Monday, September 25, 2023

As A African American Christian, How To Select A “Church” Home.

August 14, 2022 by  
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( There are so many “churches” in every city, on almost every major street in this country. None are perfect but some are of God and some are not. Most people lack biblically based guidelines for selecting a “church” to attend and support. And without these guidelines, people pick “churches” based on who the pastor is, popularity, where their friends go, where they grew up, who preaches what they want to hear (not need to hear) or even where their companions or spouses attend. None of which should be the primary or deciding factors, though a married couple does need to attend the same place of worship as they decide together.


So how do you choose when far too many pastors with personal agendas are making out like bandits, deceiving the people and fleecing the flock instead of feeding the sheep? Today we are going to look at biblical and common sense guidelines based on scripture that will show you how to select the right worship center for you and your family.

Very little is taught to people about how to select a place of worship so I am going to tackle the issue now. Everything serious, important and risky in life requires a plan of approach and a set of criteria or standards. Where you take your family for fellowship and worship is no different. Keep in mind that my intent is to share the facts and the truth, no matter how unpopular – never to put down any belief system. That being said, this article will focus on those who accept Christ and the Bible.

You need to know that if you are a believer in Christ and the New Covenant, the bible teaches that we are the church – the temples and tabernacles of the Holy Spirit. Thus I will not be referring to the worship center as “the church” hereafter. And know that this article is suitable for  Muslims, Christians, Catholics and those of the Jewish faith. This article is not about proclaiming who is right – not this time.

church - black church 2021

Here is a checklist of Dos and Dont’s When Select A Place of Worship:

1. Do not attend a place of worship that simply tells you what you want to hear and tickles your itching ears. That will not help you grow spiritually. Every day people hear comfortable doctrines of demons that neither produce eternal life nor godly victory in this one. But it sounds good.

2 Timothy 4: 3-4 King James Version (KJV)

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

2. Do not attend a place of worship where the leadership does not live out what they preach. That is hypocrisy. Direct and obvious violations of scripture by church leaders should be a sign that you are in the wrong place. The Bible says the blind leading the blind will cause everybody to fall in the ditch. It also states that novices should not be teaching. And while we much all acknowledge that nobody is perfect, the leaders who teach you should be able to walk the walk or else how can they help you do the same? Many people have left the “church” because they see double standards, games, immaturity and hypocrisy embedded deeply in religion. Don’t get caught up in religion, get plugged into relationship.

3. Do not attend a place of worship that is foundationally inaccurate in what they teach from the Bible. This does not mean that you will agree or have to agree with everything. But the core foundational doctrine should match the Bible closely, not the Presbyterian association nor Baptist handbook. This means that you will have to follow the biblical directive to study for yourself instead of relying on the pastor and leadership to study and tell you what it means. You will also have to double-check the accuracy of the messages and sermons you hear. A lay believer can easily be deceived so be sober and vigilant (1 Peter 5:8, II Corinthians 2:11).

4. Do not attend the place of worship that teaches servanthood instead of sonship. Look at Romans 8:16 and Gal. 4:7. We are no longer servants. Understand what covenant you are under or deceptive people will be able to easily deceive you on areas such as the tithe. And if they preach “God works in mysterious ways”, they do not overstand His ways. Thus how can they help you learn them?

Read 1 Corinthian 2:10, Matthew 13:11, Romans chapters 6 and 7.

5. Do not attend a place of worship where the leaders do not know the Holy Spirit, who He is and what He does. Many “Christian” leaders talk about God and some talk about Christ. However illumination, enlightenment, revelation, spiritual gifts, fruits of the Spirit, preparation for spiritual warfare and conversion into a new creature all come from the Holy Spirit. Therefore, if the leaders who teach you do not know Him, they lack the knowledge and/or ability to help you rise to where you need to be.


6. Do not attend a place of worship that leaves out the teaching on the spiritual gifts. If they don’t teach that, they are either unaware, unlearned or using the gifts to their advantage without exposing you to or helping you to develop yours. The danger here is subtle. If they use their gifts but don’t teach you about yours, they maintain a unique advantage. An advantage where you have to come to them.

7. Do not attend a place of worship where the leadership is always trying to astound you with new “revelations” and teachings you cannot find anywhere in the Bible. No prophecy is of private interpretation and there is nothing new under the sun. Yet Creflo Dollar deceives people frequently with this trick just as T.D. Jakes does. Read 2 Peter 1:20.

People swallow the poison-filled Kool-Aid every single day without a clue. Pastors do not have the exclusive authority to tell you what the scriptures mean. That knowledge must largely come from your studying so you can rightly divide (and thus rightly apply) the Word of God. And most of the rest of that understanding will come from the Holy Spirit.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 King James Version (KJV)

13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Be careful when church leaders have to switch to using another version of the Bible (the Amplified, for example) or a commentary to prove their point. Some like Benny Hinn have even used Bibles they had constructed with their own personal teaching notes added. This is dangerous because they can shape your perception and understanding based on what they want you to hear and understand and what suits their agendas – not necessarily the truth.

They are often switching to other Bibles, commentaries and reference guides because the scripture does not say what they want it to say. Thus they find something else that does. And commentaries, as study tools, can be very dangerous because they are someone’s opinion about what God is saying. You must realize God can speak for Himself, you can study for yourself and pastors were never to be your source of revelation and illumination. They do, however, serve other important purposes.

