In search for a Bible Believing Baptist Church? Here are some things to look for.
Is the church truly Independent?
Some Pastors in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) will tell you their church is Independent. SBC Churches are not Independent! When you find a Baptist Church that is Independent, ask the Pastor if the church is unaffiliated or if it is part of an association. It is our belief that an Independent Baptist Church is better off if it remains unaffiliated. If it is part of an association, how does that association stand on the Word of God? How do the Churches and Bible Colleges that fellowship in this association stand on the Word of God?
Is the Church Doctrinally sound?
Please see our Doctrines page.
Does the Church preach against Apostasy?
Please see our Apostasy page.
Is the Pastor Qualified?
"If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly." Titus 1:6, "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;" I Timothy 3:2 KJV
Is the Pastor a "husband of one wife"? If the Pastor is divorced, then he is disqualified from Preaching. In order to have the power of God on that Church, that divorced Pastor needs to step down! Many of us Independent Baptists love to hear preaching about women not being qualified to preach, and that's right! A woman is not qualified to preach because she is not the "husband of one wife". A divorced man in the pulpit has no right to preach against women preachers, because he will then be a hypocrite! A divorced man is no more qualified to preach than a woman!
Does the Pastor Preach?
In today's modern Independent Baptist Church, there seems to be more emphasis on teaching, counseling, motivational speaking, bible study groups, gimmicks, entertainment, programs and so forth. What happened to real preaching? Does the Pastor have enough guts to preach against sin? If not, he is either a yellow belly spineless liberal that's scared he might offend someone or he has been bought off! Many churches have a person or group of people controlling the Pastor and Church. A real man of God will have strong convictions and will not compromise! If there is no preaching against sin and the church is promoting a "come as you are" casual setting, then there will be no convicting power of God at work. People can not be saved if they are not under conviction! No Conviction---No Conversion! There must be repentance and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. The sinner may repeat a prayer and believe on Jesus, but without repenting of his sin, he will go straight to hell! Stay away from those "easy believism" churches where the pastors do not preach the bible doctrine of repentance! All sinners should be welcomed into the church but by the time the preaching is over, they should not feel comfortable about their sins. The Pastor should love every sinner, but hate the sin. Most church members will not be right with God if their Pastor does not care enough to preach against their sin. A Pastor who preaches against sin loves the Bible and our Lord Jesus Christ. Galatians 1:10, I Corinthians 1:17-18, Mark 6:12 KJV
What is more important to the Pastor?
Every Pastor wants to see his
church grow spiritually and in number, but if the Pastor is more concerned about
seeing the church grow in number rather than keeping the church faithful to the
Lord, then he will become a compromiser and unfaithful to God. I Timothy 4,
Galatians 1:10 KJV
What Bible Version does the Church use?
The answer to this question should be the King James Bible (AV 1611). If the answer is the KJV, then ask the Pastor the following questions:
Why does he use the KJV? Preference or Conviction? Correct Answer should be: Conviction!
Does he believe there are any errors in the KJV? Correct Answer should be: No errors!
What version does he use to study from? Correct Answer should be: KJV Only
Does he believe in teaching the church why the KJV only is used? If the answer is no, then the church has a poor future ahead. How many in the church are using a "perversion" to read/study from? The next Pastor could bring another "version" in without any problems. Even if the church never switches to a "perversion", there is potential for division or a split over the issue.
What about Music?
Does the church use Contemporary Christian (CCM) or modern Praise? Correct Answer should be: No
Even if the church does not use CCM or Praise, there are some important questions you should ask the Pastor:
Why doesn't the Pastor use that type of Music? Wrong Answer: That's just my preference. (This may be the Pastor's way of telling you he does not see anything wrong with CCM and Praise. They may use the old hymns but only because of personal taste or tradition) This church is heading down the narrow path of destruction. It's only a matter of time before the devil's music comes charging in!
Does the Pastor understand Music? If he thinks "all music is from God" or "music is neutral" then he clearly does not understand music! What type of music does the Pastor listen to outside of the church? We know of a Pastor here in Florida who takes a stand against Contemporary Christian Music in his Church, but listens to a CCM Radio Station! We know of another Pastor here in Florida that uses only the old hymns in his church, but he listens to Country Music!
What type of music does the Music Director listen to outside of the Church? We know of a church in Ohio that plays only the old hymns, but their Music Director is also a Dentist who allows music from a Contemporary Christian Radio Station to be played in his office. The Pastor of that Church is one of his patients!
If the rhythm is the primary dominating part of any piece of music, then that music is sensual!
Does the Pastor believe in Prayer?
Does the church have a Prayer List? Do you ever hear the Pastor encourage the church to Pray? Have you ever observed the Pastor praying in his "prayer closet"? Does the Pastor pray before the church goes out on Visitation? James 5:16, I Thessalonians 5:17 KJV
Does the Church have an organized Visitation Ministry?
