There are a lot of churches in every city. Finding a good church can be a daunting task.
There are denominational, non-denominational, fellowship gatherings, and many other forms of church organizations. So, how does one know which is a good church home? How does one determine a church’s faithfulness in doctrine, quality of teaching, culture, and mission of a church?
It often takes quite a bit of time to “get to know” a church. Therefore, we suggest the best way to initially qualify a church is to judge it using God’s word.
Does the church believe and teach the following core doctrines of Christianity?
- The Bible is true, inerrant, and good for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.
- God created the heavens and earth and all that is in them.
- God created man in His image, and therefore human life is sacred.
- All was perfect until man sinned.
- God, in His amazing love and abundant mercy, promised to send a redeemer to save mankind.
- That redeemer is Jesus, and He is God.
- Jesus came to earth, born of a virgin, incarnate in the flesh, to redeem man.
- Jesus lived a sinless life and died to pay for man’s sins.
- He was buried and rose again. In doing so, He opened the way for mankind to come to God and have eternal life.
- Jesus forgives and saves repentant sinners by grace through faith, not of works (Eph 2:8-9)
- The Church is the body of Christ. And Jesus is the Head of the Body. Therefore, He is the Head of the Church.
- Those who are in Christ are called to love God and their neighbor and live according to His will and ways (as revealed through His inerrant Word).
- Jesus will return, and He will make all things new.
The closer a church adheres to the core teachings found in God’s Word and functions consistent with all of God’s Word, the more a church will honor God and function according to God’s principles and precepts.
Functioning According to God’s Principles and Precepts
Biblical churches are committed to obeying the Great Commandment.
Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Biblical churches can be identified by their demonstration of commitment to the Second Commandment, which is the Royal Law of our King.
Mark 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself…
James 2:8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well;
John 13:35 “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Biblical churches are also missional — that is, they will do their best to meet the needs of others, both spiritually and physically — first, those in the church, and then those outside the church.
Gal 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Again, finding a good church is not always easy….but it is worth it. Look for a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching, God-loving church that pursues knowing Jesus and making Him known. (Read more about core beliefs of Christian faith: What is IVDARR?)
A Starting Place
Below are some directories of churches that might help in your search to find a church near you. These denominations/associations are known to be biblically faithful in their beliefs and practices but understand that every church has its own unique identity.
This list is simply a way to begin your search. Also, ask other Christians about churches in your area. And always pray that God will direct your search, and open your eyes to see, your ears to hear, and your mind to discern about churches you visit. God is faithful, and He has promised that the Holy Spirit will “guide you into all truth” (John 16:13) and “will teach you all things” (John 14:26), including the church where He wants you to worship Him.
- Calvary Chapel Church Locator
- The Gospel Coalition Church Directory
- Southern Baptist Churches Directory
- American Baptist Churches
- Presbyterian Church in America Church Directory
- Acts 29 Churches
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