8. Do not attend a place of worship where the focus is on the pastor whose name and face are all over everything including the buildings, the buses and the billboards. In such case the agenda is clear as to who is really being promoted and who the members are following – a man (or woman), not God. God is specific about not sharing His glory with anybody. So when pastors and church leaders share in it, they steal it and violate scripture. It should never be about them.

2 Corinthians 11: 3-4 King James Version (KJV)

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

Pastor’s appreciation? Hmm. It is wise to take a close look at pastor appreciation practices at the worship center (Romans 12:3). New Birth sat in ignorant amazement as deceased pedophile, child molester and fake pastor Eddie Long was elevated, wrapped in a scroll, literally carried around on a throne and paraded before the people. He was no man of God yet Long managed to fool thousands and thousands of gullible people who did not know enough of the Bible to spot a fake and use 1 John 4:1 to spot him. Yet speak to any of his supporters and they will swear they know the Word of God. Wake up people, don’t be so gullible. Appreciate yes. Elevate, no. And over 1 billion people, for example, bow down to the Pope of the catholic church because they are deceived. Deception is very widespread.

9. Do not attend a place of worship where questions are discouraged and legitimate concerns are shamed or labeled as controversy. You should always be able to ask questions and voice concerns. Especially if you are a member and share your financial support. Avoid places where they use guilt, shame, restriction from serving or ostracizing to punish and silence the truth. 10. Do not attend a place of worship where the only references and reputation you have received are only from the members and leaders of that place of worship. What do you expect them to say? Ask people who do not attend that place or people who have even left. 11. If a “church” or worship center does not teach about salvation, being born-again and the responsibilities of the believer, don’t even bother joining. And you need to know compromised or watered down versions of the Gospel are not the Gospel taught by Christ and the Apostles. Any doctrine that leaves these key elements out is “another gospel” we were warned about in scripture.  See 11 Corinthians 11:4 and Galatians 1:6-9. Beware of leaders and worship centers that cleverly mix doctrines such as Hillside and Barbara King.   The Bible warns we are neither to add to the Word nor take away from it. Thus adding any other teaching like metaphysics or any other book like the catholic catechism is both dangerous and ungodly. Yet leaders do this all the time, making the poison taste good so it can be swallowed easily.  Read 11 Peter 2:1.

Select a worship center that represents your core beliefs – not just one where you like the pastor, the building, the choir or how long they stay in service. Not just one that preaches a comfortable doctrine that does not cause you to change. Of course your core beliefs need to be based on scripture therefore you have to start studying BEFORE you seek a new “church” instead of waiting for the pastor to do it for you. A man or woman sound and strong in the Word of God is very hard to deceive.


Ask questions. Look at whether the spiritual and financial needs of the members are being met. Do the ministries in the “church” line up with those in the Bible? Outreach, feeding the hungry, transportation services, effective counseling, follow up, prison ministries, an active youth and singles ministry, ministries specifically for men and for women, employment assistance, help for the homeless, help with rent (and not a loan like a bank), effective marital and pre-marital counseling – all of these are necessary in the “church” that follows the blueprint Christ gave us.


Select a worship center that takes a biblical stand on politics – not no stand at all. They may not tell you how to vote for but they should tell you the biblical standards on how to choose. Then you apply them and make a wise decision. Many “churches” avoid this because taking a stand will likely cause members to leave or become upset.

Christ always took a stand, a righteous stand – unpopular or not. And if you are going to take up your cross and follow Him, so should you. And church leaders who worry about people leaving because the truth offends them are leaders who do not overstand  1 John 2:19. A wise and godly leader stands for the truth instead of playing to the crowd like Joel Osteen does. Therefore if a church leader is truly of God, he or she will call out things like abortion, racism, reverse racism, smoking and even provocative closing that tempts others being worn in the worship center “Bishop” Bronner.


Select a worship center where the leadership teaches accurate doctrine. Nobody is perfect but there is a huge difference between doctrine flawed at its core and simple human error. I recommend that you learn that difference. For example, there is one Bible but one covenant that governs children of God, not two.  And to identify a worship center with leaders who teach accurate doctrine, you will have to know the foundational basics of your belief system before you even visit their location. This often presents a problem which allows fake ministers and false prophets to deceive many. How? Because many people seek out a worship center where they can learn instead of first studying to have a basic knowledge. Therefore they make the mistake of getting foundational understanding from the pastor instead.


The leader of the place you choose should be one who allows the doctrine to speak for itself instead of him or her cleverly shaping your perception by telling you what he or she says it means. Therefore you have to be very careful of man’s opinions and interpretations. Generally the text of the book you read from will speak for itself and you will gain even more knowledge and overstanding by studying for yourself. This is largely true for the Bible, the Quran, the Hadith, the Catholic Catechism and even the Book of Mormon. Though I am not writing this article to promote one over the other – not this time.


Don’t be slothful. Your spiritual and physical welfare and your family’s is at stake. Be sober and vigilant. Using wisdom, choose a “church” that will challenge and help you and your family grow. Use maturity. There are excellent worship centers and very dedicated pastors and church leaders out there. But not as many as you may think and not who you may think. Choose wisely because your spiritual and even physical life are on the line.

Staff Writer; Trevo Craw

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