What to look for in a church as an incoming college student.

There are literally hundreds of Seattle churches. How do you sort through them all and know which one might be the best fit for you as you're starting college? An article that I've found helpful from may give you some insight on what key things you should look for as you're visiting churches this fall.

I would add two points to the list that's presented and one critique of the author's statements:

First, the critique:

Point 7. "Be wary of churches that promote the miraculous like healings, miracles, and speaking in tongues. These things do not promote spiritual growth and maturity, but rather appeal to the flesh."

I believe spiritual gifts being used in the church such as healings, miracles, and speaking in tongues DO promote spiritual growth and maturity in the church and in disciples of Jesus; as long as preaching Jesus remains the focus of the churches mission, and they are in balance. Some churches are drastically out of balance and over-emphasize healings, tongues, and the use of other spiritual gifts which minimize the gospel of Jesus and focus on the miracles themselves.

That being said, there are two additional points I would add to the list:

1. Visit lots of church websites before you get to college and read about what's going on and what their beliefs are online. Chances are, if they look like they care about their website, an in person visit will reveal that they're serious about Jesus and being a church on God's mission. An out of date calendar, most recent post dating from August 2005, or email gif with the old timey rotating "@" only says there's not much happening here. I urge you to find a church that's alive and healthy.

2. As a college student, don't take 4 years to find the church that's the perfect fit; all that does is keep you disconnected from devotion to one local church and from really growing during your college years. Jesus didn't intend for us to take a hiatus as Christians while we pursued our higher educations.



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