- How approachable/welcoming, is the Pastor before and/or after the service?
- How friendly is the congregation?
- How many congregants are there?
- How do they take the offering?
- Where are they located?
- How is the service broke down between, prayers, worship, and sermon?
- What is the condition of their facilities?
- What is the preaching style of their Pastor?
- Do they use a specific translation of the Bible, or prohibit any translations, if so why?
- Do they have a web page? If so, is there a clear, orthodox, confession or statement of faith?
There are some more important criteria for evaluating a Church. I will list those next. The important things take more than a first impression. The first impression can be helpful in determining if it is worth learning more about that church. You can’t tell from first impressions if the Church is going to be like the Church in Acts 2. Finding a family you can confess your sins to, ask for prayer from, and share communion with is hard to find.
You can’t really make an informed decision if you yourself are not informed. If you have a very small or immature understanding of scripture and doctrines, it will be hard for you to find a good Church. You should read and study your Bible. Get grounded in scripture so you can tell a good Church from a bad one. If you walk in the door, and see the church; picking up snakes, rolling on the floor, naming it and claiming it, being of fire, planting seeds, speaking in tongues, blowing a shofar while wearing a prayer shawl, and looking for demons in every person, then I don’t think you need to check any further. It is safe to say, you can go on to the next church.
So what things really matter? Here is my list.
- Orthodoxy, orthodoxy, orthodoxy!
- Theology, are they Arminian, Reformed, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Continuationists, Cessationists, Egalitarians, Complementarians, and so on?
- What kind of Church government do they utilize?
- What ministries do they engage in?
- How/where was the Pastor educated?
- Are they part of a denomination?
- What is their statement of faith?
- Are they Christ centered or man centered?
- Do they believe the Bible is the authoritative word of God, infallible, and inerrant?
- Are there opportunities for me to use my God-given gifts?
- Have I heard of any potential areas of concern with that Church? if so I need to ask the Pastor about those issues face to face.
This blog will be focusing on the, “First Impression” aspect of choosing a Church for the time being. As we visit local Churches, I will post an evaluation of that Church. I am doing this more for my family than anyone else. As we go I will get the Pastors contact information, and try to ascertain the more important details. I hope this is helpful for others in the area as well.