Church                                                                                        

It’s difficult to walk the Christian life alone.  The challenges of living for God in a sinful world can often overwhelm even the strongest believers.  The scriptures tell us to team up with other believers to: 

 
  • Worship God together (Psalm 34:3)
  • Stir up and motivate one another to love, do good works and to follow God (Hebrews 10:24-25)
  • Teach and admonish one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (Colossians 3:16)
  • Encourage one another to live in righteousness daily (Hebrews 3:12-14)
  • Be refreshed through fellowship together (1 Corinthians 16:18)
  • Rebuke in the fear of God and in love for each other
  • Mutually submit to one another in humility (Ephesians 5:21).
  • Pray for each other for healing (James 5:15-16)
  • Edify one another through our spiritual gifts (Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12:7-28)

 

Being "plugged in" to a church will help us meet the above objectives and foster our spiritual growth.  It will help equip us for service in God's kingdom.   

If you are not involved with a church, we encourage you to find one and get involved. If you are involved in a church that you don't like, ask God what to do.  Sometimes God places us in situations we don't like so we'll make changes for His glory.  In other cases, we may simply be in the wrong place and God is calling us to move.  

What to look for in a church:  There are many different kinds of churches.  Before you start the church search, be sure to ask God to guide you in the search.  Ask Him to show you the right place to go.  Be sure to verify that a prospective church's doctrinal positions are in line with what you believe.  Some notable good things to look for include:

Trouble signs: There are many possible deceptions that the enemy can use to lead people astray from within a church.  As you check out a church, remember to ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in truth and discernment.  He will help you see things that might otherwise go unnoticed.  Here are some examples of trouble signs in a church's doctrine or teachings:

Granted, there are no perfect churches, but hopefully you will find a good church that will best encourage you in your living for Christ.  As you search, ask God to show you where he wants you to fellowship and what your role should be.  Don't settle for TV church, although it can make a good supplement to your spiritual walk.  We all need face-to-face interaction and encouragement in the body of Christ!   

Our website visitors have occasionally asked for help in deciphering the myriad of churches and  denominations that exist today.   While I'm not a church expert, I have been to a fair number of churches in my life and am happy to share what I've learned.  One of the areas that often makes a big difference is the Gifts of the Spirit (e.g. speaking in tongues, healing, prophecy, etc.).  There are many churches that consider the ministry of the Holy Spirit and its gifts to be vital to the modern day church.  They will even go as far as encouraging people to discover and use their spiritual gifts.  Such groups include Church of God, Assemblies of God (AG), Pentecostal, charismatic and some "non-denominational" churches.   Churches that have been traditionally non-receptive to the Gifts of the Spirit include Baptist, Lutheran, Christian Reformed Church, and Nazarene.  With the exception of the Episcopalians and Anglicans, most of the traditional denominations have also not been receptive to the Gifts of the Spirit.  Additionally, most of the traditional denominations such as Presbyterian, Methodist, Congregational, and Episcopalian are moving rapidly toward liberal, heretical views on scripture, such as pro-gay theology. 

In checking churches out, you may find that many have generic names that don’t clue you to their background or denominational ties (e.g. XYZ Community Church, Living Waters Church, Christ's Church, etc.).  In those situations you can look at the pastor’s background for clues or in the “What we believe” section of their website or doctrinal statement, or simply call the church office and ask if they are tied to a particular denomination. 

Another area of growing popularity is home churches.  While they have many potential advantages over a traditional church setting,  they are vulnerable to many of the same corrupting influences that big churches face.   As with exploring big churches, prayer, discernment and caution would be prudent when exploring home churches. 

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