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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How to Find a Good Church

By Justin Edwards

Finding a solid, Bible-believing fundamental church has become an increasingly difficult task these days. Perhaps you are realizing this and need some help in finding the right church for you and your family. Or perhaps you attend a church where the following questions by Todd Friel may not be answered appropriately to how God intended the church, His church, to be. In any case, I pray this is beneficial for those searching for a church home or have questions about the one they currently attend.

Almost 25 questions that will save you a lot of Sundays

Looking for a good church? Join the club. Church-shopping can be a long and painful process. To shorten your search, call the pastor of the church before you visit and ask the following questions. This might save you a lot of Sundays.

1. What is man's biggest problem?

Seeker sensitive and felt-needs churches focus on man's hurts and problems. The Bible says that man's biggest problem is sin.

2. What must a man do to inherit eternal life?

Repent and trust is the Biblical answer. If the word "repent" is never used, say, "Thank you."

3. How do you deliver the salvation message?

Ask the pastor to describe specifically what he says. Does he encourage people to simply say a prayer? Does he tell people to ask Jesus into their hearts? The salvation message should include: God's holiness, man's sinfulness, God's response (hell), God's kindness (Jesus on the cross), man's response (repentance and faith).

4. How hard is it to become a Christian?

The "formula" is simple, doing it is not. It is not easy to believe.

5. How often do you talk about sin, righteousness and judgment?

Balance is key. This should not be the only emphasis, but it should be a regular emphasis.

6. How seeker sensitive is your church?

It is o.k. for a church to be "seeker aware" but seeker sensitive means that they lean toward seekers and not the saved.

7. Who do you do church for, seekers or members?

"Both" is not acceptable. Church should be done for members and the unsaved are welcome to attend.

8. Do you dumb down your sermons?

If he says yes, he is probably not trying to wean his members from milk to meat. Answers like, "We try to make our sermons accessible to everyone" are sermons that are not meaty.

9. What is your mixture of topical vs. expository preaching?

Topical preaching is fine, but if a pastor never or rarely preaches expositionally (verse by verse), then you are going to be learning from the pastor and not God's Word.

10. Do your sermons emphasize theology or are they relevant?

Everyone should say their sermons are relevant, what you are looking for is if they teach theology.

11. Describe your youth programs.

If fun and games is the major (and usually first) emphasis, you have a youth program that is trying to compete with MTV.

12. Describe your evangelism programs.

Don't just accept, "We have an evangelism committee." Dig. Are they serious about saving souls?

13. What church growth model do you follow?

Hopefully they don't have one. Churches should be reaching out to the lost, but churches that are plugged into new church growth models tend to follow man's modern ideas rather than the Bible.

14. How much do you give to missions and the hungry?

Again, this reveals the heart of the church. While most churches give to missions, many never consider the poor.

15. Do you believe the Bible contains no errors or contradictions?

No equivocation allowed here.

16. Do you believe in a literal 6 day creation?

Jesus did (Matt.19:4).

17. Do you believe in a literal hell and eternal punishment?

Jesus did (Matt.25).

19. When you distribute the Lord's Supper, do you emphasize the need to examine yourself?

Paul did (I Cor.11:27-32).

20. Can a person who is living in a persistent lifestyle of sin inherit eternal life?

Sinners can certainly be forgiven, but practicing sinners cannot inherit eternal life (I John 3:8,9).

21. Does your church exercise church discipline?

Paul said we should (I Cor.5).

22. Do Sunday school teachers, nursery, and youth volunteers fill out an application to answer questions about their core beliefs, or are all volunteers accepted?

23.What are the essentials of the faith?

Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Salvation through faith alone, the inerrancy of Scripture.

24. Do you have a cross in your sanctuary?

Many remove it because they fear it will turn off seekers. They should glory in the cross. The cross should be the central focus of every church.


  1. Very good post, Justin! I read it to my husband to see if he can see how our church is going down the tubes. Hopefully, it will sink in. There is a Calvary Chapel in town and I want to go so bad!

    I would add something about Willow Creek and/or Purpose Driven to #13, though. JMO!

  2. Hi Dianne, thanks for your comment, but I'll have to give credit to Todd Friel from The Way of the Master. I edited the post to make sure that was clear. :)

    And yes, WC and PD models would certainly fit #13. They both are founded in the Young Leadership Network. Here's an article on that:

  3. Great questions! You know, I used to attend a church that I feel very much so catered to seekers, which was perfect for me then, I was a non-believer. But eventually I felt my spritual growth come to a plateau and therefore it was an indication to me that I must go somewhere that would confront the sin in my life and spur me on into new growth....we must constantly be renewing our minds and eating the Word of God, that is what will renew our minds and a church with little scripture involved in the sermons was not feeding my mind and soul the way it needed to be fed. I think seeker friendly churches serve a good purpose, I came to know Christ as my Savior through one of these fluffy churches and I do think God calls some mature Christians into those kind of churches, maybe for a season, to encourage growth and mentor people who were like me at that time.....Great questions and observvations and points Justin!!!

  4. Hey Andrea! Thanks for the comments! No doubt there are seeker friendly (a bit different from seeker-sensitive) churches out there that God uses to bring His sheep into the flock.

    The danger with the more seeker-sensitive types is that they water their message down so much that one will rarely, if ever, hears about sin, hell, the cross, and the cost of becoming a follower of Christ.

    they are so afraid of offending people which in turn would hurt their attendance stats. they are more concerned about church growth than the truth of the Gospel, which is of course offensive.

    great thoughts on Christian maturity and seeking diligently after the Word and the meat therein. i guess the point is, if sin is never mentioned, if the need of the Savior because of our separation from God as a result of our sin is never mentioned, if the consequences of sin (hell) are never mentioned, then how can one truly be saved? one can't be saved if they do not understand why and what they are being saved from.

    it's obvious you heard and responded to the truth of the Gospel in your former church, and i give a big hearty amen for that!!!!


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