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Friday, January 18, 2013 | Comments (16)

We hope you’re enjoying and benefiting from John MacArthur’s ongoing blog series on the local church. His next post will be up first thing Monday morning.

In the meantime however, we want to address a trend we’ve noticed in the comments. Some readers—perhaps many—are struggling to find a faithful, Bible-teaching church in their area.

If that’s your situation, we’re praying for you, and we hope John MacArthur’s examination of God’s design for the church is an encouragement during your search. This side of eternity, no group of people will perfectly fulfill God’s design for the church, but we should all be committed to and striving to meet His standard. To that end, we want to point you to some additional resources to help you find a local church where you and your family can worship, serve, and grow spiritually.

“What Should I Look for When Choosing a New Church Home?” (article)

“When Should People Leave Their Church?” (article)

Marks of a Healthy Church (audio series)

Finally, The Master’s Seminary offers an interactive map to help you locate graduates pastoring churches near you. We can’t personally vouch for every man or church on that list, but we trust it will help narrow down and inform your search.

And at the end of all that, if you still can’t find a faithful church to join, consider how the Lord might use you to help establish a solid, biblical church in your area. Just the other day, we heard from a commenter who is helping start a new church in his small island community.

What should be clear by now from John MacArthur’s blog series is that Christians aren’t meant to float through life, unattached to the Body of Christ. The Lord has a church home for you—even if it’s just a half dozen other believers who love His Son and His truth. We’ll be praying you find the church home God has for you, and soon.

GTY Staff


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#1  Posted by Brad Kennedy  |  Friday, January 18, 2013 at 6:32 AM

Thank you for your prayers and the resources you have posted as a gift to help relieve our anguish for the time.

#2  Posted by Sandra Lacey  |  Friday, January 18, 2013 at 6:58 AM

I live in the greater Orlando area and found NOTHING on the interactive map. However, I've heard John say that Dr. R.C. Sproul is a good friend, and he has a church in Sanford, just Northeast of Orlando. I don't see a thumbtack on the map for his church. Wouldn't John recommend Dr. Sproul and his church?

#3  Posted by Nathan Murrell  |  Friday, January 18, 2013 at 7:28 AM

Great resources! Thanks for posting.

#4  Posted by Randy Carlson  |  Friday, January 18, 2013 at 8:04 AM

It was just a couple days ago I sent an email to GTY mentioning that I live in a small community and can’t find a local church with a strong fundamental theology and conservative, respectful worship style. I asked if there were any Master’s grads pastoring churches near me and got a quick email reply with a link to the interactive map. It is easy to use and I found two grads pastoring churches nearby. It’s a 25 mile drive down a two-lane country road to get to either one, but I will soon be visiting the two churches.

#5  Posted by Jen Stoker  |  Friday, January 18, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Would GTY consider having people who are going through similar situations list towns where they live so maybe they could worship together and support one another as well as maybe start a Biblical church? Just to know their are others out there?

#6  Posted by Jeremiah Johnson (GTY Admin)  |  Friday, January 18, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Sandra (2),

I think John would recommend R.C. Sproul's church, but the map we linked to above only tracks where graduates from The Master's Seminary are currently preaching.

#7  Posted by Karsten Miller  |  Friday, January 18, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Thank you for your continued support in giving the Word of God and training men to shepherd God's flock. Praise the Lord

#8  Posted by Jean Selden  |  Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 6:10 AM

Thank you so much for this post. We have struggled while reading the current postings about being a part of a local assembly.

We are grateful that you posted the resources available for determining where to attend. We have used all of those when determining what to look for while trying out several churches. As of three years ago, we quit looking, as our disappointment level had gotten so low, we gave up.

We are planning on using your map and looking once again, but we would like to thank you for all the knowledge and wisdom from the Word that you have given us while we church at home.

