How To Choose A Church

KLIN '83-4Most of us at some point shall have to choose a church. Are they all the same? No. How on earth does one? On what basis? In my experience people use a variety of criteria, not all of them good. Families choose congregations on the basis of facilities, youth groups, convenience, demographics,  and a host of other reasons. To be sure, it’s perfectly reasonable to think about these things. We are human and we do live in physical world and these sort of things are unavoidable. They’re part of the human condition but, all things being equal, should these sorts of considerations be definitive?  There are some other considerations which probably don’t get the attention they deserve. A while back Chris Gordon, co-pastor at Escondido URC and host of Abounding Grace Radio, and I sat down to talk about the theological, spiritual, and practical issues involved in choosing a church.

Here’s the audio.

Abounding Grace Radio airs daily in San Diego on KPRZ (AM 1210), in Fresno on KRDU  (1130 AM), in the Pacific Northwest on KARI (AM 550), and worldwide on the web.

    Post authored by:

  • Heidelblog
    Author Image

    The Heidelblog has been in publication since 2007. It is devoted to recovering the Reformed confession and to helping others discover Reformed theology, piety, and practice.

    More by Heidelblog ›

Subscribe to the Heidelblog today!


  1. As a 20 something, I decided to look for another church, because my pastor’s homiletic of sarcasm was irritating, they exalted their community center projects during sermons, and the worship music had more in common with Baal’s priests and the Enthusiasts mixed with pop-rock: in other words, contemporary worship. My old church was otherwise conservative; I won’t say Biblical. I was called a legalist by my closest friend, because my way of telling him our church was wrong was graceless, but we have calmed down. Now I’m a communicant member of a confessional, Reformed church; I’ve finally found a (church) home.

    The most important quality of a church is probably their Covenantal hermeneutic, which touches the Trinity and Counsel of Peace, amazing Grace to condescend, Christology, sin, and more I’m sure. After that ask, do they worship the Lord in spirit and truth? do they worship from the Book of Praises, which He penned in Spirit and truth, or just the latest worship music the moneychangers are selling? I was blessed in breaking away from my old church and college ministry.

    Whether a new convert or a YRR like myself: make fellowship in the knowledge of the resurrection and sufferings of Christ your calling, remembering to make the faith your own, because Christ Jesus has made you his own. Your church’s confession must pastor you in that faith. I’ll stop there.

  2. Hail from England, Dr Clarke! I listened to this episode when it was previously posted on your blog. It was helpful in our transition from generic evangelical to the Presbyterian church, albeit we aren’t ardent paedobaptists (yet?). Within a year from this decision we benefited so much – I think it would be difficult to us now to stomach a modern “worship experience”.

Comments are closed.