My Fiancé and I are getting married in December and are moving to Bowling Green, Kentucky. We’ve both gone to the same church our entire lives and will be starting the process of looking for a church home. I just wanted to ask you for some guidance in how to find the right church and how to separate necessities (non-negotiables) from preference? As well as overcoming pride and the expectations of what we’ve already experienced in a church our whole lives and being disappointed when a church isn’t exactly that?
There are three main things to look for in a church today. First, do they open the Bible and teach through it? Are they looking at the key passages on a given subject? It’s harder and harder to find a church where the Bible is really the focus of the service. Secondly, look for the statement of faith. Many churches today don’t have much on their website.
If you look for their statement of faith or belief, some churches don’t even post it. They don’t post if they have elders or a session or deacons, it’s just the pastor’s page. There needs to be a pretty robust statement of faith. If it’s not clear, then you won’t know what you’re getting into. Third, what do they do with their overall ABCs (attendance, building, and cash)? If a church in a growing area is static in its growth, that tells you something. The building should be at 85% capacity. This matters because it indicates that you’re not reaching people for Christ. Lastly, how do they handle their money? You should be able to walk in, ask to see the budget, and have it shown to you.
Other Things to Look For When You Choose a Church
Depending on your stage of life, you should also look at things like the kids program. They should be teaching the great Bible stories to build a foundation. We learn those stories early and they become important later in our walk. It can be helpful to follow the 80/20 90/10 rule. If you can find a church that you 80% love, with 20% things you would change, what of that 20% can you fix? If you love 90% of the church, that’s a good church to attend, because there is no such thing as the perfect church.
So, when you land in a church, attend for 2-3 months. See how they treat you and your kids and see what the pastor is like outside of the pulpit. You’re looking to be a part of the family of God in a place that you are biblically proud to attend.
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