Saturday, April 30, 2011

How to Find a Good Church

Living in a university town means living in a transient community. One of the bitter-sweet realities we face each year comes at the end of the school year as many students and university people head on to a new community and new opportunities. My hope is that Oxford Bible Fellowship has helped these individuals love the church as Christ loves the church, and prepared them to find a good church as they move on.

For some biblical help on finding the right church, check out my message What the Church Should Be. The gist of the message is to look for a church that is a teaching church, a relational church, and a missional church.

In addition, here are some practical suggestions:
  • Visit the church website before attending. Spend some time googling for churches and use the church-finder sites listed below. You can find out a lot about what a church values and emphasizes. If they don't have a website they may not be very relevant, and if they don't talk about Jesus and the Word they probably aren't worth your time.
  • Contact a staff member to ask some questions. You can do this through e-mail, phone, or by setting up a meeting. A few simple questions will give you a good sense of where the church is at.
  • Be patient as you look for a church. If you have been a part of a great church community with great teaching realize your expectations are high, and they should be. But you may not find the exact same fit. Don't compromise on your church choice, but recognize that everything may not be perfect. Focus on the most important things - the teaching, relationships, and being on mission with Jesus.
  • Pray. If you're seeking to walk with Christ, He has a place for you to be engaged. Or maybe He wants you to help plant a new work in your new community. Either way, seeking him in prayer will make things clear.
Here are some great websites for finding a solid church. I don't personally know all of these churches, but they're a great place to start.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post Jeremy. A year ago Joel and I moved from FL where we had been for the last 7 years to OK. We left an amazing church that was so biblically solid and the musice was amazing. It was really hard for us to find a church here in OK that we just feel like we were supposed to be there.
    We are now gearing up for our next move, to Dover, DE. We have been looking online for churches. With both of us having grown up in a Pastor's home, "church shopping" is not something we like to do. It is frustrating. But, we know that God has the perfect church for us. We just need to be diligent in looking for it and to keep him first and not our preferences.
    We know how you feel about your church being in a transient community. Air Force life is the same. I enjoy reading your posts. Tell Michelle hello from both Joel and I.