I didn’t really know what to title this post. I don’t believe the practice of “shopping” for a church is Biblical. It’s not like you get to go and “pick” one that “fits” you. I know, some people including some friends of mine, have this mindset. It’s wrong. You don’t get to chose “the church of your choice” like a restaurant. We don’t get to accept God on our own terms. He is God, we’re not, therefore He gets to make the rules.
Having said that, I’m facing a dilemma. I was asked by a friend in another state about “picking” a church. The question in this case is different than what most folks mean. This person isn’t a Christian but is looking to become one. The question isn’t asked by a person of faith seeking to worship God, it’s a question asked in a effort to discover God.
I think most people would recommend the church they go to. That’s what I’d normally do, but they don’t live in my town. Here is my dilemma. I don’t belong to a denomination. I left the “denomination” I grew up in when I became serious about making faith my own. Even if I did belong to a denomination I couldn’t in good faith recommend a group of people I don’t know just because they have the “right” name on the door.
I’m not someone who believes that every church claiming to be Christian is. In fact I believe the opposite. I believe God has some specific doctrines He’s established, and that He very much cares what we believe and practice. That said; what bits of advice would you give to someone looking at going to church for the first time?