Every week, I go through the “Girl Talk” section of Project Inspired and look for those seeking advice and counsel. I want to help answer some questions you may have about living out your Christian life and walk of faith! We want PI to be a safe place where you can ask questions.
This week, a PI Girl asked about how to find a good church for her. To read the full Girl Talk Post, click here.
This is a good question, especially if you are a new believer (Christian) or follower of Jesus.
First, you want to make sure you are in a Bible-believing church and that the sect or denomination has sound doctrine. What is sound doctrine? (Read 2 Timothy 1:13.) It is teaching that is lined up with scripture in the Holy Bible (Revelation 22:18-19).
The Bible is the canon or the measuring rod of truth and authority that the scriptures hold. It is the standard you can refer to, not only historically and through credibility, but also the coherent message that is fluid throughout the Old and New Testaments. Make sure you are cracking open your Bible (or Bible app, for that matter); if the Word of God isn’t being preached in your church…run!
Next, find out how you can be of service and not just take from the church you attend. Nowadays, many people go to church to feel good or be entertained or as a hobby (consumerism) rather than to contribute. The church is actually the body of Christ, not a building or institution, and we all need each other as believers (1 Corinthians 12:27). The Bible says, “Iron sharpens iron” (Proverbs 27:17).
There is an order to pastors, leaders and deacons, and we want to make sure the place of assembly is a healthy, stable, well-balanced church with proper leadership and authority in place (1 Timothy 3).
In addition, maybe check and see if there is a youth/high school or college group Bible Study for your age group when determining what church you want to attend.
Next, pray about it, of course, and make sure your family is on the same page as well. Hopefully your family are all believers, but if they aren’t and you’re going solo, invite a friend, and make sure your parents approve of you attending youth group and so forth.
Finally, look at the church’s website and see what their core beliefs/values/mission statements are. If they preach another gospel, message or book, or add to the book of the Bible (Word of God)—watch out! There can be forms of what looks like the Christian faith, but be cautious of New Age-type of institutions or those that are legalistic or controlling. Remember, many cults claim Jesus or similar beliefs that stem from Judeo-Christian roots, but they are counter to what the Bible teaches. (Read Walter Martin’s The Kingdom of the Cults book for further details and different ideologies and their theology.)
Sound theology from a Bible-believing perspective is this: God sent His Son Jesus (Emmanuel = God with us) as prophesied in the Old Testament (Isaiah 9) to die for the sins of the fallen world to restore the relationship between God and man. The world became fallen after the disobedience of man. God sent the Word in the flesh (Jesus) to dwell among men (John 1), and after He died, He rose again on the third day, defeating death and sin once and for all, just as Jesus Christ said He would (John 3:16). Jesus is coming back again to gather His people, the body of believers, also known as the Bride of Christ (being the Groom). We believe in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, which is triune (three in one). Just as the body has a body, soul, Spirit God is mysterious and is three in one.
It is also important as a believer that once you confess Jesus as Lord of your life and believe in your heart, you are saved. It is significant and very important to get baptized as a believer, which symbolizes the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (the Messiah), which is a picture of sin and death (burying under water) and out of the water being risen to new life.
When you are a Christian, you have a new start in Christ because of the blood shed on Calvary. Life is in the blood, and according to Jewish practice and belief, there is no remission of sin without the sacrifice or price paid. Formerly in Jewish customs, the animal sacrifice would be presented to the High Priest as an offering. We believe Jesus was and is the sacrificial lamb, who died once and for all for the sinners of the world and rose again defeating death. We believe Jesus is our High Priest and intercessor who sits at the right hand of the Father. Jesus was blameless and sinless and came from Mary’s virgin womb, a miraculous event that would bring reconciliation to the following generations who believed in the Son of God, as spoken by the Prophets in the Torah and Old Testament of the Bible.
Jesus died so we sinners could live in eternity (John 3). We need to accept this free gift of salvation by faith to inherit and to be in God’s Holy presence. Only God’s blood could buy us back, only the Son of Man could restore the sting of sin and the broken law. Grace stepped in to heal us and to cover us with no greater love.
My next piece of advice would be to get involved in the community, get to know the people and help out or attend an event.
Follow the Holy Spirit and God will confirm if this church is your home place of fellowship. God is with you and will speak to you if you ask Him for wisdom.
Observe your spiritual fruit. Are you growing in the church? Or are you just popping in and out and not plugging in? We cannot blame others for lack of spiritual fruit, but if there is discord or division that is not of God, evaluate the fruit according to Galatians 5 and the fruits of the Spirit.
How to Pick a Church That’s Right for You
1. Choose a Bible-based and Bible-believing church.
2. Inquire if there is a youth group or young adult Bible Study.
3. Pray about your decision.
4. Be on the same page as your parents.
5. Check out the church’s website for their core beliefs, doctrine and theology. Avoid being tricked into a cult and/or church that seems Christian. For example, Christian Science is not a Bible-based religion. Although it sounds Christian, it diverts from the Holy Bible (Word of God).
6. Follow what the Holy Spirit prompts you to do.
7. Meet people and be a part of the community. “Big churches become smaller churches when you serve,” says pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie from Harvest Ministries.
8. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you.
9. Ask for wisdom.
10. Observe the fruit produced from going to that assembling of believers (Galatians 5).
PI Girls, does this help you? Comment below!
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