(For readers that have followed for a few years, this is a re-post form 2012)
If you are looking for a church to call home, I have a list of things to look for in a home congregation. This is a short list of list of five things. These all come from Acts 2:42-27.
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
In this account of the birth of the Kingdom of Christ we see a vibrant and growing church. In this narrative we see a church that attracts members and one that any Christian or seeker would want to “join.” There are, as mentioned, five characteristics that we should look for in a congregation we are considering as our home. These are five areas each congregation should evaluate in their own “church” environment. These are five traits each individual Christian should seek to improve in their own lives as they are active in a local congregation. What should we look for in a church?
- Is this congregation a church that Worships? (Acts 2:42). We should devote our worship to the Biblical teaching, to Fellowship with God and each other (including the Lord’s Supper and giving), to breaking of bread (specifically remembering the
sacrifice Christ made for us – cf. Acts 20:7), and to prayer.
- Is this congregation a Respectful Church? (Acts 2:43). This is not a question about whether the community respects the congregation, that will come later. This is whether or not the congregation respects God and His word. Are they in “awe” of God? This sense of awe will express itself in worship.
- Is this congregation an Unselfish Church? (Acts 2:44-45). Are they active in helping each other with needs, visiting the sick, caring for the weak? Are they active in helping the needing in the community as a whole (Gal 6:10a)?
- Is this congregation a Joyful Church? (Acts 2:46-47a). Are they genuinely glad to be together? Is the atmosphere one of dread or of rejoicing? Do they seem truly appreciative of the grace of God in their lives?
- Is this congregation a Good News Church? (Acts 2:47). Do they actively share the Good News we normally call the Gospel of Christ? Are they active in mission efforts? Are the members telling others about the Grace of God available in Jesus the Christ?
If I can help you find such a church, let me know.