It is always interesting to hear the principles by which people unite with churches:
- Some unite purely for social reasons. It is something to do, somewhere to be. Maybe there are good fellowship dinners or concerts.
- Some unite for business reasons. They hope to make many business contacts with generally nice people.
- Some unite for children programs. It is place where their children can have friends. I can’t tell you how many parents have said to me that they come because the kids like it so as long as they like it they will keep coming. When I ask them if they treat school or other important obligations they same they always look at me with a blank look like “What does that have to do with anything?”
- Some unite for the music. Some like traditional, some like contemporary, still others like blended.
- Some unite for the dynamic preacher/teacher. I once had someone tell me that they started attending a church because the picture of the preacher on the billboard looked like a cool guy.
- Some unite for the style of translation. As sad as this is I am not kidding. For the first few years where I serve as pastor I received a call every month about what Bible translation I preach from and if it was anything other than 1611 KJV the conversation was over. Now that I have been here for 6 years they don’t call anymore because they know the answer.
We could expand the list but that is not necessary because you get the point. What I want us to think about is this – very rarely have I ever heard someone say, “I would like to know what church follows the teaching of the Word of God most closely; that is the church I would like to become a part of.” That is very interesting to me because it would seem to me that that would be the basis upon which we would want to be in a Christian fellowship. Where is the word of God proclaimed? Where are the principles of God’s Word followed insofar as it is possible? If you have young children don’t say to them, “Where would you like to go to church?” Find the church that is the healthiest and strongest biblically speaking and say to your kids, “This is where we go.” I think that is the way you are to choose a church. You should seek from the Word of God to discover just exactly what the Word of God says about a local church and seek to be in as close conformity to that as possible. What others think and what your children think or what style of music or how old the people are is really not of great significance.