Finding a church home has become dangerous
What a commentary that is on the church in America in the new millennium, it is truly spiritually dangerous to join a church at this point. Mainly this is due to the fact that true believers are shunned or worse in many, if not most, churches. I remember the first church we went to when we moved up here to Minnesota in 2005. The sermons were good, but no one would talk about Jesus. I remember telling my wife one Sunday that we were going to go in and ask everyone we met, what had the Lord done in that person’s life the previous week. You would have thought we had the plague. Everyone: elders, worship leaders, people in the pews, the pastor, his wife, everyone we met changed the subject and usually walked away. My wife finally found one young lady whose face lit up as she told my wife how the Lord had worked in her life the previous week and what a joy it had been.
You will probably have a difficult time finding a church which will encourage you in your development of direct communication with God. You do need to find regular fellowship and a church is a good place to start. But there may not be Godly, bible-preaching, edifying church close to where you live. Let’s give you a list of things to look for in a church home:
- The leader seeks to give control and authority to the Holy Spirit: This is key. If the leader has illusions that he or she is in control, there is a major problem with the leadership.
- Scripture is regularly read & explained: Public reading of scripture has great benefit. Explanations of scripture normally do more than topical sermons on events of the day with little or no scriptural justification.
- The leadership is local: If the real leadership is denominational the local church will find it almost impossible to react to local needs and minister to the people in the neighborhood.
- Fruit is seen in the leaders as well as the sheep: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, self-control. They should be friendly, warm, and include you in what they are doing. An anointed leadership will bring forth fruit in the people.
- The elders are mature: Youngers are a real problem today. Unless the elders have maturity and experience the church is in trouble sooner or later. Age factors into this. An elder needs to have lived long enough to have good life experience. An elder also needs spiritual maturity of the kind talked about in Ephesians 4:1–16 and 1 Timothy 3:2–7.
- There is a lot of outreach: But you have to be careful here. Some churches are simply social service agencies with no life in the Holy Spirit.
The list can go on and on but these are starting points. You really must find a spiritual leader. We tend to call them pastors now in America, but they could be called bishop, elder, pastor, evangelist, teacher, apostle, and many more names that are biblical. Seek the Lord diligently, asking Him where He wants you to go to church. In this day and age this can be a difficult search.
Don’t neglect your spiritual growth or the growth of your family while you look
When you get to heaven, “I couldn’t find a church,” is not an acceptable excuse for the sorry state of your spiritual life.