I know that every church has its faults, but what would you say a perfect church would look like? I moved to a new city recently, and I'd like to find a church that is as close to the ideal as possible. — Z.N.
No, no church is perfect because every church on earth is made up of imperfect, sinful people. Someone has said that if you ever found a church that was perfect, it would stop being perfect the minute you joined!
Instead of searching for the "perfect" or "nearly perfect" church, let me suggest instead that you make it your goal to find the "right" church—that is, the one that's right for you. This is why the first thing you should do is make this a matter of prayer, asking God to guide you to the church He has for you. God knows your needs, and He is more concerned than you are about this decision. Let your prayer be that of the psalmist: "Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths" (Psalm 25:4).
What should you look for in a church? First, seek out one where you can grow spiritually—where the Word of God is preached and taught, and you can learn from your fellowship with others who love God. The Bible says, "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18).
Then seek a church where you can serve—where you can reach out to others in the Name of Christ. In other words, don't be content just to sit in the pew week after week, but look for opportunities to serve Christ through your church. It may be in the choir; it may be in a homeless shelter or food pantry. Don't join a church only for what you can get but for what you can give.