What do we need to know about a church before we attend and what do we need to know before we become
This question was asked of Dr. R.C. Sproul, theologian, pastor and teacher. This is his reply..
"Before we attend a church, we should know that it is a legitimate church. There are some churches
that claim to be Christian that, in my judgment and in the judgment of many Christians, are not Christian churches or are
apostate bodies. Even attending there services may be a sin. We can't expect a church to be perfect. But does it hold
to the essentials of the faith.
Does it practice a basic, sound belief in the diety of Christ and aspects of Christ that we
find outlined in the New Testament.
Now we may be worshipping every day with people who profess to be Christians bur arn't, because
God hasn't given us the ability to look at anothers person's heart and say exactly where he or she is spiritually. But we
can inquire into the basic beliefs of a church body. and we want to unite ourselves in worship only with a group
of people who are attempting to do what is proper in the sight of God.
Oviously, that bare minimum applies before you attend the church. Before you join a church, I would
think that you would look more closely.
You should ask questions such as,
Is this a church where the gospel is being preached, where there is fidelity (faithfulness) to the
Scriptures. Is this a fellowship to which I am prepared to commit myself, my time, my money, my devotion, where I am going
to be instructed in spiritual growth, along with my family."
Dr. Sproul adds.."I think those are the kinds of questions you need to look at very carefully before
you make the commitment to join. In our country, we often join churches in the same spirit that we join any other organization,
forgetting that when we join the church, we take a sacred vow before God to do certain things---to be present in worship,
to make diligent use of the means of grace, to be an active participant in that church. Before you take a vow to do something
like that, you need to know what it is that you are joining and then, having made that vow, be prepared to keep it."