Don't Judge a Church Solely on Its Worship Style

A church should only teach truth from God's Word.

Another far more important factor than style of worship is a church's doctrine. What a church teaches and believes should line up with the Bible. If it does not, the church is teaching false doctrine.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warned against false teachers:

Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.

Matthew 7:15-17 (NLT)

Paul exhorted the young pastor Titus to be careful what he taught.

To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.

You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.

Titus 1:15-16, 2:1 (NIV)

Examine what pastors and teachers teach. Compare a church's core beliefs and values with the truths of Scripture. If the teaching and values of a church do not line up with God's Word, stay away!

A church should make disciples, not mere churchgoers.

Disciples make disciples. We as Christians should want to see our friends and loved ones not just come to faith in Jesus but to grow and mature in that faith as well. To this point, Jesus gave His followers pretty specific instructions:

Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

Matthew 28:19-20 (NLT)

A vibrant church must be about making disciples, not just mere churchgoers. Don't get me wrong: some people will never move beyond the basics of faith, but churches and their members shouldn't be content seeing people merely come to church and sit in the congregation.

Churches that are truly living out their faith will see their members meeting together outside the walls of the church, traveling to other countries to share the Gospel, serving the "least of these," and, yes, worshiping on Sundays. Look for a church body that knows that believers don't go to church—they are the church.

There's enough diversity in churches that Christians can find congregations that suit their styles with minimal effort. But if believers look even deeper than worship styles, we'll see more people coming to faith and becoming disciples. And we'll see churches grow beyond our wildest dreams.


Image courtesy of the author.