The best church in Omaha, Nebraska

Frequently I am asked to recommend churches in Omaha, NE. And for some reason these questions typically come from people who are simply not going to church at all. So first let me first exhort you on the importance of the local church.

The local church is God’s plan for the message of the Gospel to go forth into culture and its the place God has chosen for the growth of Christians. There is no way around the importance of the local church (read Ephesians 4:11-16). A faithful local church protects Christians, equips Christians and grows Christians together as the body of Christ. Any search for a local church must begin by understanding the importance of the local church. There are no substitutes.

On to the church I recommend in Omaha:

Omaha Bible Church, a place my wife and I served for over seven years. They are a church centered around the expositional preaching of the Bible with an emphasis on the New Testament and especially the Pauline texts. The preaching style is very similar to expositor John MacArthur. I doubt any preacher in Omaha more clearly defines the biblical gospel than Sr. pastor, Patrick Abendroth. They have a well developed children’s ministry and nursery. Services are held on Sunday morning and evening and there are a number of activities throughout the week. Authors are frequently invited to speak (D.A. Carson, James White, John MacArthur, etc). Affiliations: The Master’s Seminary and John MacArthur. If you like the style and content of MacArthur you will like Omaha Bible Church.

31 thoughts on “The best church in Omaha, Nebraska

  1. Hi, Tony. I’ve been reading and enjoying your ‘blog this afternoon, just stumbling upon it this afternoon.

    I was especially interested in this entry about Omaha churches. I will soon be the pastor of Messiah Reformed Church at 88th and Center and believe we could be an Omaha church you could recommend. We have verse-by-verse teaching through God’s Word and hold to and preach the doctrines of grace.

    Many of us at Messiah are students of the great preachers and writers of the Puritan era and of men like Spurgeon, Bunyan, Owen and Pink. We are contending against the spirit of the age and its “your best life now” atheology and its pop psychology with a Christian veneer. We’re convinced a remnant of believers is out there and hungry for biblical truth and the rigors of a life where one dies to self and lives to serve Christ.

    I have visited Omaha Bible Church (and have family that attends there) and appreciate what Pat Abendroth is doing. I also remember Eric Burmeister from his days at Christ Community. It’s exciting to read what he’s up to now.

    It seems the recent Christianity Today cover story on the revival of interest in Reformed doctrine is evident.

    Thanks again for the thoughtful and content-rich ‘blog. Pressing on in Christ . . . Gary Peterson

  2. Tony, only 2 churches to recommend? Really ? In the entire city of Omaha? And judging from the websites not many people of color at those churches either. Interesting.

  3. Hello Gurnall. These two are excellent churches in Omaha, I’m not sure I present this list as exhaustive. And I met CB, one of my best, life-long friends in the world at OBC (CB is black). People of all races and backgrounds are warmly welcomed into both churches. … It’s worth noting that the theology of African American churches is in a dysmal state of affairs in the United States as Thabiti Anyabwile shows in The Decline of African American Theology: From Biblical Faith to Cultural Captivity. This book may be of interest. Blessings! Tony

  4. Hello. My friend from Des Moines sent me this website. Her and her husband have been digging into Reformed churches. I’m still learning about this and what it means. I currently attend Trinty interdenominational. What are your thoughts on interdenominational churches? Also, Christ Community Church was not recommended. Curious why. I don’t think they beleive in the gifts of the holy spirit..tongues , etc. are for the body of christ today. Any other thoughts. I’m struggling right now re: church and where to attend. I’m asking the Lord for wisdom and insight. Another thing to throw out there. What about the emergence of house churches. There’s a book called the Forgotten Church someone recommended re: how the gospel spread in the new testament with small groups of believers gathering… so many things to consider while finding a church that’s biblically sound… none are ever perfect. Any thoughts you can add would be welcomed. Blessings in Christ,
    beth

  5. Hello Beth! Thanks for stopping in. I would highly recommend OBC and Core as two of the top choices in Omaha (neither are affiliated with denominations). I have not dug into house church concept much. It’s important to get plugged into a small group where you can learn Christian living from older and more faithful mentors. This can be done in larger churches. That’s about all I got. Blessings!

