About 337 times a year I am asked my advice on choosing a church. I don’t mind the question, but I thought maybe if I answered it concisely once it may save me some time.
First off, let me say that the reason I am a pastor is because I don’t want to go to your church. OK, there are other reasons too, but that’s a big one.
Secondly, here is my list of church-picking advice:
*The Local Church exists to edify (build up) the believer into the perfect man Jesus Christ. That being said, the responsibility for your growth is on you, not your church. So don’t give me any of this “I’m just not being fed” stuff. It could be you are being fed you just don’t have taste buds for truth. Amen.
*The church does not exist to 1) make you happy, 2) fulfill your every whim, 3) give you a place to be you, 4) entertain you, 5) babysit your kids, and pretty much every other reason you are probably going to use to pick a church.
*It is my contention that a true believer can grow in any church. Some of the most growing times I’ve had in church were when I went to a church I disagreed with. However, picking the worst option so growth might occur is a risky proposition.
*The most important aspect of a church is how well they facilitate your seeking of God. When I say “God” I mean the God of the Bible. This means your church must treat Scripture very highly, as the things that are revealed belong to us.
*If your church teaches Scripture and encourages you to pursue God and godliness, I don’t care what else they do. That’s the main point and the main criteria.
*In the end, good churches are hard to find. There are about 6 of them in the world. This should not surprise you, it’s what the Bible says (OK, maybe it doesn’t say there are only 6, but it says there aren’t many). The odds of you finding one are slim to none.
*The “lack of good churches” excuse matters none at all on Judgment Day. If you “can’t find a good church” spend less time whining about it and more time creating one. Every man will be judged on how he built on the foundation, never once is the foundation judged for what was built on it.