Read these 2 Finding a Church Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Faith tips and hundreds of other topics.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they look for a church is not considering the theology of the church as a primary factor in whether or not they will attend. Often churches which have a very exciting public face may have something in their doctrinal statement that, when it is finally revealed to you, can cause significant issues and get in the way of good relationships within the church.
When you are looking for a church home, ask a pastor or elder for a copy of the church's doctrinal statement. If the church doesn't have one clearly defined, that should be a serious red flag.
Once you receive it, spend some time looking through it. If anything at all strikes you as odd or off-putting, check it against what you know of the Bible. If you don't know much about the Bible, run it past someone you respect, and write down your question for a future conversation with a pastor or other church leader.
Make sure you're on board with the doctrine of the particular church you're thinking about to protect yourself and the church from a lot of heartache in the future. Leaving a church can be very hard, and may result from differences in interpretation in the future if you are not on the same page to begin with.
One big pitfall in trying to find a church is thinking that you are looking for someone or something to give to you. This is a product of American consumerism, which all of us living in America must deal with, colors our thinking about everything.
A church is not something one shops for. A church is a community of sinners who have discovered the grace of Jesus and who are all struggling to live more like Him. A church is a place to give, a place to serve, and a place to grow. Don't judge a church based on what you can get from it, but rather from what you can give to it. Take a look and see whether the church would benefit from your specific personality, your talents and skills, and your knowledge.
Once you've found that place, jump in head first. If you are a believer in Jesus, you are a part of the church whether you are active or not. Take your place, and see the benefits of giving.