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How To Choose A Church

I'm looking for a new church. What type of things should I look to avoid as I am visiting new churches?

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To say you have the mind of Christ INSTANTLY is to say you don't need God's word at all to transform your mind that transforms your behavior as you obey.
---kathr4453 on 2/21/11

Amen Sister.

NEVER have I known anyone who even comes close to having a mature faith and mindset immediately after they first put faith in Christ.

The closest are little children because they have the least to unlearn.

Adults have so much junk in their minds that it takes much longer. The more junk they have, the longer it takes.
---Mark_Eaton on 2/22/11


List of things to look for:
Are you challenged to improve your walk?
Is this church making a difference?
Is God moving in this church?
Does teaching line up with Bible and HS?
Are you excited about being there?
Can you serve the church and people outside the church?
Seek and you shall find.
---Scott on 2/22/11


John-- Well, is the term "carnal Christian" Biblical or not? First you say it is not...just a "modern buzz word" so quoting Paul is nonsense.

In the next breath, you say "Biblically it means those who..." and quote scripture of your own choosing that may or may not apply.
How can it mean anything "biblically" if it is not "biblical"?

Since the Bible DOES use the words "carnal" and "carnal Chritian" this is no modern buzz word. But it may not be used and understood properly (i.e. scripturally) in the modern world.
---Donna66 on 2/21/11


Kath4453 //Paul took the blame for their carnal mindedness (but still called them SAINTS)
Those CHRISTIANS/ new and older are and were the exact same as we are!//

Exactly right! I can think of nothing more disheartening (and confusing) to an immature Christian than be accused of not being Christian at all!
It's been truly said that Christians are the only group who shoots their own wounded.
---Donna66 on 2/21/11


John, how can carnal be a modern day tern when it is used in scripture? It's referring to mindedness...those who have not been totally TRANSFORMED by the renewing of their mind.

I don't know about you mima, but that didn't happen to me INSTANTLY. It's a work in progress. To say you have the mind of Christ INSTANTLY is to say you don't need God's word at all to transform your mind that transforms your behavior as you obey. What I know today is so much more than 30 years ago.
---kathr4453 on 2/21/11




I agree with what---kathr4453 on 2/20/11 has to say.
---mima on 2/21/11


1Co 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called [to be] saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
1Co 3:1-4 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, [even] as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able [to bear it], neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas [there is] among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul, and another, I [am] of Apollos, are ye not carnal?
---micha9344 on 2/21/11


Alan is correct!

The term "Carnal Christian" is NOT a biblical reference, but a modern day venacular (Slang) refferring to one who is a Christian In Name Only.

It is simply a modern buzz word. So quoting Saul is nonsense.

Biblically it means those who "Cry LORD LORD, But their hearts are far away from Me!" in modern terms those who say "PRAISE THE LORD!" But are just facades/ Psuedo Christians,rather wolfs in sheeps clothing.

Those who walked on the other side of the Road in the Good Samaritan.

The Many who would not lend you a dime to pay your rent, or buy you food (Ref: MATT 25). BUT SAY "I WILL PRAY FOR YOU" (since its free). The ones James Comdemned as Hyprocrites.
---John on 2/21/11


John, 1 Cor 3 says, "I couldn't speak to you as spiritual men, but as men of flesh" V. 3, "you're still fleshly" there is jealousy and strife among them-behaving in the flesh. All he is saying is "look you're spiritual, but I cannot speak to you as spiritual because you're sinful. He doesn't say 'you're not spiritual." he says, "I couldn't speak to you as a spiritual men." At any point in time in a Christian's life, any point in time, a person is either spiritual, living in accord with the Spirit-or fleshly, living in accord with his flesh, But that isn't two kinds of Christian. That is only one kind of Christian who can either behave by obeying the Spirit or obeying the flesh.
---Mark_V. on 2/21/11


Alan: "I think that CarnaL Christian refers to those who think they are Christians, but aren't really" I'm inclined to agree. Paul describes the carnally minded as those who teach that they are not subject to God's Law. Don't we see many of those here on CN?


Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
---jerry6593 on 2/20/11




In 1st Cor, Paul took the blame for their carnal mindedness (but still called them SAINTS) He said I fed you with milk and no meat. But you can see Paul really laid down Christian behavior, in 1st Cor and you see in 2nd Cor that they had matured.

We today have the whole word of God, they didn't.

If it weren't for these Churches and people, and different levels of maturity or even PROBLENS like in Galatia, (again they fell from Grace, and Paul had to start over..and here Grace meaning OUR WAY of life after salvation as well...)
If it weren't for them WE would not know there are issues, we need to obey, we can be deceived, and we can fall!

Those CHRISTIANS/ new and older are and were the exact same as we are..

---kathr4453 on 2/20/11


Alan of UK --
Sorry you have a "problem" with this:
1Cr 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
1Cr 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able

A lot of things may "tie in", but we are talking terminology..."carnal Christian". What exact standard of righteousness IS required for a person to be called a "Christian"? Can a person be saved and not be called a Christian the very next day? Do we tell a new believer " I hope someday you'll be a "real" Christian?"
I believe we are saved by Grace through faith
---Donna66 on 2/20/11


I think that CarnaL Christian refers to those who think they are Christians, but aren't really

That ties in with what John says, and with jesus Himself in Matthew 25.

And Mark's Corrinthians 3 passage describes that sort of Christian ... not really one. But I have difficulty with Paul referring to them as "infants in Christ" because to my mind they don't seem to have even started along the road, or even accepted the teaching as to how having been saved, they should behave.
---alan8566_of_uk on 2/19/11


\\can you find any place in scripture where a "carnal" Christian is called (or treated as) an unbeliever?
---Donna66 on 2/19/11

JUST DID!
---John on 2/19/11\\

All in favor of John being submitted to this treatment let it be known by the uplifted hand.

According to the instruction manual, John, the Good Shepherd goes after the wandering sheep. He does not drive it further away.

Galatians 6:1
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
---Cluny on 2/19/11


can you find any place in scripture where a "carnal" Christian is called (or treated as) an unbeliever?
---Donna66 on 2/19/11

JUST DID!
---John on 2/19/11


CraigA has provided scriptural evidence that a "carnal" Christian is still a "Christian", not an unbeliever. You may think differently, but can you find any place in scripture where a "carnal" Christian is called (or treated as) an unbeliever?
---Donna66 on 2/19/11


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WRONG MARKV!
A Carnal Christian is a Non Christian who cries "Lord! Lord!" but is a fraud. As John said: "They were NEVER saved in the first place"

A New Christian would be someone like CraigA who does not yet have a deep knowledge of scripture or its deeper meanings. I had to help him on many Blogs from those who are more seasoned(i.e. Lost Books of Bible blog).

CARNAL CHRISTIANS are described in Matt:25...

Then He will also say to those on His left, Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels, for I was hungry, you gave Me nothing to eat, I was thirsty, you gave Me nothing to drink,...

These will go away into eternal punishment...
---John on 2/18/11


Ask God to lead you to the congregation where HE wills that you serve HIM for now.
---Adetunji on 2/18/11


Learn the true doctrines from the Bible alone. Then find a church that teaches THOSE doctrines alone.
---jerry6593 on 2/17/11


Shira, while its true Christians use many phrases we need to get the Truth right. There is only one kind of Christian. That is very important to know. Here is why, This concept came to the fore in a little booklet on the "Spirit-filled life." which had three circles. One circle was "the natural man"
Second, "Carnal Christian" self on the throne, Christ there but not in charge.
Third, "Spiritual Christian" Christ on the throne. So people were ask to stop being a Carnal Christian and start being a Spiritual Christian and the implication was there was two kinds. Craig is correct, there's only one kind. The passage he gave is talking about baby Christians who have just began their walk of faith.
---Mark_V. on 2/17/11


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---Mark V, the use of "carnal christian" is a term used to describe a person who is not saved but who call themselves christian---Shira

Thats not what scripture says. Babes in Christ are still carnal.

1 Cor 3:1-3

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
---CraigA on 2/16/11


Mark V, the use of "carnal christian" is a term used to describe a person who is not saved but who call themselves christian. There are many. If you ask people if they are saved, they will say they are christian.
---shira3877 on 2/16/11


Mima,
Thanks!!! for acknowledging my posts.


