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Choosing a Church (1 of 8)
Series: Choosing a Church
Revelation 1:10-13a, 20
I am beginning a series of messages which I'm calling How to Choose a Church. Many of the American people are involved in the process of finding a church. Some of you in this service today are looking for a church. You're church shopping. You're looking us over. Sometimes people move and come to a new location. It's really a big job to evaluate and examine a church and its ministry and see if that's where God wants you to go. People have a variety of things on their shopping list. Some of them are looking for a dynamic, good looking pastor. Others are looking for the kind of music they like to hear. Others are concerned about the buildings and whether they look impressive and if they are lavish enough.
I ran across a survey that has just been finished by the Barna Research Group in California, which is probably the most reliable group when it comes to evaluations concerning churches. They gave me a great deal of hope. They asked people about 22 questions about what they were looking for when they chose a church. I was rather pleased at the top three reasons people are choosing churches today.
The first one was the theological belief and doctrines of the church. This is extremely important; 58 percent of the respondents chose this. The second was how much the people seemed to care about each other. Fifty three percent said that was extremely important. Third was sermon quality. That was ranked extremely important by 52 percent of the people. I find that rather encouraging and a rather hopeful sign.
I remember in the early years of my ministry we used to have a slogan, "Choose the Church of Your Choice." I've come to believe that's bad advice, and I'll tell you why that's bad advice later on.
I want to talk to you about the importance of a church. We know that Jesus founded and built the church. He said upon this rock I will bu ...
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