#9  Posted by Barbara McColley  |  Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:41 AM

It is a big problem finding a Bible Driven Church in my area also. Lived in this area since June 1999, attended 6 + different churches. I left all due too in-fighting, some of them spelt allowing women in the pulpit, others had such a total disinterest in teaching the truth of the Bible I simply stopped going. So tired of hearing preachers tell me about their last vacation, or using the pulpit mostly for church stuff that should be reservered for the round table of church planning. The sermons are at best 10mins long, with constant appologizes for those looking at their watches very anxious to get to the noon restaurant, so the preacher hurries to the end, or worst the church uses music as the meat of the service, or the intertainment is the service. The pulpit is used for everything except the Bible. I praise God for finding Grace to You about 6 years ago. My life is very blessed each time I listen to John MacArthur, and a long list of other preachers I came to enjoy, through The Ligioner Ministries. I've became way more serious about my Bible reading, praying and searching the word of God, reading the books and material from Grace to you and these other ministries. I know the difference now from the truth and the lies. One of the churches I left, went so far as to teach that it was correct to sit around a table and let each person give their own oppinion as to how a Bible verse was speaking to them and what the verse meant. I'd come away so confused and drained, that I simply had to stop going to these studies. The preacher ( of Charismatic background ) referred to these get togethers as bible studies). These midweek meetings main focus was a pot luck meal, the meal and food dishes received more praise and interest than the reason we came, Bible study. I've even asked other pastoral sources in my state for help in locating a church with very little help, most of them don't even bother to respond, others say they can only recommend their church, which in all cases would mean driving 1-2 hours away. Simply can't afford that expense. I attended a large church prior to moving here but that was when children were at home, I'm now retired. I will continue searching but it is such a blessing to know I can always go to the computer and reach John MacArthur, RC Sproul, RZIM, etc. etc. It is comforting to vent and connect with other christians caught in this struggle to locate a church family.

#10  Posted by James Mcdairmant  |  Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Jen(5) What a wonderful suggestion. I can add my name to that list. I hunger for a fellowship molded in John's teaching of the Word without the cheap grace and easy believeism mentality

#11  Posted by Lauri Livingston  |  Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Thank you so much for the new resources. I believe I have found the church I will become a member of thanks to your help!

God is SO good.

#12  Posted by Brad Kennedy  |  Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Ditto....Jen (5), James (10)

#13  Posted by Aaron Merck  |  Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Hey Sandra,

We live in the St. Petersburg area and consider ourselves priviliged to be able to make it over to R.C. Sproul's church (Saint Andrews) in Sanford multiple times throughout the year, but especially when they are hosting their Ligonier conferences. I can ardently recommend this church if you live in the area as they have a strong commitment to preach through the Bible much like John MacArthur and they are unashamed in proclaiming the doctrines of grace. While R.C. Sproul is the primary pastor of teaching and preaching, members have the profound privilige of sitting under the teaching and preaching of Bible scholars who teach at the Reformation Bible College such as R.C. Sproul Jr., Keith Mathison, Michael Morales, and visits from men like D.A. Carson, Mark Dever, Sinclair Ferguson, W. Robert Godfrey, Michael Horton, Steven Lawson, Derek Thomas, etc. The day-to-day pastoral duties are so ably handled by Burk Parsons who himself is a joy to sit under as he exposits from the text of Scripture. For more information about R.C. Sproul, check out his ministry website at, you can also check out a few of his sermons delivered from the pulpit of St. Andrews by going to For more info about the church itself, you can check them out at their website I know that you will find the beauty of the church lifting your thoughts heavenward to God's glory and the Word of God being preached faithfully from the pulpit will refresh your soul. May the Lord richly bless you and keep you as you seek to honor Him in your search for a congregation with which you can worship Him every week for His glory.

#14  Posted by Hon Lam  |  Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 6:38 PM

Has anyone heard about this? This seems like a good resource:

#15  Posted by David Hally  |  Monday, January 21, 2013 at 12:28 AM

Thank you deeply pastor MacArthur for this resource. We are indeed in need. The work of our Lord through you and your ministry team reaches, touches and teaches so many. How blessed we truly are and how much my wife and I have grown because of your exhaustive and thorough expository teaching. Your books and GTY resources are all treasures. Important also is a heartfelt thank you to your wife Patricia and family.

Also praying for the upcoming conference, "Strange Fire". Hoping to attend.

From Denton, Texas

God bless. Peace and Grace to you!

#16  Posted by Jade Greenfield  |  Friday, January 25, 2013 at 1:45 PM

I would highly recommend visiting the following website: