So many churches. Baptist churches. Lutheran churches. Community churches. Non-denominational churches.
It’s not easy to choose a church in Green Bay is it? And yet it’s one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Your choice of a church will affect your life for many years to come.
Apples and oranges both grow on trees. They are both fruit, but they are not the same. Likewise, churches are very different, so use caution as you compare. Not every organization that calls itself a church is a biblical New Testament church.
We recently came across a great article by John MacArthur and will provide it to you (with permission) in three parts over the next three weeks. We hope this will be a help to you as you choose a Green Bay church.
This is solid advice.
What should I look for when choosing a new church home? (Part 1) By John MacArthur
Is This Church Right for Me?
What are the biblical criteria you need to be aware of when considering a new church? Let’s compare the search for a new church to that of a new home. When looking for a house, people typically ask, How much does it cost? Is it large enough to meet our family’s needs? How well is it built? What kind of neighborhood is it in? Does it have a warm and homey atmosphere? Is it conducive to hospitality? Similarly, before choosing a church home you need to consider its foundation, structure, function, and environment.
Before we consider those important components, please realize that no church is going to be perfect. Some local churches may be in seemingly excellent condition, while others are obvious fixer-uppers! Many fall somewhere in between. You must seek God’s will and be led by the Holy Spirit in selecting a church. Also you need to evaluate how you and your family can contribute to that ministry so it is not just another church, but truly a church home.
Investigating Its Foundation
Jesus said that the wise man builds his house upon rock and the foolish man builds his house upon sand (Matt. 7:24-27). When storms come, the stability of the foundation determines both the direction and durability of the structure. Whether you’re searching for a home to live in or a church to worship in, its foundation is crucial.
There are four main components that make up the foundation of a strong local church:
A Proper View of Scripture. When investigating a potential church home, pay particular attention to how it views the Bible. Does it hold to the inspiration and inerrancy of the Scriptures? Does it believe the Bible is the only rule for faith and practice (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:20-21)?
An Emphasis on Bible Teaching and Preaching. Observe what kind of preaching is done. Is it primarily expository, topical, or evangelistic in nature? Is the main diet repetitive salvation messages each week, or are believers being fed from the Word (Acts 20:27; 1 Tim. 4:13-16; 2 Tim. 4:1-5)? There should be a strong commitment to high-quality Bible teaching.
Doctrinal Soundness. Just as you would inspect the soundness of a house’s foundation, so you should investigate the doctrinal stance of the churches you visit. Where do they stand on such crucial issues of the Christian faith as the virgin birth and deity of Jesus Christ; the depravity of mankind; the work of Christ on the cross; His death, burial, and bodily resurrection; salvation by grace through faith alone; the second coming of Christ; and the ordinances of baptism and Communion?
Doctrinal Practice. Observe whether the church practices the doctrines it claims to believe and teach. As James said to the church at large, “Prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (James 1:22; cf. Luke 6:46; John 13:17).
Part 2 of this article will be posted next week.
This article is used by permission of http://www.gty.com, copyright 2014, Grace to You. All rights reserved.