I've been part of what the post-moderns call "organized" religion since I was six years old. I'm quite convinced that God established the "church"--imperfect though it is, and that His Son gave His life for the "church." The "church" is God's idea--not humanity's.
But I've also wondered, and still wonder "What should someone look for when making the search for a local church?"
Some things are obvious:
A clear commitment to the infallible Word of God.
A clear commitment to the Triune God.
A clear commitment to Jesus as the ONLY WAY to God the Father.
A clear commitment to the present ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of the "church."
But what do you look for when you are in that search for a local church?
I must confess that my criteria has changed/altered/adjusted over the last many years.
When I was in college (1980-1985), pursuing the undergraduate degree, I was a member of one local church--and never even remotely considered finding another congregation.
When I entered the United States Air Force, my choices for corporate worship were somewhat limited, depending on where I was stationed at the time.
When I re-entered civilian life in August 1996, my choice was pretty clear--or at least I thought it would be. And then I changed local churches.
When I moved to Chicago, I came here with a "church plant" that didn't work out, and so I became a regular worshipper at The Moody Church here. I was very active in a few ministries, and only left when I felt the Holy Spirit pushing me elsewhere...
I returned to The Moody Church in November 2005 after being part of a congregation that I loved for three years--but sadly felt that I couldn't trust those "leading it" and knew the best thing I could do would be leave, painful as it was.
I hope I never have to look for another "church home"...not any time soon.
But what do you look for in a "local church"?