Christmas, Church

Give a Church for Christmas

This Christmas season, I’d like to offer you an opportunity to help me give our brothers and sisters in Christ a gift – a gift that won’t cost you a dime.

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know I’m passionate about helping people find doctrinally sound churches to join. I’ve recently been updating my list of Reader Recommended Churches, but we can always use more recommendations for doctrinally sound churches, especially in the states that don’t have very many recommendations and in countries outside the United States. I’ve made the list, you check it twice. If recommendations are naught, be nice and make one! :0)

Please read this part…

Please read the guidelines here for submitting a church for consideration. If you have a personal connection to a solid church that’s not on the list, or if you have a recommendation for a doctrinally sound church search engine or church planting organization that’s not listed here, comment below with:

🎄The full, correctly spelled name of the church (or church search engine / planting org.)
🎄The city and state, or city and country it’s located in
🎄The church’s (or church search engine’s / planting org’s.) website. Churches and search engines / planting orgs. submitted without a website will not be considered.

Folks, I truly appreciate your recommendations, but PLEASE click the links above to see if your church or church search engine is already on the list. About a third of the recommendations I’ve received so far are already on the list, and it takes time to weed those out.

How many churches can we add to the list? Let’s add a bunch and make it a merry Christmas for our brothers and sisters who are searching for a new church! Thanks for your help!

(Just a reminder – as it says above the comment box, I handle all comments manually, so your comment will not appear immediately. When I add (or decline to add) your church to the list, I’ll post your comment.)

64 thoughts on “Give a Church for Christmas”

    1. Hi Krys- Thank you so much for taking the time to make a recommendation. Unfortunately, I’m unable to add them to the list since they are part of the CRC. I’ve explained some of the problems with the CRC here.

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  1. We personally haven’t been to this church as it’s too far away from where we live but we have dear friends who attend there and love it. Our friend, a man is a retired minister so he knows his doctrine, which is Calvanistic in nature. We have been “attending” online due to health issues and I think it’s the best expository preaching I’ve ever heard. The name of the church is Countryside Bible Church in Southlake, Texas.

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    1. Hi Leanne- Thank you so much for taking the time to recommend KBC. Unfortunately, the content on the website (particularly the “Beliefs” page) is rather sparse, and I don’t have enough information to feel comfortable adding them to the list at this time. With a more informative website as to KBC’s doctrine and practices, I would be more than glad to reconsider them in the future.

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  2. I am an elder at “Surface Creek Community Church” in Austin, Colorado. We are a Reformed Theology Church and our web site is: address: Surface Creek Community Church
    21987 Austin Road
    PO Box 44
    Austin CO 81410
    Our Pastor’s name; John A. Copper and he has recently written a book: “The Diligence of Discipleship” and it is on Amazon.He has used expository teaching for more than 35 years.

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      1. Thanks for the contact. Our website is: and on the pull down menu is a tab called “About us” and in that is the 10 point explanation or our belief statement. I don’t think it’s on there but we ascribe to the Westminster Confession and both shorter and longer catechisms. We also refer to the Belgic and one other catechism that at the moment won’t come to mind. I know our Pastor would like to get a mail address for you so he can send you his book.

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    1. Thanks, Michelle, I don’t understand why the web address isn’t showing up, I put in both times I sent the materiel to you. So. here goes again, it is the name of our church, Surface Creek Community Church with a .org behind the name which should be in lower case and all connected. If it comes through it will be, surfacecreekcommunitychurch.org. Thanks for working with me on this. Again if you accept our church it will be a blessing as we are the loneliest Reformed Church in three counties here on the Western Slope of Colorado. If possible, my pastor would like to send you a copy of his book for your perusal, so I will need your mailing address. Thank you again. Rex Stucker

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  3. This is a link to a new presbytery with lots of information and a church directory. There is much information there on why this presbytery started and the distinctives embraced by it. So I would encourage anyone interested to read the articles that will give a background on it. There is an affiliation link of churches that have united with it. We can personally recommend Cornerstone Presbyterian in Destin, Florida from that list.

    https://vanguardpresbytery.com/

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    1. Hi Megan- Thank you so much for taking the time to recommend FBC Choctaw. I’m so sorry, but I’m going to have to decline to put them on the list at this time. Reasons include: the emphasis on racial issues (one using materials by JD Greear who has been on a woke trajectory for some time), some of the wording in the statement of faith, participation in IF:Gathering last year, a Beth Moore study last year, recommendation of an Advent book by Ann Voskamp, and the fact that the Advent playlist includes artists like Elevation, Hillsong, Phil Wickham, and Lauren Daigle.

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  4. Please consider adding “Cornerstone Baptist Church” located in Wylie, Texas. Cornerstone is a Reformed Baptist Church. The website is: CornerstoneWylie.org – Thank you

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  5. Dear Michelle,
    I have a church for you to add to your list. It is Emmaus Road Church in Stanwood, WA. The website is https://www.emmausroad.tv. Thank you for providing this forum for finding and recommending solid Biblically based churches, especially in these current times.

