Summary: Many have noted to me that they wish they could find a really great church - one that might truely inspire them. These are my opinions and those of a great many others who have written on the topic. I hope you find them of use.
How to Find A Great Church - and What You Might Expect to Find There
Salvation is by Grace and through faith in Jesus but the offerings of a great church can be of immense value in furthering your walk with the Lord and most importantly meeting your true obligations as a good Christian.
I am constantly told by people in my Christian Fellowship group that they would like to find a good Church, and having found one myself I can truly understand why. We are exhorted in the Bible to join together and worship and to fellowship -
Hbr 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Hbr 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
There is no doubt that a strong church association is truly necessary if we are to grow in our Christian walks for as steel sharpens steel the support of like minded fellow christians is necessary if we are to truly grow to our full religious potential, and I sincerely pray that I can give you some characteristics here that will assist you in finding a great Church that might further your walk with Jesus and assist you in building a strong and fulfilling Christian faith.
Perhaps the greatest church of all was that of the early Christians - formed soon after the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The Characteristics of that early church spear headed by the Spirit filled Apostles tell us much about what is to be found in a great Church. Read the book of Acts for some insight into the early church.
We find here some of the underlining principles of a great church -
It is perhaps the first matter that you find a church of sound religious doctrine that is in line with the Holy Bible.
1. The first mark of a good church is its belief that the bible is the inspired, infallible inerrant word of God. This will assure you that the basic truths of the Bible are at its very core. Namely -That God is a triune God- Father, Son and Holy Spirit and each are persons who have always existed equal in power and knowledge and yet unified in their essence as one God. That the Son Jesus Christ is truly God and truly man.That he was born of a virgin and that his atoning death on the cross was for us sinners. He died and was buried and rose again from the dead on the third day. The message of salvation need be one of salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone (Eph2:8-9) completely apart from human effort. Salvation is offered us as a gift which is received by faith. A good church will teach and believe in the Holy Spirit both as to who he is and toward what he does. He implants the new birth, (jn3:5) baptizes believers in the body of christ, (1Cor12:13) indwells in individual Christians (1 Cor 6:19), restrains sin (2th 2:7) and he equips believers for service of the lord (eph5:18) just to name a few - read my sermon entitled "Empowering Your Life With the Holy Spirit" for more. A church that does not equip you with knowledge of this important person in God is truly selling you short.