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How To Find A Good Church by Dr. Dale A. Robbins

Heb 10:25 (KJV) 
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, 
as the manner of some is; 
but exhorting [warning and encouraging] one another: 
 and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

It goes without saying that every believer should have a church home where they attend regularly.. If you are not a part of such a fellowship, the following advice will be invaluable to your search. 

1. Look for a church prayerfully. As is the case with all others aspects of a Christian's decisions, you should begin your search for a church by seeking the Lord's direction. The Bible promises, "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" (Prov. 3:6). 

2. Search for prospects. You might look for listings in the newspaper or in the yellow pages. Always seek the congregation which is evangelical and Bible-based. A referral from a trusted Christian friend is the most frequent way people are introduced to a church. A visit or two is helpful, but there is no way to fully evaluate a church without attending most services for a month or so.

3. Keep in mind that you're looking for a fellowship of believers. A church is not a building, nor is it merely a ministry, it is the body of Christ. So seek people who love the Lord and who love each other -- people that will love you and people to whom you can give your love. 

4. Look for the church that preaches the Word of God. -- Seek the fellowship that has sound doctrine, proclaims the Word, and sincerely lifts up the Lord Jesus Christ in worship and in all they do. Much of this can be discovered by observation, but most fellowships have a printed statement of their doctrines they will provide to you upon request. For clarity, you can speak with the pastor or leadership about their beliefs or practices.

5. Look for a church that has good character. Seek a loving, peaceful, stable church which has a pastor devoted to godliness, prayer and the word, which are more important than his eloquence, education or charisma.

6. Look for a church that will help draw you closer to Christ. It might be nice to find a church where the music is flawless, where the seats are padded and the minister dismisses promptly at noon. But more importantly, you need a church that cares about you and who will help meet your spiritual needs -- that will inspire you to grow in Christ, and will motivate you toward the aspirations of God. You need a church whose preaching and teaching will not merely appease or entertain you, but will boldly challenge you to advance beyond your comfort zones to live toward God's high ideals.

7. Look for a church where you can become committed. In many ways, your relationship with the church is similar to a marriage -- you can't get any more out of it than what you put into it. The only church in which you will ever grow and mature spiritually is the fellowship where you will commit yourself and get involved -- where the people submit themselves to God and to each other -- where they will both encourage you and hold you accountable.

8. Seek that fellowship that is attempting to reach lost souls. Find the fellowship that is seeking to bring lives to Christ, both in their community and on foreign mission fields. Such a church understands its purpose and will provide a healthy environment in which to grow.

9. Look for a church where you can contribute. I've often heard the comparison made between a church and a restaurant -- a place where you get served a meal. But actually, the church is more like a pot luck dinner. What you bring with you to church is added to the content of the meal. Your contribution to the gathering helps to make it what it is. Therefore, seek the church where you can roll up your sleeves and help them to minister to others. Don't look for a church that will only "serve you," but look for a church in which you can "serve." Always remember, a church is the combination of what its people are. So if you want your church to be the best it can be, you must be the best you can be. A church can never rise above what it's individual members are.

10. Be ready to accept the individuality of a church. Frequently people look for a church like the one in which they got saved, or like one they see on TV. But this is futile, because even though a church might have the same beliefs or similarities as another, every church is distinct and different in its personality, just like people are. Always use the Bible as the standard to measure a church -- not other churches.

11. Look for a church with reasonable expectations. Don't bother looking for a perfect church, because there aren't any. In every church you will find people who are wonderful and some who aren't. Jesus taught that it was common for weeds to be found growing together with the crops (Matt. 13:24-30). Also, in every church, you'll find some things done well, and others that are not. Don't worry about finding a perfect pastor, either. Trust me, they're all human and will make mistakes. But look for a pastor who is sincere, who is trying his best to live a godly moral life, and who is proclaiming the uncompromised Word of God. In short, be content with the church that is doing the best they can.

There are many good churches in your community. Trust the Lord to guide you to the fellowship where he wants you, and become faithful there. Don't be a church hopper -- bouncing around to one church after another each week. God wants you to be submitted to the accountability of spiritual leaders who will help you and even correct you when necessary (Heb. 13:17), and this isn't possible unless you are rooted somewhere. Don't have an neglectful attitude, going to church only when you feel like it. Attend faithfully and show up on time. Serve your church at least as diligently as you would your employer. Remember, the Lord views your attitude toward His church as your attitude toward Him (Matt. 25:40), so serve the Lord in a way that if He were your employer, you wouldn't get fired.


This article (VL-161) is copyrighted © by Dale A. Robbins, 1995, and is a publication of Victorious Publications, Grass Valley, CA 95949


Neh 7:73- 8:1-12 (KJV) 
So the priests, and the Levites, and the porters, and the singers, 
and some of the people, and the Nethinims, and all Israel, dwelt in their cities; 
and when the seventh month came, the children of Israel were in their cities.

{8:1} And all the people gathered themselves together as one man 
into the street that was before the water gate; 
and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses,
 which the LORD had commanded to Israel. 

{2} And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation 
both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, 
upon the first day of the seventh month. 
{3} And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate 
from the morning until midday, 
before the men and the women, and those that could understand; 
and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law. 

{4} And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, 
which they had made for the purpose; 

and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam. 

{5} And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; 
(for he was above all the people;) 
and when he opened it, all the people stood up: 
{6} And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. 
And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: 
and they bowed their heads, 
and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground. 

{7} Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, 
caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place. 

{8} So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, 
and caused them to understand the reading. 

{9} And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, 
and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, 
This day is holy unto the LORD your God; 
mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, 
when they heard the words of the law. 

{10} Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet,
 and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared:
 for this day is holy unto our Lord: 
neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength. 

{11} So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, 
Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved. 
{12} And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, 
and to send portions, and to make great mirth, 
because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.

Mat 18:18-20 (KJV) 
Verily I say unto you, 
Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: 
and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 
{19} Again I say unto you, 
That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, 
it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 
{20} For where two or three are gathered together in my name, 
there am I in the midst of them.

Acts 1:12-14 (KJV) 
Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, 
which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.
 {13} And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, 
where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes,
 and Judas the brother of James. 
{14} These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication,
 with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

Acts 20:7 (KJV)
 And upon the first day of the week, 
when the disciples came together to break bread, 
Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; 
and continued his speech until midnight.

1 Cor 5:4 (KJV)
 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, 
with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ...

Jude 1:17-21 (KJV) 
But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before 
of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 
{18} How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time,
 who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 
{19} These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. 
{20} But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, 
praying in the Holy Ghost, 
{21} Keep yourselves in the love of God, 
looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.


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