What You Should Look for in a Spiritually Strong Church

By: Rev. Sam Harris; ©1999
What are the characteristics of a spiritual church? What questions can you ask to find out where a church stands?

What Should I Look for in a Spiritually Strong Church?


As a new Christian, I am looking for a spiritually strong church. What should I look for?


If you are serious about what you eat, you often read the labels when you are in the grocery store. For example, as you walk down the cereal aisle, you might check the sugar and sodium content on 40-50 boxes before you find one that will meet your needs.

Today, there are many, many different types of churches for you to choose from: large, small, traditional, charismatic, liturgical, contemporary, liberal, evangelical…and the list goes on and on.

As you visit a church, don’t be afraid to ask questions! For example:

  1. What do you believe?
  2. What are your ministries both within the church and in the world?
  3. What is your church family like? Are they close? Friendly? Do they welcome new mem­bers?
  4. What is your vision for the future of the church and its ministry?

Most important is the first question: “What do you believe?” A spiritually strong church should have the following core beliefs:

  1. The Bible is God’s infallible Word, uniquely inspired by the Holy Spirit, totally trustworthy, and is the final authority on all matters to which it speaks.
  2. God is Sovereign and Creator of all things and existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  3. Jesus Christ, the Living Word, is fully God and fully man. He died on the cross for our sins, and was raised on the third day, and sits at the right hand of the Father as our High Priest and Mediator.
  4. The only way to be reconciled to God is by faith in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross for our sins.
  5. The Holy Spirit applies the saving work of Christ in our hearts. Dwelling in us, He gives new life to us, empowers and imparts gifts to us for service. He instructs and guides us into all truth.
  6. Jesus Christ will return someday to judge the living and the dead and to call the church unto Himself.
  7. God commands all believers to go into the world and be witnesses for Him through our words, actions, and attitudes.

When you visit a church, ask about these essentials. Listen to know whether the preaching and teaching promotes or undermines them.

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