We’ve had an unusual amount of people in our church relocate out of Charlotte this year due to transitions with their jobs and families. Consequently, I’ve been asked this question a lot, “What church should I join?” It’s a great question and one that many spend little time giving much prayer and thought. Whether you are relocating to a new city or looking for a new church home, it’s important to know what kind of church to which you should belong. So, what type of church should I join? Let’s use Acts 2:41-47 to help determine the answer to one of the most important questions in a Christian’s life.
→ Join a church that is Bible-centered and doctrinally sound.
Acts 2:41-42 – Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls, And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread.
- “Do they believe and teach the Bible as the inspired, inerrant Word of God?”
- “How do they preach ‘his word’? Is it driven by stories, opinions, and psychology, or is it saturated by the Scriptures?”
- “Are people invited to be saved and baptized regularly? Is there a plea for Christians to evangelize others?”
- “Are they strong on the gospel and doctrine of Christ or is the gospel rarely mentioned?”
- “What do they believe about the Lord’s Supper? Is it a means to salvation or the worshipful response of saved people?”
→ Join a church that is passionate about prayer.
Acts 2:42 – And they continued…in prayers.
- “Is the chruch devoted to being ‘a house of prayer’? Are there designated moments of corporate prayer?”
- “Are they concerned about bearing one another’s burdens and praying for one another’s needs?”
- Be careful about churches that call themselves churches but don’t pray.
→ Join a church that honors Christ.
Acts 2:43 – And fear [reverence; honor] came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
- “Is there a reverence of Christ and a fear of God in this church?”
- “Do they honor preferences and people above the genuine leading of God?”
- “Who is the audience of their worship?”
→ Join a church that is devoted to unity and fellowship.
Acts 2:44 – And all that believed were together, and had all things common.
- “Is the church laboring together in unity of spirit and mind, or are they divisive and mean spirited toward one another?”
- “Are they welcoming of all people into their church – all colors, nationalities, and backgrounds?”
- “Is it apparent that they love each other? Do they enjoy fellowship and being together?”
→ Join a church that is generous in their giving.
Acts 2:45 – And sold their possessions and good, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
- “Do they have a heart to help others? Is sacrificial and obedient giving emphasized regularly?”
- “Do they talk about supporting missionaries, church planting, and taking care of God’s work?”
- “Do they support the pastor, church staff, and overall ministry well?”
→ Join a church that assembles together often, and is authentic in their worship.
Acts 2:46 – And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread form house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singles of heart, praising God.
- “Are their worship gatherings less and less or more and more?”
- “Is it a place where the Bible is regularly and increasingly being taught?”
- “Is their worship yielded to the Spirit, or stifled by tradition?”
→ Join a church that has a godly testimony in the community.
Acts 2:47 – And having favor with all the people.
- “Does it seem like they do more harm than they do good?”
- “Does their teaching point toward godly living? Do they condone sinful lifestyles?”
- “Is there integrity in their operations and character in their leadership?”
→ Join a church whose growth is by the blessing of God, not the ingenuity of man.
Acts 2:47 – And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
- “Is the church focused on obedience to God’s Word or do they continually attempt to reinvent the church?”
- “Are they motivated by God’s structure and blessing or by man’s strength and wisdom?”
- “Are opportunities given for the church to reach others locally and around the world?”
- “Does it appear they believe God builds the church, or does it seem man builds the church?”
There never will be a perfect church, but churches who honor and glorify God are churches who follow God’s blueprint for it. Don’t rely so much on denominational loyalty alone to determine what church you should join, look to the Bible. Recently, a lady who has been attending our church for several weeks said to me, “I’ve been Episcopalian my entire life. I’ve never quite seen or experienced church like this!” I’m glad she gave our Baptist church a try instead of relying on her denominational background. We must follow the Bible when joining a church in membership, and not only should we join an Acts 2 type of church, but we should continue in that type of church!
CLICK HERE to listen to a helpful message regarding church membership.