoration
Church says, "if you've found the perfect church don't go there because you will mess it up." And I would add the following: "if you found the perfect church do not go because as you get closer to its body of believers, you will find out it's actually not perfect."
In spite of these facts and based on our journey as a family the last 25 years finding and not finding the "right" church, we have always stayed in the body, and we have served in that body.
So, how do you find the right Church? The following is a checklist. Score a 1 if the answer is yes and a 0 if it's a no. If the church scores an 10 or below, we recommend praying and getting to know a few people inside that church before committing.
1. Doctrinal Alignment (starting with the obvious): Does the church adhere to and teach core doctrines in line with biblical principles, as outlined in the Nicene Creed and other traditional statements of faith? (need help here you can reach out to us)
2. Biblical Teaching (Sunday morning and from leadership): Does the church do in-depth, verse-by-verse biblical teaching, emphasizing the relevance of Scripture in daily life?
3. Worship and Connection: Is the worship service engaging and conducive to fostering a personal connection with God? Does it reflect a heartfelt and authentic expression of faith? (notice we didn't say how loud is the music)
4. Community and Relationships: Does the church emphasize the importance of genuine community and relationships among its members? Are there opportunities for small groups, fellowship, and accountability? How do they do conflict?
5. Service and Outreach: Is the church actively involved in outreach and service to the local community and beyond, in line with the biblical call to love and serve others? How much do they talk about it?
6. Emphasis on the Heart: Does the church acknowledge the significance of inner transformation and healing, reflecting a focus on personal spiritual growth?
7. Prayer and Spiritual Formation: Is prayer central to the church's life, and are there opportunities for spiritual formation and deepening of one's relationship with God?
8. Empowerment and Calling: Does the church encourage individuals to discover and live out their unique God-given callings and purposes? (Ephesians 2:10)
9. Leadership Integrity: Are the church's leaders known for their integrity, humility, and servant leadership, mirroring the qualities of spiritual leadership? Get to know them!!!
10. Healing and Redemption: Does the church have a ministry or support system for those seeking healing and redemption, aligning with the focus on God's redeeming love? Regeneration, ReEngage, Merge, Celebrate Recovery, etc.
11. Discipleship and Growth: Is there a structured discipleship program or resources for spiritual growth, helping individuals mature in their faith?
12. Family and Marriage Support: Does the church offer resources and support for families and marriages, recognizing the importance of these relationships? ReEngage and local counselors in the body ready to help!!
13. Engagement with Culture: Is the church actively engaged in addressing relevant cultural issues from a biblical perspective, following the approach of applying faith to contemporary challenges? Politics, raising kids, family, economic hardship, gender and sexual issues.
14. Holy Spirit's Presence: Is there a palpable sense of the Holy Spirit's presence and guidance in the church's activities and gatherings?
Score the church you are going to, or visiting. (0-14)
Questions? Don't hesitate to call us!!!