churchChurch is an institution that Jesus set up.

Jesus instituted the church so that believers could have a place fellowship together and a place where they could help each other with their needs.  He also set up the church so that we could minister out of it, proclaiming the gospel message to those who do not yet know Jesus Christ as their personal savior.

The church consists of a pastor or shepherd leader, deacons, and many members.

The pastor preaches the Bible and what it says, and helps us to apply it to our lives.  The deacons aid the pastor and help him in caring for the other believers in the church congregation.  The church is described in the Bible as the body of Christ.

All the members of the church have different personalities, talents, gifts that God uses to accomplish what He wants done in this world.  The body of the church is made up of saved people.  Some do the job of an ear in listening, some do the job of a mouth in encouraging and teaching, or some may do the job of helping others by using their legs to go to them and help them.

1 Corinthians 12:12-20 – For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body.

The church is to work together to be used of God, to accomplish what He wants us to do.

The pastor should preach what the Bible says to encourage other believers, and to tell others about Jesus and His saving grace.  God’s desire is that we all come together in unity. Men, women and children of all races and nationalities, rich or poor, to love each other and serve each other.

How can I find the right church for me?

The are several Christian denominations out there, all of which have their places of worship. First and foremost, it is important that whatever church you decide to attend believes in these four core Christian doctrines:

  1. Salvation only by grace, through faith, in what Jesus Christ did for you on Calvary, in His death, burial and resurrection. No exceptions.
  2. God, existing eternally in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. No exceptions.
  3. The virgin birth of Jesus Christ on earth, and while living on earth, lived a perfect, sinless life. No exceptions.
  4. The Bible, including the Old and New Testaments in their entirety, is the infallible Word of God. No exceptions.

After pre-qualifying a church on these four core Christian doctrines mentioned above, here are nine other suggestions on finding the right church for you:

  1. Christ is the head of the church.
    Ephesians 1:22 – And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.
  2. The church should be a testimony to God’s grace, mercy and power.
    Acts 2:43 – And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
  3. To establish fellowship with like minded people. 
    Acts 2:42 – And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
  4. Outreach programs to help in the community.
    Acts 2:46-47 – And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
  5. Sends and/or supports missionaries to go out and share the Gospel to the world. 
    Acts 13:1-3 – Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
  6. Church’s goal is to share the gospel so others will come to a saving knowledge of Christ.
    Matthew 7:20 – Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
  7. The church should meet the spiritual needs of its members. 
    Acts 6:1 – And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
  8. The church should glorify God. 
    Ephesians 3:21 – Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
  9. The church should encourage and teach you to participate in ministries. 
    James 1:22-25 – But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Are churches perfect?

Absolutely not. Churches consist of sinners saved by grace. Every visible and local church consists of a mixture of members, all of whom are flawed to one extent or another. Even though you will never find a “perfect church,” do your best to find a church that honors the Bible and the essential beliefs of Christianity. As you search for a church, remember to pray for God’s guidance, too.

If you would like to learn more from our Discipleship 101 pages, please select from the following:

Who is God? | The Bible | Prayer | Baptism | CommunionSharing Your Story