One of the most important decisions a person can make is what church they’re going to be a part of. The importance of this decision can’t be overstated.
When my wife and I were dating, we attended different churches. I went to an old school Baptist church in the middle of nowhere, literally, and she attended a mildly contemporary church that had been in existence for less than a year.
As our dating turned into an engagement and would eventually be a marriage, we knew we would have to choose one church to attend. Being the godly young woman that she was, she left the decision up to me.
Ultimately, I decided the church plant would be our church home. It was a difficult decision. That little country church meant a lot to me, and I wasn’t sure about a church that didn’t sing out of a hymn book. But I knew this would be the best choice for my wife and for our future kids.
Looking back almost ten years now, it’s hard to believe how much that one decision has affected my life. It’s not only where we worship, but it’s where I work, where we serve, where our friends are, and where our roots are.
But…if we had to start over and begin looking for another church to attend, here would be my priorities.
- My kids have to love it – There’s something about being a parent in which you’ll do almost anything for your kids. This is only amplified when your child’s relationship with Jesus is at stake. Finding a church my kids love would be my number one priority.
- The church has to be friendly – It’s embarrassing that I even have to bring this up, but let’s face it, a large percentage of churches are just not friendly. They’re not all necessarily mean. Some just won’t speak to you. I have no patience for this. If you’re unfriendly, I perceive you as ungodly, and I won’t be attending your church.
- They have to preach messages I can apply to my life – Even though I’m a pastor and have been a Christ follower for over fourteen years now, I still have issues just like anyone else. I need to know what the Bible says about dealing with fear, insecurity, raising kids, loving my wife, etc.
- They have to have good music – Notice I didn’t say great music. I’m not expecting most churches’ worship to sound like Hillsong or Elevation, but I don’t want to listen to Ethel sing a special either. I want the music to be uplifting, passionate, and done well.
That’s it for me. I’m easy to please. Now your list may look different from mine, and that’s perfectly fine.
What I think would be valuable if you’re a pastor is to ask yourself, who am I trying to reach, and what are their priorities. Then take a close look at your church, and see if it meets those priorities. If not, you have some work to do.
What would your list of priorities look like? Take a moment to share in the comments below.