What should I look for in a church?
- Expositional preaching. Does the pastor preach God’s Word, or his own ideas? Does he allow Scripture to set his preaching agenda, or does he pick topics by some other criteria? (2 Tim. 2:15, 4:2-2)
- Biblical theology. Does the church openly confess key biblical doctrines? Do the leaders consistently teach sound doctrine? (Tit. 1:9-11)
- A biblical understanding of the gospel. Does the church clearly proclaim the good news about what Jesus Christ accomplished for sinners in his death and resurrection? Consistently? (1 Cor. 15:1-4)
- A biblical understanding of conversion. Does the church teach that people must be born again in order to enter the kingdom of God (John 3:1-8)? Does the church teach that in order to become a Christian, a person must repent of sin and trust in Christ, both of which are ultimately gifts of God? (Acts 11:18, 20:21)
- A biblical understanding of evangelism. Does the church preach the gospel to non-Christians and encourage its members to do the same? Does it understand that it’s our responsibility to preach the message of salvation yet God is the only one who can do the saving? (Matt. 28:18-20; Eph. 2:1-10)
- Biblical church membership. Does the church take membership seriously by seeking to ensure that its members faithfully attend? Does it encourage members to fulfill the biblical “one-anothers” with each other? (Heb. 10:24-25; Eph. 4:11-29)
- Biblical church discipline. Does the church lovingly, patiently practice church discipline? (Matt. 18:15-17; 1 Cor. 5:1-13)
- Biblical discipleship and growth. Does the church expect and equip its members to grow spiritually (2 Pet. 1:3-11)? Does the church encourage its members to disciple one another (Rom. 15:14)? Growing as a Christian should be normal, not exceptional.
- Biblical church leadership. Is the church led by godly, qualified men? Does the church look to Scripture to determine its leadership structure? (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Tit. 1:5-11)