I can agree with you VERY MUCH when you say you don't feel as though you have suffered. I live in Missouri, and haven't felt much suffering for Christ at all.

But in reading Hebrews chapter 11, it says Moses suffered because he left the pleasures of Egypt to be with his own people.

God's idea of suffering may not be our own perception. Many martyrs through history were willing to die for their faith without thinking of it as suffering.

You do suffer when you give of yourself for the Kingdom. God sees it, and will reward you
---James_L on 2/16/11


James L first let me say I appreciate your time spent in your reply.
Your statement,"Mima, can you see the connections? Salvation in Rom 10 is RICHES and GLORY for those who endure suffering. It's not an altar call." If correct, it's too heady or too deep for me. I do not feel that my salvation has involved suffering on my part, quite the contrary my joy is so full that it overrides any suffering I may have encountered along the way.
---mima on 2/16/11


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Where opinions are going to vary is that some - such as myself - believe a person is "born again"/ "born of the Spirit" WHEN they receive the Spirit of Christ.

Before that moment we are unregenerate. We have saving knowledge and a mustard seed of faith, but not yet saving faith.

A man in Mark cried to the Lord saying "Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief." I believe this is exactly what happens to our small amount of trust/belief when we call upon Jesus Christ. It is INCREASED by the Holy Spirit when He seals us. That is why we only need the faith of a mustard seed.

Preachers plant that "seed" (Romans 10:14)
---CraigA on 2/16/11


Mima part 1,
Romans 10 can be seen by comaparing all the elements of each verse

Verse 14 shows a reverse order:
Call on Him, believe in Him, hear about Him, preach about Him, send preacher.

If you flip it to it's proper order, you have:
send preacher, preacher preaches, a mand hears, that man believes, that man calls on Him.

Calling on Him comes after believing in Him. verse 10 says that with the heart man believes and is made righteous. That means born again, when he believes.

The question is then what does it mean to "call on Him" and what does it mean to be "saved"?

Verse 12 says "abounding in riches for all who call on Him". Saved is the same as abounding in riches.
---James_L on 2/16/11


Mima part 2,
What does it mean to call on Him?

Verse 10 "confession is made resulting in salvation"

Calling on Him means confessing Him.

Look at the comparisons:
v 10 Confess....saved
v 13 Call on....saved
v 12 Call on....abound in riches

Matt 10
v 32 "Whoever confesses Me I will confess
v 22 Whoever endures to the end will be saved

Jesus was speaking in light of coming persecution, that whoever endures in a confession will be "saved" or abounding in riches.

Matt 5
v 10 Blessed are those who have been persecuted...theirs is the Kingdom
v 11-12 Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you...Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in Heaven is great
---James_L on 2/16/11


Mima part 3,
Hebrews 2
v 10 For it was fitting for Him...to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.

v 9 Jesus, because of the suffering of death [was] crowned with glory and honor

v 10 bringing many sons to glory

Romans 9:23 to make known the riches of His gloryupon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory

2 Tim 2
v 9 I suffer hardship

v 10 For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain salvation and glory which is in Christ Jesus

Mima, can you see the connections? Salvation in Rom 10 is RICHES and GLORY for those who endure suffering. It's not an altar call.
---James_L on 2/16/11


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A church without a strong outreach is a church without a mission. Look for the church's impact in the community and not just by fighting against bars and gays.
Look for a church who has the lost soul at its heart and avoids the type of condemnation you often see from religious conservatives.
Look for a pastor that has mercy.
---larry on 2/16/11


John, what do you mean? Pastor John was taken out? Who is he?
---shira3877 on 2/16/11


John, I'm sorry I do not agree with anything you said,
"you will find some good True Christians on this site and many many Carnal Christians.
Many of these True Christians I will have disagreement and they with me, but you know they are truly Graced and saved."

As a pastor you should know there is no such thing. You said there was "Carnal Christians" and "True Christians by Grace who are saved"
All those who are saved by Grace through faith are True Christians. There is no such thing as a Carnal Christian. You are either a genuine Christian or not a Christians at all. There is no two or three kinds of Christians only one kind.
---Mark_V. on 2/16/11


You're a woman of G-d Shira.

