“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers…And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42 & 47
Looking for a new church family can be confusing. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what exactly you are looking for in a new church. Furthermore, some regions of the country don’t have a very good selection. Here are some biblical guidelines from Acts that will help you find a church that glorifies Christ.
- “The apostle’s teaching” – A biblical church is going to teach and preach biblically. You can identify this trait by observing if the pastor uses the Bible to back up his ideas or if his sermon comes from what he has read during his study time. If you rarely read your Bible during the sermon or leave the service feeling confused and struggling to remember the passage discussed, you might want to look elsewhere. Additionally, if something feels “off” about what the pastor said, do your own research and check if his sermon was biblical. The sermon will often times tell if the church’s doctrine is correct (something I also suggest looking at online, if it is available).
- “Fellowship” – We are made for community. Look for a body of believers who are passionate about fellowship and loving one another. Churches talk a lot about loving those who aren’t Christians, but loving your brother or sister in Christ is just as important.
- “Breaking of bread” – Find a place where you feel you fit in and can make connections naturally. The big church just isn’t right for everyone and a small church setting can make some people feel like they are being watched all the time. Going to a church that has the right dynamics for you will help you find like minded Christians and give you great friendships in the process.
- “Prayers” – If the church and its leaders stress the importance of prayer, and do it without using clichés, you have found a gem. Prayer is the lifeline of the believer. Being a part of a church body that stresses prayer will do wonders for your walk with Christ.
Notice the result of a church that practices the four qualities above – “And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” A church that is healthy internally will always multiply with those who want to be a part of it. Ultimately, a church should want to be a city on hill that attracts others because they are living in right standing with God and each other.[i]
[i] Matthew 5:14