Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Finding a Church to Love

Where do you start? If you didn't grow up in any particular denomination (or are stepping away from that teaching) you may not know how to pick a church.

One way is to open the yellow pages. Run your finger down the appropriate column with your eyes closed and then stop. There you go! Call them up and see when to show up come Sunday morning. Done.

Or you could take a more scientific approach. Follow these suggestions for finding a local church to plug in to.

1. Location, location, location. How far do you want to drive every Sunday, Wednesday and any other day there is a function or Bible study? Look around and pin point ones of interest in your area.

2. Theology. What does this church teach? What do they believe? Most have websites anymore that you can check out. Look for a link such as, "About Us" or "What We Believe". You want a church that teaches from The Bible and believes in one fundamental thing – salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

3. Programs. Is there a children's program? Sunday school, Bible studies, youth groups, singles groups, married couples groups? Find a church that has a place for you to belong within. Also, find a place you can serve as well. Church isn't just about what they can do for you – it's how you can serve the body of Christ as well.

4. Dive in and GO. You will have to go to a church at least 4 Sundays in a row to decide if you like the service, the pastor, the songs, etc. Don't go one Sunday and decide that the songs were bad, you didn't like the pastor's message (although that is a reason TO go if he made you think!), or that people didn't notice you. It takes time.

5. Pray about it. Once you have decided where to start going, call on the Divine Counselor for His direction. He will impress upon your heart the right way to go.

Trust and obey, it's the only way!

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