4. Is this a church where I can serve God’s people and use my gifts for its benefit?
It will help to know where you are gifted and what some of the needs of the church are, but oftentimes there are many needs that you can fill by simply your presence and commitment.
Also, do not assume you know what those areas of need are by your limited observations. Look to see what ministries exist and where you see yourself and your family fitting.
It will be different for everyone depending on the choice of churches and the efforts you make, but you should be able to know the answers to these questions within a few months of attending one church if you give yourself to the process.
If you can answer in the affirmative to all four of these questions, it is a good possibility you have found your next church.
If you find yourself in that place, I would encourage you not to delay but to pursue membership.
Important final note.
Finally, there is one essential element that must exist in this process. It is the key to possessing the zeal required in this search. That is, a constant feeling of uneasiness that should exist in you knowing you and your family are not in covenant fellowship with a local church and are not under the authority of undershepherds caring for your souls.
The freedom and absence of accountability many experience in the search for a new church can cause a sinful complacency. In other words, you do not ever want to become comfortable being one of God’s sheep who has wandered away from the fellowship of the flock and the accountability of shepherds to care for you, even if that journey at the time feels fun and exciting.