What should you look for in a church?
How do you know if a particular church is right for you?
As with any question we have about spiritual life, or how to make any decision in life, we should look into the Word of God for the answer.
In Acts chapter 2 we see the birth of the church, and we see how a church that has been filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit operates.
All churches should follow it’s pattern.
Acts 2:42 says, And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine…
The first thing mentioned about the first church that God established, is they constantly, diligently, consistently held fast to the Word of God as it was revealed to the apostles.
When you are looking for a church, above all else, you should look for a church that proclaims the Word of God accurately, without compromise or apology.
The Word of God is God’s written revelation of Himself to man. It is through the Word of God we come to understand God, ourselves, and God’s plan and purpose for our lives. It is the hearing of the Word of God that brings faith. It is through the Word of God that God by grace through faith brings salvation to those who are lost. It is the study and application of the Word of God that helps a believer grow in holiness and Christ-likeness.
It is the Word of God that contains the answers to life’s problems and Godly counsel for life’s heartaches and dilemmas. The Word of God is the standard by which all truth is measured.
It does matter what you believe, and it does matter what a church teaches.
Being a part of a church that holds to sound doctrine is critical to your spiritual growth and well being.
A church may have a great music ministry, but do the songs that are sung contain sound doctrine?
A church may have children’s ministries and youth ministries that provide many activities, but is everything that is done and everything that is taught within those ministries based upon and in line with the Word of God?
You may like the preacher, and you may like the people, but can you know for certain the ministry of that church is going to provide you with the spiritual nourishment you and your family need to grow in your walk with Christ?
Because sound doctrine is so critical to your life and spiritual heath, the pastor and teachers of the Forest Hills Family of Faith ensure they faithfully study the scripture so they can help guide you to accurate and powerful understanding of God’s Word and how it applies to your life. It is our commitment that every time someone enters our doors, they will hear the faithful proclamation of the Word of God in a manner that is easily understood. It is also our commitment that the truth of God’s Word will be lived out in our lives.
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship.
When looking for a church home, you should look for a church where the people love Christ and one another. There is to be a sense of unity and oneness in the Body of Christ. You need to be in a church where you feel welcomed, and where the people demonstrate their desire to have you become an integral part of their church family.
You need to look for a church where you can lovingly receive the benefit of the spiritual giftedness of the people of that church and where you will be encouraged to exercise your spiritual gifts for the good, strengthening and edifying of that community of faith. You need to be in a place where you feel “at home”.
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine of fellowship and in the breaking of bread.
The phrase “breaking of bread” is referring to specific bread. It is referring to “the bread of communion” or “the bread of the Lord’s Supper”. When looking for a church home, you should look for a church where presenting the gospel message of Jesus Christ is a priority. When a church participates in the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper, it puts on display the message of what Jesus Christ has done to secure our salvation. This memorial meal reminds us of His substitutionary, atoning sacrifice on Calvary’s cross, and it also reminds us of the fact we are to carry that gospel message to a lost world, as well as the fact that we to daily die to self, take us our cross and follow Jesus. You should look for a church that regularly participates in the Lord’s Supper and gives it the reverence and honor this service deserves, and lives out the principles it demonstrates.
The church your make presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ a priority and live out the glorious principles displayed through the Lord’s Supper.
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine of fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
When looking for a church home, you should look for a church where prayer is a priority. Prayer is an act of worship whereby we commune with God and seek to have our will shaped by His will. In prayer we acknowledge all that God is, thank Him for all He has done, and present our needs and petitions before Him, seeking His will, honor, and glory, to be accomplished in all of them.
Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
When looking for a church home, you need to look for a church where the love of Christ is demonstrated in meeting the spiritual, emotional, and material needs of hurting people. The Body of Christ is to love and care for people in need with the same compassion, love, mercy and grace the Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated when He walked among us.
When you find a church that follows this Biblical pattern, you have found your church home. I believe that you will discover Forest Hills Baptist Church to be such a church, and we would be delighted to have you become a part of our church family.