    Sincerely,
    Elizabeth Kern

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    1. Hi Shannon- Thank you so much for taking the time to recommend RVBC. Almost everything on the website looks great (I’m particularly impressed by their doctrinal statement), but there’s something that’s giving me pause about putting RVBC on the list. On the resources page, under “Likeminded Ministries,” The Gospel Coalition, Together for the Gospel, and The Bible Project are listed.

      Because of RVBC’s strong doctrinal statement, and some of the other good, doctrinally sound resources listed, I think perhaps RVBC may not know about the turn TGC and T4G have taken toward social justice and “wokeness” in the past several years. Likewise, the pastor/elders probably aren’t aware that The Bible Project teaches several doctrines that are false and/or heretical. I was hoping you might be able to pass on to them this link and this one from Pastor Gabriel Hughes who has done quite a bit of research on The Bible Project and explains the unbiblical teachings they promote.

      If, at some point in the future, RVBC decides to remove these recommendations, please let me know, and I will be delighted to add them to the list. But if RVBC is “likeminded” with wokeness/social justice and The Bible Project, I regret that I’ll have to decline to list them. Thanks again! :0)

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      1. Michelle, I’m sure you are aware that some of the men participating in TGC, T4G as well as JD Greear who you mentioned in another comment, are in the SBC and PCA. The reason I bring this up is that, as we well know, there are few choices for sound doctrinal churches to choose from. By adding this component of these organizations you have named that is going to make it even narrower.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favor of discernment and agree with you about the critical race theory and social justice theory that is being embraced by some in the Church. I’m not proposing we compromise our values and of course, absolutely we shouldn’t compromise on the Gospel and inerrancy of Scripture. But there are authors and participants in both these organizations that I have respect for who may not endorse the progressive theories and that lumps them in with that call.

        We are between churches – have been for a while. Tried driving the distances (three different churches over the last 20 years) and it just doesn’t work out for very long. No new church plants for us on the horizon. With covid, it has been a time to watch a long distance service online. But it is time to find a church home, and I doubt there will be one in a reasonable distance that we can check off all the boxes. There may be others in the same situation as we are, so I wanted to put my comment out there, not to be argumentative, but there have been no easy answers for us waiting all this time.

        Thanks for all your research!

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      2. Hi Robin- I’m so sorry for the difficulty you’ve had finding a good church, and I hope you’ll be able to find one soon. Thank you for your feedback.

        I understand what you’re saying, and I went back and forth about whether or not to list this church for quite a while. If it had only been T4G and TGC, I might have gone ahead and listed it. But The Bible Project teaches things that are clearly heretical (you may want to examine the links I included), and that pushed me from an enthusiastic “yes” to reluctantly saying “I wish I could say yes, but I can’t”. The same thing happened recently when I had to reluctantly decline to list a church that seemed phenomenal in every way, except they use Bethel, Hillsong, etc., music.

        Then, on the other side of things, I have people who complain that I’m still listing the 9Marks church search engine (because of their more progressive leanings of late). If I list a church that recommends T4G, TGC, and TBP, I’m going to hear about it from disgruntled readers, and rightly so. While I believe there’s every likelihood that the church has listed these recommendations either based on past experience with them (when they were more doctrinally sound) or out of ignorance of what they’re actually teaching, there’s just as much of a possibility that the church is recommending them because they agree with them (just as many of the T4G/TGC men probably look perfectly doctrinally sound “on paper” but agree with the progressivism of T4G/TGC). I have no way of knowing which it is.

        When I have to reject a church, I always tell the person who recommended it why in hopes that she will go back to the pastor and let him know, “Hey – our church isn’t being recommended because of ____,” and that he will look into whatever the issue is and fix it. Doctrinally sound pastors/churches need to know that they’ve got to vet the resources they recommend, the music they use, the teachers they yoke with, etc., or they’re going to suffer the consequences. (I’m fully aware that not being on this list is probably completely inconsequential to most of them, but that’s all I’m able to do on my part.)

        Additionally, one thing I’ve learned from having an online ministry is that people are notorious for not reading things thoroughly. I don’t want someone to briefly look over a church website I’ve listed, start visiting that church and fall in love with it only to find out months or years down the road that the church recommends and agrees with these resources.