  6. THanks for your reply. I just visited Steadfast Bible Fellowship…it’s a small Berean based church. Any thoughts on the berean affiliation? I appreciate it as I’m continuing to search and seeks the Lords guidance, while getting cousel.
    Blessings,
    beth

  7. Tony,

    I think it is an over-simplification to state: “It’s worth noting that the theology of African American churches is in a dysmal (sic) state of affairs in the United States as Thabiti Anyabwile shows in The Decline of African American Theology: From Biblical Faith to Cultural Captivity.” I’ve read the first chapter of Anyabwile’s book on the doctrine of revelation and the two modern “theologians” he cites are Fred Price and Eddie Long (? – my memory could be failing me). To use these two men as the standard for African American theology in this area is to paint with too broad of a brush. It is to neglect the men of color who have a high view of Scripture (i.e., William Banks; Carl Ellis; Tony Evans [despite his soteriology]; Larry Mercer – President of Washington Bible College and Capital Bible Seminary; etc.). To suggest that Fred Price and Eddie Long are typical of African American theology would be to say that Paul and Jan Crouch and Joel Osteen is typical of the theology of White America. It just ain’t so!

  8. Thanks for the comment, Paul. I suppose it’s a subjective matter of where the line is drawn. I too would like more clarity on where those lines are drawn! Tony

  9. Tony,

    This is the second time I stumbled upon your blog. Awesome! I’m from the Reformed Presbyterian Church of India, doing my Theological studies in Tokyo Christian Institute [Reformed]. Thanks for putting up the Princeton Cemetery pictures. Deeply appreciate it:) I am gradually discovering my reformed roots.
    There is a growing anti-Christian-Laws and sentiments in my country. It would be awesome if you remember us in praying for my nation. I would be interested in finding good reformed friends who I can share and correspond with. Thank you for blogging:) Keep up the good meaty stuffs! With your permission I’d be happy to link you to my blog.

    Joey.

  10. would just like to say for those wondering about Core Community which is the sencond on the list. i have been part of Core Community since its beginning in 2000. to the one saying there appears to be no colored people in the pictures, do not make a judgement without first checking it out. The Bible speaks of making judgments. we are make no judgements in anyway shape or form on race or skin color. I would however recommend it to anyone who is truly seeking a god loving God fearing church. if you wish to be spiritually fed this would be a good place to come too. if you wish to be pacified that might not happen so much. we give the honest to God biblical truths. we raise up that means if you come here and remain the total same as before, your not getting raised up. we are a church whichs raises up so come prepared to be IMPACTED BY THE WORD!! WORD! :)
    PEACE AND LOVE TO ALL! WE HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE.

    omaha community playhouse 9:30 am sundays
    core phone 402.342.1701

  11. Core Community Church had this on one of their pages. Are they are Charismatic?

    About > Doctrine

    “All the gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in the church of the first-century are available today and are to be earnestly desired and practiced. They are essential in the mission of the Church in the world today.”

  12. Yes, Acts29 churches like CORE are often continuationist and/or charismatic in their practice. I’m not aware of any cessationist churches in A29. For more on the theology behind this see Mark Driscoll’s forthcoming book, Doctrine.

  13. Just moved and am really desperate for a growing church in Des Moines that preaches reformed theology… any recommendations? Please help! Hoping that you might know of something or someone since Omaha isn’t too far away…

  14. I am once again amazed at God… Our family is considering a move to Omaha and one of our MAJOR concerns is finding a good, Bible believing, Bible preaching church. It was a huge blessing to find this site. I realize this was written 4 years ago, are there any other churches you would now recommend or perhaps pull from recommendation?

  15. I’m confused as to why you chose these two churches. Omaha Bible Church believes in Reformed Calvanism and any church that supports Mark Driscoll’s is one I would avoid. Some say the Driscoll has turned away from some past beliefs that were if not then borderline heretic. Driscoll comes from the Emergent Church Movement so I was just curious.

    Just to answer the reason why people are always asking you about churches in Nebraska is because it is pretty much dead here. There are thousands of churches and although I agree that none will ever be perfect I have spent months trying to find one that is even sound on the gospel without things just like I mentioned above. Some would probably say that I am too picky. That being said I spent 6 years in UPCI and came to understand that Jesus did not invent RELIGION but He came for relationship. The book of Romans is my platform. I believe that is is important to have a church family and so I will continue to search but I will say so far it has left me feeling very dissapointed and with a realization of just how close we are to the end of the last days. God bless everyone and I am certain He will set us all in our place. Thank you sir, for allowing me to post my thoughts on your blog.

  16. Thanks for the comment Aimee. I do like both of these church and recommend them to this day. As for Jesus’ mission, I’m not sure relationships were the primary purpose of his coming (Luke 12:51-53). The purpose of his life–as I feebly understand it–is to fulfill the mission of God. God’s plan has been laid out from since time began and the Savior enfleshed, dwelt, died, was raised, and ascended as the fulfillment of his mission in reconciling sinners to God. This is the most important truth of all (1 Corinthians 15:3-5). Once a conviction about the importance of Christ’s work is settled, I believe the churches selected and highlighted here will make more sense. At least I hope it does. Thanks for stopping in.