You will find some good True Christians on this site and many many Carnal Christians.

Many of these True Christians I will have disagreement and they with me, but you know they are truly Graced and saved.

I have learned from them and will alway have love for them. Looking forward to seeing them in Heaven as well.

You will find some woman of G-d here that just light the fire on this blogs. They tell it like it is regardless of who it offends. The "Debras" of Christianity.

I JUST LOVE IT!
---John on 2/15/11


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John, I continue to agree with you. My husband signed a "sinners prayer" back in 1952 and for 48 years said he was saved. Feb 25, 2004 God got hold of him and he got saved. I know if we call on the name of the Lord, we shall be saved but I also know there is conviction and a genuine change in the heart. It is not about reading something and thinking you are saved. I saw the blogs about christian bands. I will continue in my stand for the Lord and hopefully be a testimony.
---shira3877 on 2/15/11


John, who are you? I absolutely agree with everything you said about most churches.
---shira3877 on 2/15/11

Thanks Shira, You might call me the Lone Ranger , since Pastor Jim was taken out. Where there was Gnashing of the Teeth until they could no longer stand to hear the truth and started beating their chests. So they took him out and stoned him by the east gate of this site.

Those who wish to be Policically Correct (The I'm Okay, You're Okay) and seek acceptance of men over G-d. They will do so even against the Face of G-d Himself.

These unknowningly invite Antichrists into their Churches and Their souls.

SEE SOME OF THEM NOW ON THE "Are All Christian Bands Good" BLOG.
---John on 2/15/11


John after reading your statement,"One that saves you by the 1 minute "Get out of Hell" sinners prayer." Which of course was spoken sarcastically I invite you to give me a timetable on salvation.

Also please tell me what this statement means,
Romans 10:13,"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
---mima on 2/15/11


There are a lot of red flags to look for: idolatry, unholy music and worldliness in the church, unholy Bibles, sin-supporters and bearing false-witness and blaspheming the sanctified saints, woman pastors, false doctrines, robbing the sheep with tithes and their money, etc.
---Eloy on 2/15/11


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John, who are you? I absolutely agree with everything you said about most churches. I don't often find someone whom I agree, especially on these blogs.
---shira3877 on 2/15/11


Since they're ALL "ME TOO" social clubs.

I would do what most Carnal Christians do. Choose the one that has the best potluck, best senior services, best youth activities, Praise Music, and a preacher that tickles your ears and is very entertaining.

You don't want a serious preacher. Choose one that follows along the lines of Ricky Warren, Joel Olstein.

And of course one that follows (ME TOO!) Ricky's 40 days of purpose.

One that saves you by the 1 minute "Get out of Hell" sinners prayer. Don't want to waste too much time with that "holy" stuff.

One that tells, you won't go through the tribulation, but be raptured up.

AHH? Now that's my kind of Club! (Ohh! I meant church)
---John on 2/14/11


The Bible says christians will be known from their fruit & from their love. I can feel the love & the Spirit of God in my primary church, where it is said that the church is a hospital for the hurting, not a country club. I would avoid churches where love is not evident, whose members live very ungodly lives, where sin is not preached against, & where the Word of God is not most important.
---Hope5979 on 2/10/11


Increase your time in the scripture and in meditation and the spiritual exercise will give fruit to discernment.
Discernment gives you the spiritual insight to such questions.
God bless.
---larry on 2/4/11


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there is a word of faith movement on cbn. I have heard them sit there and say "I have a word someone out there has a bad back problem.". That is so generic and could apply to thousands. It is all false. I hope people don't believe that bull.
---shira3877 on 2/4/11


What is WOF movement?
---Dotty8355 on 2/4/11


//---Rob on 2/1/11
I have been trying to tell this to people for many years, but they will not listen to me.//
Some do listen Rob, keep it up.
---michael_e on 2/3/11


I'm looking for a new church. What type of things should I look to avoid as I am visiting new churches

TWO THINGS ARE BIBLICALY IMPORTANT:

Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Revelation 12:17 keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 14:12 here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
---francis on 2/3/11


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I have been trying to tell this to people for many years, but they will not listen to me.
---Rob on 2/1/11

I agree with you but I must disagree why we fall prey to the WOF movement.
It is because we love the world too much.

