This is an excellent question that sets one up for success when they’ve made the preparation in their mind of what to look for in a church. This question provides the perfect opportunity for one to obtain the proper perspective before walking through any doors of a church. It is such a challenging task to find the right church. The reason why is because of the confusion that presently exists in the realm of religion. Every group lays claim to being the one with the truth, but each are practicing something different. It is illogical and frustrating. So here are a few points that will help make this process easier for you:
1. Pray very hard about it. Satan has successfully muddied the waters making it difficult to clearly see the church that is going to help you get to heaven. Pray for God’s help that you will find the church that is right for Him, not for you or I. Ask yourself, is this church doing what God wants it to do? And God always responds to that question, in fact, He already has. Through the word of God He has shown us what His will is for the church. So then, this first point is a twofold process, bathe yourself in prayer and in study of God’s word. A great mindset to have when looking for a new church is that of the Bereans in Acts 17:11, who, when they first heard the truth, “they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”
2. Search for a group that is dedicated to teaching and practicing simply what is found in the Bible, nothing more and nothing less. How does God feel about the individual (or church) who goes beyond what is written, teaching or doing something that cannot be found in God’s word (i.e. “adding to” the word of God)? Likewise, how does He feel about someone doing or teaching less than what He has told us (i.e. “taking away” from His word)? God revealed to us His view toward both of the above actions: Deuteronomy 4:1-4, Proverbs 30:6, Galatians 1:6-10, and Revelation 22:18-19. So without question, we must end up in a church that speaks the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3. When looking for a church, consider its commitment to the youth. Does the church have an organized Bible class program? And rather than focusing on entertaining the young, is the program dedicated to enrich the spiritual part of the lives of the young? Is there a spiritual purpose behind all the activities? Are the teachers prepared? Do those involved understand the great opportunity they have before them in familiarizing children with the wonders of God’s word? And finally, is each teacher willing to personally invest in helping my children learn more about God?
4. Finally, consider the spirituality of the church. The Bible describes true members of God’s church as living stones of a spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5). Many churches today appear to be more of a social organization than a spiritual one. Many come expecting to be entertained and/or enjoy a meal. While there is a different time and place for entertainment and enjoying each other’s company around a table of food, when we come together as a church we are here for God, and not ourselves. We all have our own fleshly desires but it is critical to look for a church whose members are not assembled to serve self but to serve God and be the spiritual house that He would have it to be. This is the kind group that will help you get to heaven, and that is exactly what you’re looking for!