Choosing a local church to attend can be a really daunting task to undertake especially here in Nigeria. This is because there are different kinds of churches and denominations with different belief systems and teachings. Whether you are relocating, or you a new convert, or someone that just needs a fresh start this post would guide you in making your decision by considering the highlighting the questions to ask before joining a Church in Nigeria. It is necessary that you do some proper research before settling in a church so that you don’t regret your decision after a while.
The choice of what church to attend is very important, it can make your life better and also affect you negatively. Life is essentially spiritual, everything in our lives is controlled by our spirituality and fellowship with God. This is why we are discussing some major questions to ask before joining a church in Nigeria.
When choosing a church,
you must ask yourself some questions that go beyond; “do they preach from the bible? Instead, you should discover if the new church is a place where your spiritual walk with God can be transformed to become better and if it is a place where you will be equipped to discover and fulfil your God-given purpose here on earth.
It may take you more than one casual visit to determine if a particular church will be a safe place for you to grow spiritually. As you plan to take this very important decision of choosing a church to worship, make sure you ask yourself these questions:
What does the church teach?
Doctrines, denominational difference, bible interpretation, and the even the version of the bible used by the church are part of the factors to consider when you want to determine what the church believes and teaches as well as how standards will be set.
But how can you find out what a particular believes and ultimately teaches? You can find out what a church believes and teaches in the following ways:
- Visit their website and read through their faith statement and try to understand where their ideology is based on.
- Write out or print your finding and discuss it with your family or other spiritually mature people.
- Go through the church website or social media pages and download their sermons and message. Listen to their interpretation of bible verses and the aim of the overall message. This will give you an idea of what the church teaches.
- Browse through the church social media page and take a look at the comment from members of the church, from members comments and testimonies, you can tell what their values are based on what they have been taught.
What is the demographics of the church members?
Depending on what you look forward to achieving from a church, the demographics of a church can to a large extent determine the kind of church you would love to attend. So what do we mean by demographics? Demographics simple refers to the age-grade that makes up the majority of the population in the church.
So having an idea of the age-grade that makes up a particular church can give you an idea if that church will be a good place of worship for you or not. For example, a church that has a large population of old people may not be able to hold programs that will groom and build young people and children.
A church that is populated with young people may lack the wisdom and maturity of older people, and may not be able to cater to the need of older people. If a church does not welcome diversity in race, economic level, and tribe then that church may defeat the essence and purpose of a church and also the revelation found in the book revelation chapter 7 vs 9.
What kind of people hold leadership positions?
This is another important factor to consider when choosing a church to attend because when you become a member of the church you will have to follow instructions from a leader. Understanding the mindset and the capacity of the people that will lead will help you submit and follow their instruction with respect.
If you don’t have the same belief with the person that is leading you, then there is a high possibility that you will disagree with the things that the person says. You know what the bible says about being rebellious in the book of proverbs chapter 17 verse 11.
Knowing how the leaders in a particular church are chosen and trained will definitely help you know the kind of people that hold leadership positions in that church. When you are trying to determine how leaders are trained, it is important for you to focus on:
- finding out if the leaders are chosen based on bible-based convictions.
- discovering how the leaders are trained. Is it through the knowledge of the scriptures or not?
- If the leaders are trained to reflect God’s character. (Galatians 5 vs 22).
You should also be able to discover if the leaders live exemplary lives. You should also know that a leader may not be perfect, but they should draw you into a better relationship with God.
What does the church expect from members?
It is important for you to have a good understanding of what the church expects from you as a member before you decide to join the church.
There are churches that expect every member of their church to take up a least one responsibility in the church especially if it is a small church. It can be really time-consuming to be committed to serving in a capacity in the church especially when it is mandatory.
You have to know if what the church demands from members is something that you can keep up with. Many churches have different processes that enable new members get assimilated into the church which may include an orientation class that must be attended to imbibe the basic doctrine of the church to new members.
Some churches have no formal process of assimilating new members into the church, they simply welcome you into the church and ask to serve with your talent or financial support. It is left for you to determine the kind of membership that works for you.
Is the church a family?
One important thing to consider when trying to decide on the church to attend is to find out if the church is a family. You may wonder why this is an important factor to consider, it is important because the church should be placed where people of like-mind gather to worship God and to also help one another.
According to the bible, the church should not just be a place where people gather together or a meeting place. The bible describes the church as a place of fellowship, this means that it should be a place where everyone cares about the next person.
Jesus Christ himself describes the followers as “family” (Matthew 12 vs 49). You should also remember that a church should be a place where people are free to talk about their challenges and were can also positively relate and help one another.
Is the church a place where you can serve?
The Bible describes Christians as part of the body of Christ, which means that it is important for you to attend a church that gives you the opportunity to serve and be a member of the body of Christ. Whether you have a gift of singing or a love for teaching children, it is important to look forward to being in service in a church that you attend.
Before joining a church, you have to make sure you understand the different ministries that they have in the church and which you will likely be able to serve in. You should also know that it is important for you to pray about the ministry to join before actually joining.
It is important for you to pray about what ministry you would love to serve in because it will help you serve from a place of love and humility. Serving from a place of love and humility will be a blessing to you and the church where you serve.
It is also important for to evaluate the magnitude of work that you will likely be faced with to prevent burnout and to avoid scenario of serving from a place of compulsion instead of from a place of love.
Is it a place where you can grow up spiritually?
This is one of the most important questions to ask Before joining a church in Nigeria. A church should not just be a place where people gather once a week to listen to comforting sermons, it should be a place where people can grow spiritually and place that will prepare them for the great commission which is “preaching the gospel”.
You should look forward to worshipping in a church where you can be built up in the knowledge of the word of God asides from the basic Christian teachings. Determine if the church is a place where programs are held to help members get an in-depth knowledge of the word of God.
You should research if the church organizes programs that help members grow spiritually like:
- Holding a discipleship program.
- Organizing a bible seminar where members will have an opportunity to get an in-depth knowledge of the word of God.
- If the church owns a bible school or is affiliated to a bible school.
Wrapping it up
You can discover all these by browsing through the church website or even attending some of their services. You should also know that spiritual growth is one of the most important aspects of the Christian life.
These 7 questions are designed to help you determine the kind of church you would love to worship. As helpful as these questions might be to helping you make one of the most important decisions as a Christian which is; “choosing a church to attend” it is good for you to understand a recognize the place of prayer and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Praying and following the leading of the Holy Spirit will help you experience peace in the church that you have decided to attend.
Don’t forget to drop a comment if you have a question or need further clarification concerning your decision to find a new church.
Is there any other Questions to Ask Before Joining a Church in Nigeria that you think we missed out? Let us know in the comment box.