        Like you said, there are no easy answers, but I’m doing my best. Thanks again for the feedback. :0)

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      3. Hi Michelle,
        Thank you so much for your response and the very helpful links explaining about The Bible Project. I am drawing from a blank slate with these ministries as I’ve never heard of them and I fully admit to being very “young” on my journey to sound doctrine. I did not grow up in the church, so I am incredibly ignorant to so much that’s out there. I found this church through one of the search engines you graciously provide at the top of your page, and I can’t tell you how long it took me to read through their website and trying to discern if they were on the up and up so to speak. Many of their services have been online due to the pandemic, until recently, and so far they “seem” to be good and sound, but as you said, there are some red flags there that I did not catch. I watched the video and read the link from Pastor Hughes and was gobsmacked that churches would align with TBG. Even for someone who’s still learning some of the basics, I was mortified by the false beliefs and teachings going on there. Yeesh. So, I sent a very thoughtfully worded email along with the links you provided regarding these ministries asking for the Pastor, Deacon, and Elders to read and watch the video and to reconsider aligning with those ministries. I’m really hoping they will take the time to read and discuss it as a group and that I will get a response from them. I will let you know if I do get that response. Again, thank you for your thoughtful response as it was very helpful to me in teaching me how to “dig a little deeper” and have a greater knowledge about the false ministries out there. I’m clueless in many of these areas, but I’m eagerly learning and I’m extremely thankful for your teaching and guidance in this area. We “newbies” definitely need that! =o)

        With sincerest thanks,

        Shannon

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      4. Shannon-

        Thanks so much for taking the time to share this with me. Since your church looked so doctrinally strong in many other areas, I’m very hopeful that perhaps your pastor and elders simply weren’t aware of some of these issues. Pastors are so busy and it is very difficult to keep up. You did exactly the right thing in alerting them to the issues, because I’m sure if they knew, they would at least be concerned about continuing to recommend these orgs. Great job, and I’m taking a moment to pray that you get a great response from them. :0)

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  6. Thank you for the detailed reply, Michelle. I’m not familiar with the Bible Project at all, so I will research it. I am familiar with the other two. So perhaps my question wasn’t as clear as it should have been. This is for recommendations in general, not so much regarding this last person’s church.

    I would guess that some, if not many, of your readers are members of SBC churches and PCA churches. Since you are in the SBC how do you reconcile the recommendations against churches that use material by JD Greear and others in your denomination associated with TGC and T4G while being a member of the local church? Same with the PCA and other denominations. Do we accept that not everything at the national level is going to be what we agree with?

    The Gospel Coalition has listed authors and council members that are in your recommended lists. Have you compared your list of recommended good teachers, pastors and theologians to who is listed on their web site? I’m not as familiar with the leadership of T4G so there may be some of your recommendations who participate on there, also.

    This is problematic. This is some tough stuff. That’s why my initial question was on the subject of finding a good church, but there may be some things that are not going to 100% line up with what we ideally would want. For me, I’m finding (reluctantly) that there has to be a list of “non-negotiables,” like doctrine and the “negotiables” like authors they might recommend. And maybe your gentle recommendation to take the facts of author problems to the leadership will be used by God to show them the error.

    I found out a long time ago that not many people take the time to research who they read and follow. The clergy should, but it’s not always a priority.

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    1. “Since you are in the SBC how do you reconcile the recommendations against churches that use material by JD Greear and others in your denomination associated with TGC and T4G while being a member of the local church? Same with the PCA and other denominations. Do we accept that not everything at the national level is going to be what we agree with?”

      I’m not 100% sure I understand the question, so let me just say this:

      a) If a denomination is generally doctrinally sound (ex: SBC and PCA), I evaluate the individual church by its own website, not by whatever may be going on at the national level.

      b) Southern Baptist churches are autonomous, which basically means they don’t have to agree with anything that goes on at the national level, in the seminaries, or in any of our entities. Neither JD Greear, nor anyone else in SBC leadership, has one ounce of power to tell an individual SBC church what to do. So it’s appropriate and necessary to evaluate each SBC church on its own merit (as explained above).

      “The Gospel Coalition has listed authors and council members that are in your recommended lists. Have you compared your list of recommended good teachers, pastors and theologians to who is listed on their web site?”

      And, for example, if this church had only recommended Kevin DeYoung (whose blog is housed at TGC), that wouldn’t have been a problem. But they’re recommending the entire organization, which includes people like Thabiti Anyabwile who’s racist and progressive.

      “there may be some things that are not going to 100% line up with what we ideally would want.”

      That’s why, for example, I don’t restrict this list to Reformed Baptist churches. I allow Presbyterian, Lutheran, Bible, non-denom, non-Reformed/Calvinistic, etc., as long as they’re doctrinally sound. But I can’t do that with issues of unbiblical teaching like wokeness and heresy. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

      But one of the things I’ve discovered in researching the hundreds of churches on this list is that you can tell a lot more about what a church really believes and practices by the books, blogs, orgs, etc., they recommend than you can tell from their statement of faith. And when they’re recommending organizations that have been on a woke trajectory in recent years or an organization that teaches heresy, like I said, it may be out of ignorance or it may be because they agree with them. I don’t have any way of knowing. So if I’m going to err, I’d rather err on the side of caution, and the side of the people who come to this list looking for recommendations of solid churches.

      Hope this helps to clarify.

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      1. Yes, you got what I what I was asking in your a) answer – the individual churches, not the whole denomination.

        It’s tough – very tough what’s going on right now..

        Thanks.

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