What to look for #1: Love
When you walk through the doors on Sunday morning of a brand new church can you see and experience the love of God, and are people greeting you? Do you feel welcome? Can you sense the love of God through the people fellowshipping there? The world that we live in can be cruel and uncaring but the church that we attend should be just the opposite.
What to look for #2: The Bible
The main question that anyone looking for a church must ask is related to the Holy Scriptures. Does the church teach them in a relevant and applicable way? Is the Bible held as the highest authority in all church matters? When you find a church that is looking to the Bible for all of life’s answers then you are far along on your journey to finding the right church for you.
What to look for #3: Prayer
All of us need prayer and the church is just the place for it! We need to pray for others, pray for ourselves and we also need to be prayed for. God always answers prayer! A good question to ask when looking for a church is whether they have a prayer ministry or a prayer meeting. If they have one then take advantage of it and ask for prayer.
What to look for # 4: Worship
Worship simply means, ‘ascribing to God all His worth’ and we are called to worship God in every aspect of our lives. As human beings we can relate to God through music and singing, and it is a wonderful way to worship Him. The first thing that you will notice when you visit different churches is that they have various styles of worship music. Some churches sing hymns, some sing contemporary praise songs and some have a blend of both. Look for a worship service that both inspires you individually and also pleases God.
What to look for # 5: Ministries
All of us come to a new church with our own personal story. Some of us are married with children, some of us are single; we may be divorced or even be recovering from grief. Wherever you find yourself on your personal journey with God, ask yourself an important question when visiting a church ‘how can I serve here and who can I be ministered to’? If you have a particular spiritual need, look at the church bulletin or call the church office to find out what ministries are offered. After you identify how the church can minister to you, then you can begin to identify how you can be a blessing to others in that church.
What to look for # 6: Missions
Each church was founded with a mission. Whether that mission is to primarily reach the un-churched or to disciple believers, you can guarantee that the church has a core purpose. Being in a missions minded church simply means that the church has a passion to see the world touched by Christ. Ask yourself whether God can give you a passion for the same mission that He has laid on the heart of those who already worship there. Jesus said, ‘a house divided cannot stand’. It is always good to search your heart before you join a church and ask whether you are united in purpose with that fellowship.
What to look for #7: Relationships
This is the final key to finding the right church for you. Christianity is a relationship! We were created to have a relationship with God and when we do, God calls us to love other people. Healthy churches provide opportunities for people to get connected whether they are in small group ‘home fellowships’ or other special events. Remember – God has made us all different and it would not be a church if we all looked the same. The church that God calls you to may personally stretch you to meet and love folks that you would never have anything in common with. That is a good thing! The Bible tells us that that God gives wisdom to all who ask Him for it. So pray and ask God to guide you to the right church for you and He promises that He will. May God richly bless you on your adventure!