It is safe to say that Nigeria is one of the countries with the highest amount of churches with approximately over 200,000 churches, literally every street you know has about 5-10 Churches within it, but even as there are so many churches in Nigeria, about 30% of Nigerians still won’t go to church. A friend shared a story with me about her parents’ church and why she swore never to go there, apparently, they had a segment for single mother and the likes, she narrated how appalling it is to enter your church and you automatically know the sin a member has committed because they have a sit for it. Funny right? Some of us must have had the experience of going to a church and leaving before the service ends because the pastor wasn’t preaching the right thing or just preaching it in the wrong way.
That there are thousands of churches doesn’t mean all is certified by God, I was invited for a program last year May and a certain pastor was invited to pray and prophesy, when it was his time, he only called the people he came along with and said things about them, I just saw it for what it was and left when he dragged it on for too long, most people don’t go to church because they haven’t found the right one that appeals to their spirit. This article is for people who are planning to move to a certain area, planning to change church for a reason or looking for a church to join.
HOW TO CHOOSE A CHURCH
So many things go on in churches that are not scriptural, like businesses, deceit, unhealthy competition, jealousy and the likes, it so because the church is made of imperfect people, you won’t find a perfect church anywhere but this isn’t to encourage anyone to join a church that won’t help them grow, choosing a church is more than just going to worship on Sunday, it’s also about choosing a new kind of relationship as that’s what Christianity is about, to join a church there are certain questions that must be asked after choosing which denomination you would like to attend and they are:
1. What does the church believe in? This question is extremely important as attending a church that doesn’t stand on the gospel of Jesus Christ is fruitless. Do they believe in the essentials that is the foundation of Christianity which are:
• Does the church believe in the fact that Jesus is indeed the son of God, He died for our sins and He is the way, the truth and the light . 1 John 4:15, John 14:6, 1 Peter 3:18.
• Does the church preach salvation: We just have to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and we are saved, everyone has received salvation through faith, not works. Acts 16:30-31, Ephesians 2:8-9.
• Evangelism: Mark 16:15, 1 Corinthians 1:17, Matthew 28:19-20
• Heaven and Hell: Does the church help you see the bitter truth about heaven and hell.
You want to make sure that any church you finally choose believe in these things. In truth some pastors have mastered the art of brainwashing the congregation, it’s why you see so many Christians thinking it’s ok for a pastor to jump on them all in the name of a miracle. It is important to know the word of God, so when you see an action or word that is contrary to it in a church, you run.
2. Is the style of the church God centered? This question involves how the word of God is preached, the worship song and the fashion sense of the church members. Because of the diversity of people, no two church can be the same, even if it is the same denomination, a RCCG church in Lekki will be different from the one in Ikorodu but the question is, is their style God centered? Personally I don’t know who brought the idea of singing secular music in church but it makes me cringe, you hear songs like “Able God” in church and I’m wondering, are this ones alright? There is the matter of fashion style too, sometimes you enter a church and you feel terribly underdressed and it feels like you just entered into a fashion show without dressing for the occasion, I don’t know about anyone but this makes me conscious and it distracts me from focusing and how does the pastor preach the word of God, is he selling God to you like He is wicked, is he projecting fear into you, or forcing anything on you, this kind of questions are really important. How do they pray, are they aggressive, is it the kind of church that puts a curse within a prayer? And most importantly are you comfortable with this style.
3. Is their Doctrine biblically sound? If there’s anything we Christians like, it’s rules. Churches like to tell you so many things you can or can’t do, but these rules they based on the Bible? When you evaluate these instructions are they corresponding with the ones in the Bible?, everyday we hear something new and listening to what everyone say about God will confuse you, which is why it is important to stay grounded in the word of God so as not to be swayed. 1 John 4:1 says “ Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” There are many false pastors now and only with God’s help can we discern them.
4. Can the church help you grow? Please if you’re attending the same church for the past four years and you can’t feel any growth within either spiritually, financially or intellectually, you should change your church. A church is designed to help you grow spiritually and in all other areas of your life, although it can touch all the areas of your life because most of it has to do with your willingness to grow but you should grow regardless. What value has been added to you since you started going to the church? Can you speak in the spirit now? Are you now more focused while praying? Are there talent hunts that help you discover your talent? Are there platforms on which you can show or gain information. These questions are important
5. Does the Pastor care for the congregation: Matthew 7:15 says “Beware of False prophet, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” Some pastors are really just bothered about increasing the population of the church, they don’t really care for them. Before you decide to choose a church, you should know the man of God that preaches in that church, is he really a good man or he is just pretending? Does he take his time to talk his members and counsel them?
Finding the right church can be really stressful because really there is no perfect church, but it is important to be thorough and careful in order to avoid stories that touch, brainwashing of members doesn’t start on one Sunday. Know the word of God, be your own Prophet, know that you can reach God yourself, trust in His words and Every other thing becomes easy.