I came across an excellent list of “discernment questions” from “Stand Up for the Truth.” These are questions to ask a pastor when seeking a biblically sound church. (I hope to add additional questions to the list.)
Thank you for this great blog, Mike and Amy!
I originally posted this late last year, but we’ve had some many requests from people who are looking for a new church home that I’m re-posting to bump it higher:
If you are looking for a new church, you need to ask some very important questions of church leadership before you become a member. Here are 35 to get you started:
1. Is the Bible the 100% true, accurate Word of God inspired by the Holy Spirit?
2. Is Jesus the Son of God and the only way to eternal life with God? Is there any way to God or eternal life other than through Jesus?
3. What does the Bible say the world will look like when Jesus returns? Do we need to gain dominion of the earth before that happens?
4. Can man, through his actions, change or alter biblical prophecy?
5. What is the doctrinal statement of the church and may I have a copy?
6. Does a person have any responsibilities to God upon accepting salvation?
7. What books other than the bible have you used to develop sermons?
8. What are your views on “Replacement Theology”?
TEACHINGS AND SERVICES
9. Is your Bible Teaching solely based on the Five Sola’s ?
10. How important is popular culture in structuring your services?
11. How do you train and equip your people to carry out the Great Commission?
12. Does your worship service include people laughing or being slain in the spirit?
13. Do you preach sermons that talk about exposing false teachers and false doctrines, or do you preach that Christians should never question anointed teachers?
14. What curricula do your children and teen programs use?
15. Are you a Willow Creek Association church?
DEPTH OF SPIRITUALITY LEADERSHIP
16. Who are some of your favorite authors? What books other than the bible have influenced your theology or teachings?
17. To whom are church leaders accountable? Has your leadership ever been questioned by members? How was it addressed?
18. What growth is more important to our church—growth in numbers or in depth of spiritual commitment of our members? (Only let them pick one, not both !!)
19. What is the most crucial issue your church has faced and how was it resolved?
20. How do you determine the spiritual growth of your members?
21. What is meant by the word “Church,” and what is its purpose?
22. What is the role of the church in social issues or politics?
23. When do you believe that life begins?
24. What are the church’s views on marriage and sexuality? Please share scriptures that confirm your beliefs.
25. How does the church feel about/handle divorce among your members?
26. What are your views on “contextualization” of the gospel? How important is being “relevant” to the community?
27. Do you believe that Christians and Muslims pray to the same God; that Yahweh and Allah are the same?
MODERN MOVEMENTS WITHIN THE CHURCH
28. What are your thoughts and the church’s stances on:
31. Contemplative Prayer and Biblical meditation
32. Word of Faith
33. The New Apostolic Reformation
- Is the Emergent Church movement dead (or dying)? (standupforthetruth.com)
- Where Are the Christian Mentors? (standupforthetruth.com)
- John MacArthur Says Emerging Church in “Disarray and Decline” – Evidence Shows Differently (lighthousetrailsresearch.com)
- What is the Church? (defendingcontending.com)
- Spiritual Warfare Eschatology (herescope.blogspot.com)
- North American Pastors and the Church on Borrowed Time (lighthousetrailsresearch.com)