How to Find a Good Church? 10 Helpful Steps

Despite the abundance of churches apparently at every turn, the quest for a truly wonderful church can indeed be challenging.

Whether you just moved to a new city, know that it’s time for a change, or you’re looking to plug into a local church for the first time – choosing a church is a big decision! And a worthwhile one. You don’t have to go to church to be a Christian, but as a Christian, the church is vital for us.

We put together 10 steps to help guide you on your search.

1. Talk with God About Your Church Search

Before doing anything else: go to God. Believe it or not, He’s very interested in where you wind up going to church. He wants to hear from you about what you’re thinking and what you’re looking for. He wants to be your guide in this.

Keep this in mind from Psalm 25:

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
    teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are the God of my salvation;
    for you I wait all the day long. . . .
Good and upright is the Lord;
    therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
    and teaches the humble his way.

Psalm 25:4-5, 8-9

2. Nail Down What You Believe About Church

This might be a good time to have a think about what you reckon makes a healthy church.

Just check that it lines up with what the Bible says. Maybe pick up a copy of Mark Dever’s book “What Is a Healthy Church?” – it’ll help you understand what you’re looking for.

It’s also important during this process to consider denomination. There are a bunch, each with slightly different beliefs (though most agree on the big stuff). If you’re not sure / you don’t have any strong theological stances, a non-denominational church might be a good fit.

3. Hold Your “Church Preferences” Loosely

It’s a blessing (for the most part) to have options when it comes to church. For most Christians before our modern era, this wasn’t the case. In the days of the early church, you went to church with Christians in your city – that was about it.

These days you probably have 5 options within walking distance of your house.

You probably have some preferences around what you’re looking for. And that’s okay. Just be sure to separate your “nice to haves” from your “must haves.” For example, make Biblical teaching and a culture disciple making “must haves.” Leave their style of music in the “nice to haves” category. Trust us, it’s far better to go to a church that preaches the Bible and prioritizes mission than one that plays killer music each week, but leaves you spiritually unfed.

4. Talk with People

Talk to anyone you know who knows the city. If they’re reliable, they’ll probably give you the best recommendations. This might be more helpful than just rocking up to a church for one Sunday and making a snap decision.

5. Look for Churches Online

We’ve got the whole internet at our fingertips now. Take a peek at different churches online and check out their websites. Don’t judge a church by how flashy their website is, you’re looking for solid information. I googled “churches in the Twin Cities that believe the doctrines of grace” and got some good leads.

6. Get to Know the Leaders

When you’re on the lookout for a new church, pay attention to the leadership. Are they happy, humble people who are passionate about serving others and don’t care about money or power? If they’re living simply and setting a good example for others, you’re onto a winner.

7. Look for Loving, Humble Bodies of Believers

Look for a church filled with people who love each other. First John 3:14 says that when people love their fellow believers, it’s a sign they’ve been born again. If you sense any exclusive attitudes, it’s a bad sign. You want a church where people are humble and loving, and where they trust God with their worries.

8. Listen to the Teaching.

Check out what the church teaches. Do they embrace the entire Bible, even the tricky bits? You want a church that isn’t afraid to teach the truth, no matter what the world thinks.

9. See if You Can Get Involved

Ask yourself, “Could I serve here?”. You’re not just looking for a comfy pew, but a place where you can pitch in and make a difference.

10. Search for Joy

Lastly, look for a church where people are full of serious joy. They’re real about their problems and sufferings, but they’re always hopeful.

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