There is truth inside of the WOF, but not in the application of it towards those things that satisfy our selfishness. Let me illustrate.

If we use the WOF to attempt to move God in the way of money, God counters by saying in His word that we must not trust in the uncertainty of riches. However, if we use the WOF to attempt to move God about the salvation of persons soul, God agrees with us and may "seem" to be moved.

We must remember it is His will that will be satisfied.
---Mark_Eaton on 2/3/11


Thank you James L.

I have been trying to tell this to people for many years, but they will not listen to me.

But they will listen to those people who are mentioned in Romans 1:18-32, 2 Timothy 4:3-4, and 2 Peter Chapter Two.
---Rob on 2/1/11


Avoid....those who teach VAIN THINGS and don't teach BIBLICAL TRUTH.
---Rob on 1/30/11

Sound advise, Rob. The only problem is that most people don't know enough biblical truth to recognize error when they see it.

That's why the WOF has so many being duped. They can make a pretty convincing argument, then cherry-pick scripture to substantiate their position.

They prey on those who are biblically illiterate.
---James_L on 2/1/11


It is difficult to find one these day, but look for church which goes through the Bible BOOK by BOOK, CHAPTER by CHAPTER, and VERSE by VERSE, in the "TRUE CONTEXT" which the BIBLE is written.

Avoid churches which are base on ANY RELIGION created by people, WHO ARE ONLY THERE PLAYING CHURCH (pretendinding to be of GOD) and those who teach VAIN THINGS and don't teach BIBLICAL TRUTH.
---Rob on 1/30/11


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Do the hardest thing you can, (and also the only thing to get it right): Pray. Be total vulnerable and honest in talking with God. He will lead you. DO NOT seek ideas, steps, plans or lists as replacement for His direction. He is gentle and will guide you. Trust Him, its the only way.
---Stuart on 1/29/11


God knows from the beginning of this world,
if your name is written in the book of life, He will direct you into His Church.
You dont go church shopping like you do groceries, clothes etc.
---Lawrence on 9/3/09


One thing I try to notice is how much authority the pastor or leader seems to exercise over the people. I won't attend where the pastor seems to be on a power trip.
---Donna66 on 9/1/09


If a church does not teach from the Bible book by book, chapter by chapter, and verse by verse, but is a church which jumps from one place to another every week, it would be a place I would avoid.
---Rob on 9/1/09


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I believe if the church is for you then God will certainly keep you there.
---catherine on 8/31/09


There is not much to think about. I think which ever church you are comfortable with, you should attend.

I like to sing hymns. I think singing is an important aspect of indiviual/personal worship.Many a times hymns are better than the scripure reading, as wonderful words of praise comes out . Therefore i donot care much what the pastor is saying. Sometimes he may be inspiring , some time he may be boring.

I am also not very social type.

So suerly i would select a church where good hymns are sung on regular basis and i can enjoy my singing hymns as praise.
---rajib_das on 8/31/09


You should pray & ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to the right church.
---Betty on 7/22/09


I am not sure what prooftext means, but why not if it means understanding a teaching in context.
The context in Matthew 23:1-12 is referring to the equality of people. Some people wanted positions of authority,honor, and to be respected, however, Jesus was teaching that people are not to be called a Rabbi--Teacher--,or father, or leader.
If one believes Jesus was using hyperbole, what is in the context to support that? The passage clearly teaches not to call people these names, that would include the term "pastor." Notice Paul nor Peter refer to themselves "Apostle or Pastor." Notice no titles of "Apostle Paul, Pastor Timothy, Elder James." No person has a higher place between us and God, but Christ.
---Rod on 7/22/09


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Matthew 23:8-10: "Call no Man Father" Lets not prooftext here!

The Holy Apostles did not took Christ' words literally. Christ was using hyperbole.

Saint Peter (and Saint John) called David "Father" and called the OT Patriarchs "Fathers" (Acts 3:13,25, 5:30, Acts 4:25).

