Making a decision on which church to attend can be a challenging one. I’ve heard many different strategies for deciding on a new church. One is just checking out if they have good programs for you and your children to be involved in. Another is if the music selection really aids you in worshiping. Some look for great, charismatic preaching. Some prefer story-based sermons, some like exegetical preaching, and some like to bounce all around to different verses that support a single theme.
Wife and I are currently trying to decide if we should stay with the church we’ve been visiting for a few weeks. Our main criteria for the worship service was sound, doctrinal teaching. We both have pretty good heads on our shoulders for recognizing it, and have flagged one potential area for questioning. We know (unless we start our own church) that finding one we completely agree with is impossible. But we do have the basic criteria that must be met.
Our biggest hurdle in any Sunday School class we visit is trying to match our previous teacher. Don’t get me wrong: all the Sunday School classes we’ve visited have been led by dedicated and wonderful people who are genuinely trying to grow in their faith and help others. But there was something special we had in our previous class, and that was a teacher who made up his own lesson plans and didn’t read from a book. We were spoiled with original (or at least years-old so that no one remembered) handouts that branched from Cults of Christianity to a deeper look at the Ten Commandments. But not every person who leads a class has (or can make) the time to devote themselves to coming up with ideas and lesson plans like that. So that expectation may need to be lowered for our own good.
On that note, we did find one class so far that I liked the idea behind a lot. They were slowly but surely reading their way through the entire Bible. The leader has pre-read the chapters and read through numerous study Bibles and a few commentaries to familiarize himself with the patterns and messages found within each and every chapter. Well, he did admit to skipping some of the begets. But they spent a week talking about why the begets were so important.
So what do you think? What have you looked for in a new church when you’ve moved in the past? Or maybe brag a little about something that you feel your current church does that you really like/strikes you as the RIGHT thing to do. Don’t be shy on commenting here. I’ll approve most things, as comments go.