10 Red Flags of a Gospel-less Church

10 Red Flags of a Gospel-less Church

I love the Gospel. I love it because there is new revelation to me about who Jesus was and is every single day. The fact that the gospel matters to believers even after their conversion shows us that it is important that we attend a church that believes the same thing, so we can continue to grow more and more like Christ

No church is perfect, so this list isn't purely black and white. It is more of a guide for us to look at and think about to see if the churches we go to fall outside of these lines. Every person, and therefore every church, is growing and maturing in God so the important thing to remember is that the church is working to be more gospel-filled and isn't deliberately excluding any of scripture or Christ’s teachings.

I pray that this list encourages you to continue running your race of faith and to do so alongside other Bible-believing Christians in a church that is committed to the true call of Christ. Blessings to you in abundance! 

  • Red Flag 1: The True Teaching of Christ is Absent

    Red Flag 1: The True Teaching of Christ is Absent


    It is so important to attend a church that is a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church. The content of the entire Bible is essential to understand the Gospel of Christ. Christ did not come to abolish the law (in othe words, the Old Testament). Rather, he came to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17)! When there isn't a full picture of Christ from Genesis to Revelation being taught in a church, then the full gospel isn't being preached and people don't receive the opportunity to understand why Jesus came and did the things he did! A gospel-less church will give you a skewed or partial view of Scripture and of Christ. 

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  • Red Flag 2: Communion Is Not a Regular Occurrence

    Red Flag 2: Communion Is Not a Regular Occurrence


    Scripture tells us that when Jesus was with his disciples, he told them to take communion in remembrance of Him (Luke 22:19). Communion is important because it signifies Christ’s sacrifice for our sins. His body was broken for us and His blood was poured out for us. This is the nucleus of the gospel of Christ. Since Christ commanded us to take communion in remembrance of Him, when communion isn't being taken in a church, it's a sign that the church has drifted, to some extent, from the gospel. We as people can be quite forgetful when it comes to knowing and holding close to our hearts the things God has done for us. Taking communion keeps His sacrifice at the front of our hearts and minds.

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  • Red Flag 3: The Mention of The Holy Spirit Makes Leadership Uncomfortable

    Red Flag 3: The Mention of The Holy Spirit Makes Leadership Uncomfortable


    The Holy Spirit is such an important person to the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is part of the Holy Trinity. In the Gospels we see that it is the Holy Spirit who empowers Christ throughout His ministry, and was part of the resurrection of Christ’s body after the crucifixion (Romans 8:11, 1 Peter 3:18). I’ve had friends who have attended churches where the Holy Spirit wasn't mentioned at all, or where songs mentioning the Holy Spirit were requested to not be played during worship service. This is quite concerning because the Holy Spirit is such an integral part of the gospel and of the life of a believer! When churches begin to mention the Holy Spirit less, it is a sign of a gospel-less church.

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  • Red Flag 4: There Are Less Messages about Jesus, and More about Self-Help

    Red Flag 4: There Are Less Messages about Jesus, and More about Self-Help


    I am not a pastor, so I will not pretend to know the ins and outs of preparing and delivering a message. What I will say is that the Bible isn’t a self help book. It isn't something that we can flip through and decide what is truth or not, or what changes to make to our lives or not based on what is written in it. The Bible is living and active. It is the legitimate Word of God! When messages at church begin to sound like the latest “how-to” campaigns, and don't have any conviction, correction, or call for repentance, there may be more fluff in the message than Scripture. Scripture says this, “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.” Self-help teachings can be encouraging and helpful, however, church should point us back to Christ. Not ourselves.

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  • Red Flag 5: Jesus is Taught, but Not Followed

    Red Flag 5: Jesus is Taught, but Not Followed


    Have you ever been to a church where the gospel of Christ was being taught, however, the people of the church lived their lives contrary to that of Scripture? Speaking the truth isn't enough if people still live the same and aren’t changing to be more like Christ! The gospel is good news and is literally life-changing. People should be a new creation after hearing, and accepting, the true gospel of Christ. Of course, every person in a church is at different points in their personal walk, and many may be struggling in different areas. That isn't what I'm referring to here. I'm talking about the collective church speaking one thing and deliberately doing another without accountability or correction. 

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  • Red Flag 6: There Is Little to No Desire to See Signs, Wonders, and Miracles

    Red Flag 6: There Is Little to No Desire to See Signs, Wonders, and Miracles


    During Jesus’ ministry, he did so many signs, wonders, and miracles, that all of them could not be recorded (John 21:25). Jesus told his disciples this truth, “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” (John 14:12).

    We as Christians may still be learning and growing in our understanding and practice of the signs, wonders, and miracles, but the desire to have and walk in them should be part of every gospel-believing church. If it isn't, that may be a sign (no pun intended!) that the church isn't teaching the true gospel.

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  • Red Flag 7: Forgiveness and Humility are Lacking amongst Church Leadership

    Red Flag 7: Forgiveness and Humility are Lacking amongst Church Leadership


    The Bible tells us the account of Jesus Christ’s life while He was on the Earth. Jesus is the model for which every Christian should strive. Two of the biggest attributes about Christ’s character that the Bible spares no words trying to help us understand is that he was a forgiving person and he was humble. He was forgiving because he did not hold people's sins against them. He forgave them. He also walked in humility and served others, rather than looking to see who could serve Him. When those called to lead the church aren’t working toward being more forgiving, more humble individuals, and are instead proud and unforgiving, that may be a sign of a gospel-less church.

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  • Red Flag 8: Non-Christians are Looked Down On and Talked About

    Red Flag 8: Non-Christians are Looked Down On and Talked About


    The Good News is that the Kingdom of God has come and that all can be forgiven and accepted into the kingdom through Christ! People who aren't in a relationship with Christ need to know the beauty, joy, and redemption of a life in Him! And they should be seeing Christians as the example. When Christians talk badly about and look down on those who do not know Christ, and who are dealing with sin, the opposite effect for which Christ came is accomplished. Christians should not be hurting others by judging and condemning them. Christ did not do that. He loved people from death to life. 

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  • Red Flag 9: Little to No Emphasis Placed on Growing Personal Relationship With God

    Red Flag 9: Little to No Emphasis Placed on Growing Personal Relationship With God


    If a church doesn't encourage believers to grow in their relationship with Christ, then something in that body is amiss. We don't arrive, at least in this lifetime, to the full knowledge and understanding of God. So every day, we should be looking for ways to grow in our walk with Christ. God wants us, to be just like Christ. If the church is no longer desiring the same, and if we think we’ve reached some level of arrival here on this earth, we will cap ourselves of understanding God’s love and we won't grow in our relationship with Him.

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  • Red Flag 10: There is No Emphasis Placed on Missions or Sharing the Gospel with Others

    Red Flag 10: There is No Emphasis Placed on Missions or Sharing the Gospel with Others


    If a church doesn’t emphasize the gospel, it will be no surprise that they don’t value or emphasize missions – both locally and globally. The gospel is literally the best news – and if a congregation as a whole shows little excitement or passion for bringing that good news to the lost, then there’s a real disconnect between what they acknowledge with their tongues and what they really believe in their hearts. If you’re attending a church where missions and sharing the gospel is placed on the backburner constantly, that’s a huge red flag that should be taken seriously.

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    Britnee is a free-spirited, Old Navy-wearin', coffee-shop lovin', wife and momma. She serves in the worship ministry with her husband at their home church in Glendale, AZ and writes with the sole purpose of pointing others to Christ. You can catch up with her on her blog or via social media @b_brdshw!