If the church is Sovereign Grace or Calvinist, then you shouldn't even be there! But beware, because if there is no organized visitation program, then the church may not be Calvinist in doctrine but they are Calvinist by deed! Those Calvinists will have BLOODY hands when they get to heaven! If the Pastor is right with God, he will have a deep compassion for people in the local community and every part of the World! If the Church does not have a Visitation Ministry, then you better not expect their Missionaries to be out their visiting their part of the World! That type of church has no right to rebuke their missionaries for not witnessing! Mark 16:15, Jude 1:21-23 KJV
What about Missions?
Does the Church support Missionaries? Missionaries are needed in every part of the world, from the USA to China to Africa. Jesus Christ died for all people, no matter what language they speak or what color their skin is.
Ask the pastor if he has a Questionnaire for all prospective missionaries.
A Pastor that is right with God will love Missionaries! How does the Pastor and the church take care of missionaries when they visit? Do they take care of their lodging, food and offer them transportation when they are in town? Does the church provide an adequate love offering to cover their expenses? Missionaries have many expenses that include food, clothing, gas, transportation (repairs & maintenance) & phone that can add up to thousands of dollars in just one year! If the Pastor comes before the church to announce they are going to support the new Missionary, does it really happen? Many Pastors will tell the Missionaries their church will support them financially but the Missionary never sees a dime!
What about Children?
Bus Ministry is great if it's done the right way. We have plans for a Children's Bus Ministry in the near future for our church. Does the Pastor care for children or is he more concerned with the "paint and carpet"?
Awana for the children? Many reasons for a no on this one. If the church is KJV only, why are they using the materials from Awana Clubs International? The materials are available in 3 Bible versions...the KJV, the NKJV and the NIV. Even if the church is using the materials in KJV, ask yourself this question: Which of these Bible versions are being used to produce the material? Can you really trust an organization that does not know where to find God's Word? Awana is a nondenominational youth ministry committed to reach boys and girls with the gospel of Christ.¹ Nondenominational and ecumenical is the history of the Awana Clubs. There are 64 denominations² that participate in Awana. A partial listing includes the Assembly of God, Church of God, Mennonite, Plymouth Brethern, United Methodist (UMC), Presbyterian USA, Evangelical Free, Christian Missionary Alliance, Non-denominational, American Baptist Convention (ABC), Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), Conservative Baptist, General Association of Regular Baptists (GARBC), independent Baptist and independent Bible churches. Which gospel is being promoted by Awana? The plan of salvation that is used has no mention of repentance!³ But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:8 KJV Part of the program for the children is entertainment. The final segment, Council Time, consists of singing, puppets, Bible stories and lessons based on Christian principles. Any church that uses Awana is full of compromise! We have not added links directly to the Awana web site for several reasons. Material on web pages are updated or modified on a regular basis and adding links to their site will help them in the search engines.
¹ awana.org - What is Awana? (3/14/05)
² awana.org - Donate - 2003 Awana Annual Report (3/30/05)
³ awana.org - About Awana (3/14/05)
awana.org - What is Awana? (3/14/05)
What about Standards for the Staff?
The Church should have strict standards for their staff. We highly recommend the following articles written by Bro. David Cloud:
Why have Standards for Church Workers?
Requirements for Church Officers and Teachers
Should you move First and then look for a Church Last?
This is all too common! People take an offer for a new job out of town. The husband locates a place to live and makes the necessary arrangements to move. After the family is settled in to the new home and area, then it's finally time to look for a new Church. By this time, it may have been weeks or more since you first moved into the new area! Did you pray first about taking the job offer? Even if there is a good church in the area, if it wasn't God's will for you to move, then you & your family will not be happy. You will be out of God's will! If you moved out of God's will, the chances are likely that there will be no real Bible Believing Baptist Church in the area! You should always look for a Bible Believing Baptist Church BEFORE you move. If you can't find one, then do not move. Do not take that new job offer! God is not likely to move you into an area where there is not a Bible Believing Baptist Church. While we are on the subject of jobs, it is NEVER the will of God for a Christian to take a job where he has to work on Sundays!
What (if any) Daily Devotional is available at the Church?
There does not need to be a Daily Devotional in the church, but there is also nothing wrong with having one available for the members either. Our Daily Bread from RIB Ministries is a popular one that we have seen in many "KJV only" churches, but how can this be? The Daily Bread uses the NKJV (which is NOT KJV). The best Daily Devotional we have seen is Feature published by the Fundamental Evangelistic Association.
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Hymn Playing: Will Jesus Find Us Watching?
Lakewood Park Baptist Church • Davenport, Florida USA