One of the important factors that determine your growth as a believer is the local church you attend. This is why you must pay much attention when selecting the church you’ll be committed to. Many christians believe they can attend any church they like but certain factors that should be considered before choosing a local church.
Here are 4 marks of a good local church:
1. A proper understanding of the gospel
In simple terms, if the gospel is missing then it is not a church. The message of the gospel preached in the church must not be perverted or twisted in any way (Galatians2:21). The word of God must be taught correctly before the church can be tagged as a good church. Where false doctrines such as “being saved by works or not wearing certain clothing items before you can make heaven” are propagated in a church, then such a church should be avoided.
2. Their theology about money
The Bible repeatedly emphasizes that God is no respecter of persons (Acts10:34, Romans2:11, Ephesians6:9, Colossians3:25, James2:1-4). Thus, one of the clear marks of a good church should be that irrespective of our financial status, we can all come together to worship God without competition or discrimination. Avoid churches that try so much to put out an illusion of wealth, churches that put out statements like “certain blessings will be accessed only when you give so much money or give violently”. The prophecy of Joel in Joel2:28-29 includes even servants and handmaids, and a good church must reflect this.
3. Charismatic ministry
In the book of 1Corinthians12:31, the Bible instructs that we earnestly desire spiritual gifts. A church that mocks the charismatic ministry and the move of the spirit, or a church where the move of the spirit is tagged as “demonic” is a church you should stay away from. Since desiring spiritual gifts is an instruction for believers, a good church will be one where the move of the spirit and spiritual gifts are encouraged. In a good church, it should not be an option whether or not to practice the charismatic, it is a non-negotiable for the church.
4. The church should be mission-minded and not just organization minded
It is not wrong to like a church for the organization of its services. However, something more important than a church with good organizational standards is a mission-minded church. A good church should focus on Christ and his mission; reaching the lost. It should not be focused on only increasing the number of its congregation. The spiritual growth of each member should be more important. When you attend a good church, your drive for evangelism should increase. The bible instructs us to go into the world and teach all nations (Matthew28:19), so our drive to preach God’s word should increase when we gather.
All these factors must be considered when you want to select a local church. These factors are non-negotiables. You cannot focus on one and ignore the other.
You can listen to the full sermon on what to look out for when choosing a local church here