As awesome as it is to be part of someone’s decision to put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, we all know that this is just the beginning of their spiritual journey. We must encourage them to learn how to live with Jesus and invite Him to be a part of everything in their lives. We also must help them understand the importance of worship.
God did not design us to live alone. We are all created for community. We are stronger when we are living in community with others and not trying to do life alone. This is especially true for the new believer. They need other believers to encourage, teach, pray, and worship with them. They also need to appreciate the importance of worshipping God.
This brings us to one of the more difficult challenges of online evangelism. How we help connect a new believer with a good bible teaching church. Offering a list is a dangerous proposition. There are lots of church databases out there that are not managed with clear standards. There are also an increasing number of churches that give in to culture and not are standing on biblical truth.
Some ministries choose to align with one Christian denomination and point people at the closest church with their designation. This has the same challenges of faithful teaching and may alienate those that grew up or have experience with another denomination.
For these reasons, it is not our goal to pick winners and losers but rather help the new believer find solid biblical teaching and true Christian community to worship God, be taught according to scripture, encouraged, prayed for, and held accountable.
There are a few simple steps we should all take when looking for a church home. We encourage seekers to look at a church’s beliefs posted on its web site and visit multiple times. Here are some of the questions they should be looking to answer:
Does this church hold a proper view of Scripture? When investigating a potential church home, pay particular attention to how it views the Bible. Does it hold to the inspiration and inerrancy of the Scriptures? Where do they stand on such crucial issues of the Christian faith as the virgin birth and deity of Jesus Christ; the depravity of mankind; the work of Christ on the cross; His death, burial, and bodily resurrection; salvation by grace through faith alone; the second coming of Christ; and the ordinances of baptism and Communion?
Is there an emphasis on Bible teaching? Does this church practice what it preaches and provide a place for meaningful growth, worship, community, and accountability based on Scripture? Does this church care about sharing the Gospel and is committed to evangelism?
Is this a church where I am encouraged to serve God’s people and use my gifts for its benefit? Is this a place where the people make up the church or where the church is expected to do everything for the people? Is volunteering and service mandated or expected of all members.
These questions take time, conversation, and connection to ultimately answer. We want new believers to understand they are part of the body of Christ and not just consumers of church. May these questions remind us all to look at how and where we worship.