the spice of life. Thank God everything is not the same.
We enjoy the different seasons, colors, styles of clothing
and music. We enjoy variety because each of us is different.
I love a two-passenger
sports car with a convertible roof; my wife prefers our
rather homely but practical van. Just because everything
is the same does not make it good. And because things
are different is not a sign of lack of quality or unity.
So it is with
the great variety of churches. Denominations have emerged
for legitimate reasons. Some of them have been created
because of ethnic roots, such as the Dutch Reformed Church
or the Scottish Presbyterian Church. Others have emerged
out of the need for reformation and change. The reformed
movements have brought needed healing not only to those
who created a new group, but also to those who remained
faithful to the original denomination.
a variety of expressions of our common faith. All of us
can find a house of worship that fits our personality
as well as our individual needs.
If you are
searching for a good church home, here are a few questions
to ask that will help you find a church that fits your
1. Is the doctrine
and belief of the church orthodox (true to the Bibles
teaching)? Determine this by asking if that church believes
in the deity of Christ and adheres to the doctrinal criteria
expressed by both the Nicene and Apostles creeds.
Does the church present a balanced perspective on the
person and work of the Holy Spirit?
2. Does the
church minister to my family with various programs?
3. Does the
style of worship provide an expression that makes me feel
comfortable, yet at the same time makes me stretch to
learn more of the universality of the Christian faith?
(You need not only to feel comfortable, but also feel
challenged to enlarge your world.)
4. Is there
an expression of the presence of God in the services of
the church? Does that church bring an adequate balance
between what I feel in worship, and at the same time establish
a rational credibility for the experience I have just
found in God?
There is a
church near you that provides a balance between the emotional
and spiritual expression of revival movements and the
rational understanding of the Scriptures. There is a church
that provides musical expressions you prefer linking
the church to the contemporary community, as well as teaching
you to enjoy the wonder of our heritage. There is a church
that provides teaching that is orthodox and bases its
message on the Word of God, while giving biblical guidelines
for contemporary day-to-day living.
will help you find the church thats right for you.
Reid is pastor of Full Gospel Tabernacle (Assemblies of
God) in Orchard Park, N.Y.