I found the following list on Shane’s Site and thought it was really well done. It is a list of questions the author recommends one asks when searching for a new church home. As I read it a lightbulb went on in my mind. Far too often I think we are a bit embarrassed to ask these sorts of questions. Certainly we would ask tougher questions than these if we were going to entrust our children to someone else’s care, yet when it comes to spiritual oversight we back down. Perhaps it is just that we think we will be labelled as potential troublemakers by the staff of the new church if we ask questions like these.
I would like to think that if I was a pastor I would be thrilled to have someone ask me these questions, knowing that the person was serious about finding a church home where he would fit theologically. It would show that he was committed to purity of doctrine.
I suspect that few people bring such a list of questions with them when they approach a new church. Perhaps one of the pastors who read this site can give some insight (Jollyblogger – I know you’re there)!
Looking For A Church Home? – Donald S. Whitney
If you are looking for a church home, the answers you receive to questions like these may help you determine whether a particular church is the one where God wants you.
Tips for using these questions:
Ask wisely. Talk to the pastor, if at all possible. If not, then ask another staff member of the church.
Ask personally. Visit or call him. Do not mail or fax these and ask for a written reply.
Ask courteously. Do not “grill” the pastor or ask aggressively.
Ask selectively. Do not ask all these questions at one time. The more serious you become about membership, the more appropriate it becomes to ask additional questions later.
These questions are not necessarily listed in the order of significance. Some of them may not be important to you. You may want to add others.
Realize that you may not be able to find a church near you which can answer all your questions satisfactorily. However, the Lord does want you to find a church home where you can be involved.
- How is a person made right with God?
- What is your position on the inerrancy of Scripture?
- Do you believe Genesis 1-11 is factual or symbolic?
- Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven?
- What is your position on the Lordship Salvation issue, i.e., can a person take Jesus as Savior without taking him as Lord?
- Do you believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin?
- Do you believe in the bodily return of Jesus Christ?
- Do you believe in a literal Hell?
- What is your position on the ordination of women for positions of church leadership?
- How do you deal with a young child who says he or she wants to be saved?
- How do you combat easy-believism?
- What are your views regarding divorce and remarriage?
- What is your position on the charismatic movement?
- How would you/the church handle a case of scandal or immorality by a church member?
- What is your position on church debt and is the church in debt?
- Have there been any splits in the church and have any pastors been asked to leave?
- What have been the high points (or the “best thing”) in this church in the last five years? In the last six months?
- What are the greatest strengths of this church? Weaknesses?
- How do you foster the spiritual growth of individuals in your church?
- What are your goals for the church?
- Would you mind telling me about your devotional life?
- Who are your favorite authors?
- What is the doctrinal statement of the church, and may I have a copy? (Note: Be cautious if the church has no doctrinal statement or cannot find a copy.)
- Does the church follow it’s constitution and by-laws, and may I have a copy?
- Does a large percentage of the church differ with your position on any of these issues?
- You may also want to know if there is any antagonism by the pastor or the church toward any ministries that are important to you.