Read Acts 7:11-12, 15,19,38,44-45,51-52 (Stephen refers to our "fathers" in the faith), Acts 7:32 (Stephen calls God the God of our "fathers.") and Acts 13:17,32,36, 24:14, 26:6, 28:17,25 (Saint Paul also refers to the God of our "fathers" in the faith). Read Rom. 4:1 (Saint Paul calls Abraham our "forefather.). Read Rom. 4:16-17, James 2:21, 1 Peter 1:18, 2 Peter 3:4, Matt. 3:9, Luke 3:8, etc.
---Ignatius on 7/21/09


i think every church has its human ups and downs
i believe what you are concerned about is which church teaches the unadulterated word of GOd?

when i win new converts, i give them a list they can choose from these include:

Assemblies of God Church, Baptist Church,

Methodist, Lighthouse International,

Global Evangelical Church, the Church of Pentecost, to mention but a few
try any of these... u can be sure the doctrine is biblical and as for human relations, we all need to do our part no matter where we are
all the best
---pat on 7/21/09


NO list will ultimately suffice in the new testament definition of a church - brethren willing to die for each other.
You must have discernment and this will only come through serious prayer and possibly fasting. There are no short cuts.
People often choose churches on the basis of denomination, charismatic experience, child ministries and even service length and convenience, but to really know God's will specifically hit your knees.

Ask God for guidance and seeking him seriously alone in your prayer closet. He's never fail to answer.
---larry on 7/20/09


This is a hard question to really answer. Their are demons and traps in every church. It varies,what to look for. I f I knew the answer to that question, I would be happier at the church where I am. But I can say this: make sure the pastor is saved and preaches the true Word of God,he is not just greedy and after money. Does the church embrace each other and support each other according to the Word of God? Does the church believe in the Trinity,water baptism(full body)Communion on a regular basis. Does the church worship and pray together in Spirit and in truth. Does the church reach out to the Community with assistance,from time to time.These are some basics. God bless you in your search.
---Robyn on 7/20/09


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pastor:Must be married to ONE woman [good standing,love his family],NOT divorced or single.
The book of Titus tells us.
Women -CANNOT- be pastors.Man's religion can have what they want,DONOT follow the teaching of Jesus.
The pastor is the leader to TEACH the word of God,how we are to live. NOT the political nonsense of today...
God called Aaron and his brother to be Priest's, Jesus is high priest for us in front of God the Father...
Jesus ,Matthew , " call NO one Father as you have ONE Father in Heaven ". He didnt say " do not have elders over you ".
Man made religions use the word " father " are incorrect.
To practice other wise is to corrupt the UNcorruptable God...
Thank you ....
---Jerry on 7/20/09


What to avoid? Religiousity.

If the church has a pastor and people call him pastor, and pastor accepts and encourages people to call him pastor, look somewhere else.
---Rodj on 7/18/09

I don't know what else you believe Rodj. But, you are correct above.

The doctrinal wolves are leading the sheep to the slaughter in this country and it makes me sick to my guts.

The Seminary's should be called Cemetary's.

I don't say this lightly. I can find little truth from the graduates of these institutions.
---Trav on 7/20/09


Probably the first thing is make a list of thing you are looking for in a in a church. Are you shopping as an individual or as a family. Contemporary or traditional form of service. Do they have church school programming or youth and adults. Do they have a music program? What is Size of congregation and physical plant of the church. Is the property and building in good repair. Is the current membership stewardship large enough to maintain physical assists and provide adequate programming and staff. Is the membership and attendees normally distributed by age deciles if not how is the distribution skewed? If the church is dominantly geriatric it is stagnant and will close in a few years unless things change.
---Phil_the_Elder on 7/20/09


Why look for a church?

What to avoid? Religiousity.

I'm a bit hard on what is known as the local church, but I avoid it like the plague. Yes, there are some great people there, but they are bits of wheat in the mist of weeds, and they are hard to find.

The questions should be, where do I get fellowship? Fellowship needs to be defined. Where do I meet people where one can submit to one another? Where do I get stimulated to love and good works? How do I grow in Christ? What does it mean to walk with Christ? Where are believers who honestly pray for one another and care for one another?

