Never, ever select a church just because its the closest to your home.
Being in the right church, the church where you are supposed to be, is very important. For that reason that we must always seek God’s will in finding a new church, because what is the right place for one person, may not be the right place for another person. Never, ever, select a church just because its the closest to your home. The church down the road could well be the right place for you, but your decision should be based on God’s will, not on convenience.
If God is not prompting you to move, then stay put where you are.
An important point to note, is that you should not be changing churches on a whim. It should never be because the pastor said something you didn’t really agree with, or because somebody said or did something that offended you. It should always be based on the prompting of the Holy Spirit (which may come as a sense of unease when you attend church). In other words, if God is not prompting you to move, then stay put where you are. On the other hand, if God is speaking to you, make sure that you listen! You could be in the best church in the world, having attended for twenty years, but you still need to listen if God prompts you to move on. Perhaps the church you attend has a membership scheme, which creates a loyalty to that particular church. There is nothing wrong with being a member of a certain church, as long as your loyalty to the particular church is not placed above your obedience to God.
We knew in our hearts that we were in the place that we were supposed to be.
So what should you be looking for in a church, and what should you be looking to avoid? Well the best advice that I can give, is to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. You will know in your heart when you are in the right place, and likewise you will know if it is no longer the right place. Also if you ask God, He will guide you into the church where he wants you to be. During 2012, my family & I realised that we were no longer in the right church – we knew in our spirits that what had been the right place before, was no longer where we were supposed to be. During this time we continued to attend the same church, rather than just randomly searching churches in our city. We also prayed for God to show us where we He wanted us to be; God answered our prayer by having someone invite us to attend a special event at a church that we had not previously heard of. This event involved a guest speaker and was not really related to what a regular service would be like, but we knew in our hearts that we were in the place that we were supposed to be, and have been there ever since at the time of writing in April 2016.
You could hear the best preacher in the world and still be bored.
Here are some of the things that you should be looking out for when choosing a church:
Does the church allow the Holy Spirit to operate?
At the basic level, if a church does not believe in speaking in tongues, then it is highly unlikely to be where you should be. I am not saying that you must speak in tongues – maybe you do not feel ready for that at the moment – but at least the church should not be against it. It is also important that the operation of the Holy Spirit can be observed to be an integral part of the church services.
Does what is spoken from the pulpit bring life, or send you to sleep?
In fairness, this can be do to with personal attitude, people can doze through the most anointed of sermons, it is entirely up to you whether or not you pay attention. You could hear the best preacher in the world and still be bored if you are not paying attention. However, if week after week you find what is being preached to be dry and lifeless, seek God as to whether the problem is with you, or the church you are attending. When you leave church at the end of the service, you should feel alive and inspired, you should not be leaving looking depressed. I recently visited a church that had a defibrillator outside; my visit was not during an actual service, so I cannot really comment on it’s spiritual condition, but generally speaking, if you require a defibrillator after attending church, you are probably in the wrong place!
What is the church’s view on healing?
A good church will preach what the Bible says concerning healing (e.g. by Jesus stripes we are healed) with no ifs, buts or maybes. There are a great many churches that try to temper what they preach concerning healing, in case people don’t get healed, but that sort of preaching does not bring faith. I remember hearing an excellent sermon on healing, but when the invitation for people to come forward to receive healing, any faith that the been built up hearing the Word of God preached, was ruined by one simple phrase, “Now, we know that God doesn’t always heal….”. Nowhere does the Bible say that God doesn’t always heal, the truth is that it is always God’s will to heal and that is what should be being preached.
What is the church’s view on prosperity and financial giving?
The Bible encourages the giving of tithes and offerings and promises blessings and harvest for doing so. However many churches shy away from this sort of teaching and others are outright opposed to it.
As I said near the beginning, the main thing is to listen to God, and He will direct you to where you should be. The right church is where your blessing is – so don’t miss out on the blessing God has for you. In simple terms, this means stay put if God doesn’t say move and move if He does.
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
If you have never received Jesus as your Lord & Saviour, if you have gone away from God, or if you have any doubts regarding your salvation. I encourage you to click on the link below. Clicking on the link will not secure your salvation, but praying the prayer you find, from your heart, will.
For the salvation prayer, please click here.