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Cornelius News

Easter is coming: How do I find a church?

With Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week, this coming Sunday, some people are looking for churches. Rev. David Judge of First Baptist, offers these pointers…

By Rev. David Judge.  Easter is just around the corner and you may have that stirring in your heart telling you it’s time to go to church. Or maybe you’re new to the area and you need to establish a new church home.  Whatever your reason, one day you may  ask yourself, “How do I find a church?”

You need to begin by knowing what you are looking for. There are a seemingly endless array of aspects of church life and experience that people desire to find.  Most common considerations can be grouped into two broad categories: Beliefs and Experience.


Just about every church website will have a “What We Believe” tab.  This will present a statement on essential doctrines held by the church. It should tell you their view of the Bible, who is God, who is man, what is man’s relationship to God, and how to reconnect to God.   

As you read these statements of faith, you should find that every Christian church holds to the same foundational truths. They include the authority of Scripture, the Trinity, Man as a created, sinful being, and reconciliation to God through Jesus Christ.  These truths hold fast across denominational and non-denominational lines and are your most important considerations. 

You will want to know the church’s views on social issues.  These views are important and often personal, yet they vary both between and within denominations. So, it is best to discuss them with the local church leadership. 

Call the church office and ask to set a time to meet with the pastor.  In doing so, you will quickly find out how accessible he or she is and when you meet you can ask the questions that are most important to you. Having a relationship with the pastor or lay leader will be key to your spiritual growth and in times of crisis.

You will want to understand the outreach, missions and ministry philosophies.   You should find charity coupled with the Gospel.  If church is devoid of evangelism, it is not fulfilling the Great Commission.

You will also want to understand the church’s view of Time, Talent and Treasure.  These Three T’s sum up what you can give for the building up of the church.  If you pick the right church, giving will not be an issue. 


When seeking a church, most people first default to the “church experience.”  This reflects our consumer culture and leads to “church shopping.” Your relationship with your church should be one of covenant, not consumer. 

The spectrum of worship experience is far and wide. At highest importance is the worship, not the experience.  Remember, you have come to draw near to God and to give to Him the praise and adoration He deserves. 

Most people ask about worship style, but you should be looking for the marks of a true church. These include faithful preaching of the Bible, prayer, proper celebration of Baptism and The Lord’s Supper, as welll as church discipline.

In preaching, look for instructive Biblical exposition. In prayer look for thanksgiving as much as supplication.  Views on Baptism and The Lord’s Supper vary.  Know the differences and know the requirements for participation and church membership.  For church discipline, be sure there is a method of conflict resolution and accountability. If you find all of these, you will likely find a healthy church.

As I come to the close, let’s consider worship music.  Frankly, music is mostly a matter of personal taste. You can range from Gregorian chant to rock-n-roll church and still have meaningful Christian music.  However, like the worship experience, it is more about the worship than the music. 

We know Easter is less than three weeks away.  Your time on earth before you enter eternity is known only to God. Don’t hesitate.  Get started and may the Lord lead you to Himself through one of our local churches today. 


Rev. David Judge is the Pastor of First Baptist Church of Cornelius.  He lives in Cornelius with his wife, Christy, and has six children.  He earned his M.Div. from Reformed Theological Seminary and holds an MBA from the University of Houston.