It states in the Bible that meeting together, and encouraging one another to spread the word of God, is an important part of Christianity, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another …” (Hebrews 10:24-25). Whilst it might not actually state the word ‘church’ here, it is widely accepted that this passage is in reference to the church. Looking back to the really early days of Christianity, believers met in their homes to discuss and preach the word of God.
The landscape of Christianity is very different in modern times; however, the premise is usually that Christians will congregate together to celebrate the Lord. It can become confusing when you begin to think about which church is right for you. There are countless different branches of Christianity and the majority of places will have multiple churches. It can be hard for even long-term Christians to find the right church, but do not worry. This article will help you to decide which is the one for you.
What is the Church and Why Do We Have Them?
It can be useful for us first to consider what a church is, and also what their purpose is. There are two different connotations of the word ‘church’, there is the visible church (the one with the actual building) and the invisible, or universal church (which refers to churches around the world, rather than a physical place). All Christians are members of the universal church, they are believers in Christ and members of His body (the church). The Bible actually refers to the church as, ‘the body of Christ’ multiple times…
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27).
The church is also called “the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9; 1 Peter 2:10).
Christ is the head of the church (Ephesians 4:15; 5:23).
This might seem confusing but when you refer to the invisible church, you identify as being a Christian, that is simply all it means. Whereas, the churches you can actually go and visit, are visible churches.
We have churches in order to spread the word of God, to celebrate His life, to worship Him and to support others (not necessarily Christians, this is a common misconception). It can be argued that to worship is the main functionality of churches.
You will probably now be wondering how to find the best church for you, especially given all of the information in the previous heading. Each Christian wants different things from their church, so it is important to find one that is right for YOU which allows you to worship God as you prefer. Here are some tips to get you started…
It is important to know that the fundamentals of the denominations are mainly the same, however each branch of Christianity can have some pretty stark differences. These denominations can interpret the Bible in different ways, so find one that lines up to your philosophies.
The final question we can now consider is: Is there a perfect church for you? In most cases the answer is no. There will always be some little niggles that aren’t completely perfect. The whole point of faith is to be able to look past these and worship God, as intended.
Being part of a church is often a great way to praise the Lord and to help out your community. If you can find a church that is pretty close to your religious beliefs, then you have a solid foundation to work with. It can also be super rewarding to find one that is big on community projects, enabling you to support those around you.