I can't seem to find a good church home. What should I do?
You wouldn’t think that finding a good Church home would be such an undertaking. Unfortunately, finding a good church home that meets our spiritual needs can sometimes seem a rather daunting and discouraging task. Many churches have become “satisfied” with where they are and have no desire to go further. They have grown complacent. 80% of the churches in America are either stagnant (with no growth) or they are declining. There are only half as many churches today as there were just 100 years ago. Approximately 7000 churches close their doors for the last time every year and an average of over 3,500 people leave the church every single day (that number only continues to inrease). The United States now ranks third (3rd), following China and India, in the number of people who are not professing Christians; in other words the U.S. is becoming an ever increasing "un-reached” people group. Every day there are millions of people in our small towns and big cities with a genuine hunger to know more of Christ so that they can develop a deeper and closer relationship with Him. Our churches however are slacking and are not providing the nourishment that those searching hearts require to satisfy those hunger pangs. They are being “spiritually starved to death”, and they are leaving the Church in droves simply because it is not sufficiently or ‘efficiently’ doing its job, The Bible instructs Pastors to “Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds” (Proverbs 27:23). Unfortunately, some Pastors see their role as nothing more than the means to a paycheck. Such failure behind the pulpit comes at the very high cost of human souls. This is what happens when the pulpits message is run through a strainer to make it a more “acceptable” message. When that happens, the message then becomes one of “Let the world be your Bible.” Such preaching will never win a single soul to Christ. Genuine Godly Biblically sound preaching on the other hand is what will bring a man to his knees, causing him to see himself as the sinner that he is, and allow him to see the glory and sufficiency of the one and only remedy for his lost sin state - Jesus Christ!
Now, all of that being said, make no mistake that there are still many good, solid, spiritually sound Churches out there. But we must also be ever mindful of the fact that there is no such thing as the “perfect” Church. Why? Because churches are made up of people, and people are imperfect. To other pastors I offer this simple piece of advice: If you are a Church Pastor, imagine yourself standing in the sand, now draw a circle around yourself. Inside of that circle is where Godly leadership must first begin.
So then what does a Christian look for in a church? How should we choose?” The very first step would be to seek God through genuine heart-felt prayer and ask His direction in leading you to a church where you will not only feel comfortable but where you will be able to grow in your faith. It must be a Church whose Pastor is always available to provide Scripturally sound direction and support to his congregants in their journey with Christ. When you begin attending any Church you should ask yourself several questions including: “Is the Bible central in its preaching and teaching?” And, “Is Jesus Christ at the heart of all they do?” You see, God wants men behind the pulpit who preach the unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ. He wants pastors who are available at any given moment to provide support and encouragement while at the same time standing immoveable against all the modern-day pressures to ‘conform.’ More and more pulpits are "conforming" by stripping the Bible of anything deemed offensive or politically incorrect. Such cowardly actions euthanize the Holy Spirit and effectively muzzle the voice of the true soul-saving Gospel message of our Lord Jesus Christ. The genuineness of any pulpit is only as good as the heart of the man behind it. The pastors heart must be completely consumed with love for Jesus Christ before he can be effective at touching other hearts with Christ’s love for them. It is a disingenuous pulpit that preaches “just do the best you can.” A genuine pulpit declares “You are a sinner and I am a sinner, and the first step toward God is Repentance!” It is the only step that God will accept. If a Pastors messages are not tied into the whole of God’s Word then he is failing his flock. because He is feeding them nothing that is either informative, or relevant in assisting them in their walk with the Lord Jesus. Ministers stand accountable before a Holy God for the task given and entrusted to them. To wander from that task and its responsibilities is to neuter the power and purpose of the Church. We begin losing OUR way when we begin moving away from HIS way. Pray and ask God to lead you to a Church where you can grow in your faith. He will hear you, and He will plant you where you can bloom.
- Mark Shutts