Often people will describe a church by saying, "The church is just like Northridge!" What that really means is that on the surface, it looks like Northridge in some of the following ways:
- Casual dress
- Contemporary music
- Quality videos
- Use of large screens
- Friendly toward guests
- A lot of younger families
- It is a multi-site church
Here is what I always want to say when people say they visited a church "just like Northridge." I start with "What do you mean? How is it like Northridge?" Almost always, they answer with some of the descriptions above. It is important to know that the list above is quite superficial. They may reveal a heart for the Great Commission, or they could reveal a desire to be "cool" or just following what is popular. In other words, don't read too much into those superficial similarities. Just because many churches share those similarities doesn't mean they are "just like" each other. The things listed above are not the most important things when looking for a church. They may be (or may not be) the "icing" on the biblical cake of looking for a church, but they are not the most crucial things you should be looking for.
So – if you ever are in the position of looking for a church – what should you be looking for? What do you think? I'd love to hear some of your thoughts. Feel free to comment on my blog, on my Facebook page, or just reply by email. If you'd rather not have your response published, just tell me that in your reply email.
What should you be looking for in a church? And don't "just" say "Preaches the Bible." Doesn't every church claim they preach the Bible?