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How To Find A Good Church

How To Find A Good Church

This blog post is excerpted from Mark Dever’s book “What is a Healthy Church” – Pages 79

1. Pray

2. Seek counsel from a godly pastor (or from elders)

3. Keep your priorities straight

  • The gospel must be firmly affirmed, clearly preached, and faithfully lived out. A serious lack in any of these expressions of the gospel is dangerous.
  • The preaching must be faithful to scripture, personally challenging and central to the congregation’s life. You will only grow spiritually where scripture is treated as the highest authority.
  • Also very important is to consider how the church regulates baptism, the Lord’s Supper, church membership, church discipline, and who has the final say in decision making.

4. Ask yourself diagnostic questions such as:

  • Would I want to find a spouse who has been brought up under this church’s teaching?
  • What picture of Christianity will my children see in this church- Something distinct or something a lot like the world?
  • Would I be happy to invite non-Christians to this church? That is, would they clearly hear the gospel and see lives consistent with it? Does the church have a heart for welcoming and reaching non-Christians?
  • Is this church a place where I can minister and serve?

5. Consider geography. Would the church’s physical proximity to your home encourage or discourage frequent involvement and service? If you’re moving to a new area, try to locate a good church home before you buy a house.

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If You’re Thinking of Leaving a Church

If You’re Thinking of Leaving a Church

This blog post is excerpted from Mark Dever’s book “What is a Healthy Church” – Pages 57

Before You Decide to Leave 

  1. Pray
  2. Let your current pastor know about your thinking before you move to another church or make your decision to relocate to another city. As for his counsel.
  3. Weigh your motives. Is your desire to leave because of sinful, personal conflict or disappointment? If it’s because of doctrinal reasons, are these doctrinal issues significant?
  4.  Do everything within your power to reconcile broken relationships.
  5. Be sure to consider all the “evidences of grace” you’ve seen in the church’s life – places where Gods work is evident. If you cannot see any evidences of God’s grace, you might want to examine your own heart once more (Matthew 7:3-5)
  6. Be humble. Recognize you don’t have all the facts and assess people and circumstances charitably (give them the benefit of the doubt).

If You Go

  1. Don’t divide the body
  2.  Take the utmost care not to sow discontent even among your closest friends. Remember, you don’t want anything to hinder their growth in grace in this church. Deny any desire to gossip (sometimes referred to as “venting” or “saying how you feel”).
  3. Pray for and bless the congregation and its leadership. Look for ways of doing this practically.
  4.  If there has been hurt, then forgive – even as you have been forgiven.
 
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Posted by on December 1, 2011 in Church Planting and Development

 

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