If the church has a pastor and people call him pastor, and pastor accepts and encourages people to call him pastor, look somewhere else.
---Rodj on 7/18/09


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First is to avoid is any doctrinal heresies:

You should go to a Church which has Apostolic Succession, who walks in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, His Holy Apostles, there Holy Successors, the God-Bearing Fathers/Mothers of the 1st-11th Centuries (and so on), the Seven Holy Ecumenical Councils of the 4th-8th centuries. In sum, I will invite you to visit a Canonical Eastern Orthodox Church in your area, and see the Apostolic Faith in its fullness. Come and See!

Go to one whose members process genuine Christian fruits, and are concern about there relationship with Christ.

In IC.XC,
---Ignatius on 7/17/09


A "church" is NOT a building, a non-profit corporation, a denomination.

Denomiantional "churches" are nothing more than cults in themselves - each having their own traditions, ways of living, and interpretations of the bible. The definition of church is surely different today than it was in Jesus' time.

A christian does not need to belong to a denominational "church" to have a relationship with God, but you do need fellowship ("Where two or more are gathered in my name, there I shall be also"). Do an online KJV bible search for "one another," "each other," and encourag" for living a christian life is a 24/7 lifestyle - not a once a week pep talk.
---Steveng on 7/17/09


If a Church passes the test of Colossians that is a good indication it is a good church.
---kathr4453 on 7/16/09


You don't say whether you are married or single.

I would for sure avoid any church that does not condider singleness to be a valid and biblical lifestyle, or that does not give them a place in ministry involvement, or that does not have a singles ministry that includes divorced people or singles over the age of 30.

50% of marriages end in divorce. More than 50% of women over age 40 are single. Singles are the biggest target ministry segment for evangelism, yet some churches shun divorced people and singles over age 30.
---obewan on 7/16/09


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I have learned that people choose Churches based on what they want to hear.

If people want to have their ears ticked, 2 Timothy 4:2-5 and not hear and know God's Truth, that is the type of Church they will look for.

If people want to hear and know God's Truths as it is wriiten, even if it hurts, Hebrews 4:12-13, that is the type of Church they will look for.
---Rob on 7/16/09


always remember that every church has people at different stages of growth in their relationship with the lord. It should preach christ crucified for the world,that salvation comes thru conviction thru the holy spirit,and being born again.that christ rose on the third day,and that our lives are devoted to his message.For me everything else that men aquable over is not relavent.
---tom2 on 7/15/09


When you visit a new church ask the pastor for their "statement of faith" the first time you go there. If they don't have one for you to read, that is an indication that there might be a problem. Since a lot of churches are now online, check to see which ones have websites. You can go to Church Angel which lists (by denomination) most churches in most towns. Also, don't "judge a book by its cover" too quickly. We have visited some sorry looking buildings that held a beautiful church family.
---SusieB on 7/14/09


Look to avoid? Or things to look for?

You shall know them by their fruit. See if the people are filled with love, reach out to you, invite you to the bible studies, etc.,

Make sure the Word of God is being taught in strict adherence to the Bible, that it is not watered-down word.

Find a Spirit-filled church if you are Spirit-filled.

Introduce yourself to the Pastor.

I went to this church that was Spirit-filled and I called and asked to come to their bible study. I KNEW they didn't want me. They gave me the wrong directions and I couldn't find the house. When I told them that, they just smiled and said, you must have made a wrong turn. No I didn't I insisted, here are YOUR directions. I never went back.
---anon on 7/14/09


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We recently moved across country and had to find a new church home. I thought this would be an easy process, I was wrong. Given our struggles my best advice would be to review the Doctrinal statements in great depth and meet with the Pastor personally, meet some of the members as well. Also trust your first impressions as they are often more correct than not. Make a list of "must have's" and "can do withouts" as no church will meet your needs 100%. But most importantly pray that the Holy spirit guide you in your search. I wish you the very best with your search and I will pray for the proper fit.
---TIMOTHY on 7/14/09


Why do you want to change your old church?
---andy3996 on 7/14/09


I think finding a church is like finding a mate almost. In the beginning the church and the mate try to cover up their flaws, and look their best, and later on you find out how the church or this mate really is and it is up to you to decide whether you want to stay or not.

Good luck on your search, because I have not been able to find a good one yet! (Church that is.)
---amand6348 on 7/13/09


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