What do you look for before joining a church?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Plain Old Bill, Sep 17, 2005.

  1. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill
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    What are the things you ask about and look for?Do you get a copy of the church doctrinal,covenant,constitution?Do you talk to the pastor or deacons and ask them questions about the church?Do you check into the church activities and programs?Is size important to you?
     
  2. Ben W

    Ben W
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    Ask 20 people Bill and I think you will get 20 different answers! [​IMG]

    Doctrine is always going to be important, and I would solve that one by checking out the doctrine of the denomination prior to attending a local church that participates in it. As a guide, any group that does not fully accept and emphasise the Trinity would be skipped over immediantly. The same for any group that rejected any part of the Nicean Creed.

    As for the local fellowship, the first thing I would look at is what kind of relationship do these people have with Jesus? Is this a church where people really are on fire for the Lord? Do they support and encourage their ministry team, does this church have a good record of properly discipling their converts to Christ?
     
  3. Joanna

    Joanna
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    I would look at doctrine and make sure it is Biblical, I would also look at the lives of the members, how they relate to each other and is there church discipline when some one goes astray.
     
  4. PastorSBC1303

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    I would check to see if they have a vending machine in the building [​IMG] :rolleyes:
     
  5. Carolina Baptist

    Carolina Baptist
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    Before I joined the church I am in now, I talked with the pastor, checked the doctrine, and visited for some time. I saw the member's relationship with Jesus and with each other.
    I also asked for a copy of the church budget. I wasn't concerned with "how much" but I looked or a proper imphasis on missions, ministry, etc. The money tends to follow where the heart of the church is.
     
  6. buckster75

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    if it is too big to have a real fellowship it is probably too big.
     
  7. Brother Ian

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    You need to regularly attend all of the services including Sunday School. Look at the church constitution and/or bylaws and the budget. Like Carolina Baptist said, not how much is in the budget, but check out where the priorities are in the church. Priorities will be obvious when you look at the budget.

    Speak to the pastor and ask him the hard questions. Ask him what the church's short and long term goals are.

    After all that, pray that the Lord will show you if that is the church for you.
     
  8. TexasSky

    TexasSky
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    I start out by asking God to guide me where He wants me to be.
    I look at the message from the pulpit. Does the minister read from God's word, or "just talk around it"? Does the minister give the message of Salvation or only focus on things like "how to manage your finances" or other things that some of the more "modern" "ministers" have been "pushing" as opposed to God's word.
    I look at the people? Do they seem to know one another? Do they greet each other? Do they visit with one another? Do they pray for each other in a personal way or is more "robotic"?
    I look at how they interact with strangers. Do they notice a stranger in their midst, even if the stranger didn't raise their hand for the little card? Do they invite the stranger to do the "after church lunch" with them?
    I listen. Do they stand outside and in the halls gossiping about each other?
    I look around. Does the church corridor show evidence of actively working for God? You know, the little posters from the GA and RAs, the sign up sheets for the food kitchens, the announcement of the prayer breakfasts. . . ..
    When they preach or teach, are they accurate in regards to what I already know?
    Can the minister teach me more than I know?

    There are amazing men of God out there who teach at the level of an audience that is new to Christ, and I love them dearly because they are needed, but I've known Christ and studied His word for 40 years, with many years of various theological classes thrown in. I need a minister who can offer me more indepth study of the word. I tend to gravitate toward churches where the ministers are or were seminary professors for that reason - though I have met some amazing teachers of the word who don't have doctorates in divinity, just a passion for the word.
     
  9. buckster75

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    What are they giving to. Does the Assoc. freely come forth with where all the money the church gives to it.
    Are they involved in missions?
    Are they supporting the future of their church (kids, youth)?

    Are they yoked to the law or under grace?

    Do they chant, play misic more given to dance than to worship or what type of music?
     
  10. sovgrace79

    sovgrace79
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    Being independent baptist, and having just graduated Bible college, knowing that I'd be learning the ministry from the pastor, these are the things I did and looked for:

    1) Looked for Expositional preaching
    2) Looked for church that seemed like a family
    3) Asked for a copy of their doctrinal statement and covenant
    4) Went to breakfast with the pastor to learn his philosophy of ministry

    As far as doctine, my wife and I wanted a church that was Baptistic, Doctrines of Grace, and dispensational. We found such a church, and it has been a blessing to learn and serve under the senior pastor.

    As an aside, one thing my parents told me is to live near the church you serve in (even if you aren't staff). This way, it is easier to get involved and go to more activities. Our church is across town, only 10 minutes away. My parents are only 5 minutes away from their church, and they both are very involved.

    So choose carefully, join in membership, and get involved!
     
  11. Servent

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    Talk to the teenagers get there view of the church, you will find you get some very stright answers.
     
  12. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill
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    Things I look for:
    Correct Doctrine
    Check out church covenant & constitution
    Financial statement
    How involved in missions
    Is there a bus ministry (I live in an urban area)
    What is the visitation program?Who and how many are active in it?
    By visiting I know the music program.
    How do the people get along with each other?
    Is this a KJVO church(I am not)?
    What fellowship activities are there?
    Is the pastor feeding the flock?
    How strong is the discipleship program?
    I talk to the preacher.
    Is there a passion for souls?
    I look for other things also but these are the biggies for me.
     
  13. PamelaK

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    Doctrine and music. Also, we are KJV-preference.
     
  14. buckster75

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    how often do they change preachers?

    would any one ask "what are the reasons for the last 10 people who left?

    what are the reason the last 10 people who joined?

    (wish I had thought of these before I joined this last church)
     
  15. Plain Old Bill

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    Good questions.
     
  16. pastor chep day

    pastor chep day
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    SHOW UP ON THIER MID WEEK SERVICE AND THAT IS WHERE THE BACKBONE OF THE BELIEVERS ARE NOT SUNDAY MORNING. MOST MID WEEK SERVICES ARE GEARED FOR PRAYER/YOUTH. YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET THE SENCE OF DOCTRINAL VALUES AND THE RELATIONSHIP THE CHURCH IS AT. THEN REALY PRAY CAUSE THAT CHURCH MAY BE PRAYING FOR A NEW FAMILY JUST LIKE YOU. THE HARVEST IS PLEANTIOUS AND THE LABOURERS ARE FEW PRAY FOR THE LORD OF THE HARVEST TO SEND MORE HELP.
     
  17. Thankful

    Thankful
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    I think the most important thing is follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
     
  18. buckster75

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    pastor chep day

    good sugestion.

    here's another idea. go to a business meeting. I have been told that there is no closed meetings in a baptist church. and at least our church practices this open meeting rule.
    see how much fussing is going on. though they may behave with a guest.
     

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