  17. Is there any church in Omaha with a Pastor that actually can speak from the heart, in an engaging manner, using real life scenarios that people can engage with and relate to? Someone that gives uplifting, inspirational messages that leave tears in your eyes or goosebumps on your arms? I get better messages from Halmark TV movies that I do the churches in Omaha. I have all but given up, seriously we have tried at least 10 churches. Here is what we get: At least 5 songs in the first 10 mins- always one of two extremes, total conservative 60 yr old lady hymns or total Rock concert, practically ACDC style. Pastor reading of maybe a couple paragraphs of scripture in a dull monotone voice, with no real theme or connection to anyone in the audience, then the passing of the collection tray (actually sometimes that is the very first thing that occurs, like last night on xmas eve service, not a word from the pastor, just straight to the collection tray), then more singing, maybe anouther paragraph of reading and then thanks for coming, be sure to come again. We are not particular, weve tried Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran whatever. I dont need someone to read scripture to me, I do that on my own, I want to hear someone with something interesting and worthwhile to say that relates to myself or someone I know. I do recall ONE decent service (in another city) where they showed a video on the big screen of a man that was a member of the church, and he talked about his life and how he was so lost with drugs and alcohol for years until xyz happened and he came back to God and how his life has changed etc. Then the pastor elaborated on how areas of the Bible had meaning to that man, and how those passages helped him. Or a person that suffered and how their faith got them through the crisis. That is what people want to hear. Where are those churches? I have a family of disgruntled churchgoes, mother, step father, husband, daughters, etc and every time I wrangle them to go to a service i walk in praying there will be something said or shown that they will all say, wow now that was a great service, lets go next week. But Everytime they leave saying, ‘see that is exactly why we do not waste our time at these lame churches, we are better off studying the bible on our own, we learn more from our own efforts that we do wasting 45 minutes singing, or something to that effect. Then we argue about it and I say ‘you have to stop looking for the answers from the person on the stage. Evil can distract you from the reason you are there, dont let that happen. It isnt about the person up there giving you some amazing gift of enlightenment because they are just human, flawed and maybe not even as enlightened as you-so that may never happen, it is about you sitting there for an hour and having your own time with God, forget about being disappointed with what you hear, you are there to be next to God and people that love God like you do. When you look for divine inspiration from a man you will likely be disappointed.” HOWEVER, just once I wish i didnt have to give that argument! This isnt just my family that thinks this way, every person I know, professional and personal (aside from a handful of regular churchgoers) has said the exact same thing to me, so it is frustrating at this point. Anyone have any suggestions?

  18. dana— I see you posted this over a year ago…did you happen to find any churches?? I am the same way and I really would like to find a church like you described.

  19. Nebraska you get stuck with Dispensationalism or Reconstructionism. it is a sad state of affairs.

  20. Church is NOT supposed to be entertainment… that is pew warming at its best. We are called to grow and fellowship with one another. In fact there is a whole lot of “one-anothering” involved. We are to make disciples and to live and do greater things than Jesus did while He was here on the earth.

    Maybe what you’re searching for is a house church, a place where you can develop into who God meant to be and be raised up to bring more people into the kingdom.

    I too am tired of the “mini-rock” concerts and such, or the 3-5 songs, tithe/offering-pass-the-plate, half-hour sermon, and shake hands while you leave – church. I want relationships that will walk with me, pray with me, and I with them. People are out their looking for relationships, meaningful relationships. Give them the Bread of Life. He’s wanting you to do it. Put action to your heart knowledge and not head knowledge.

    Christ Family Church – http://www.cfcomaha.org/ is a great little church. Relational, discipling, real worship like an open heaven, and a body that works and lives together. They’re not perfect, but working toward being the Bride of Christ and live to make Him number one in all things. Check ’em out.

  21. Church is not entertainment but a church that can not insight some kind of reaction is dead. If the reaction is to the rock concert, the church is dead. 90% of the churches that I have visited are that way. However I managed to find one that I have attended this past year that has encouraged, matured, taught, AND managed to give me so much joy in being there that I was in a way entertained…unfortunately that church is in TN and my husbands job is moving us to Omaha. I am trusting God to provide such a church again.

  22. I’m curious to find out what blog system you have been using? I’m having some minor security problems with my latest blog and I would like to find something more secure. Do you have any suggestions?

  23. Hey city of Omaha if you could check out the sermon on Flatironschruch.com. They preach from the bible and the pastor are real. We need a church like that!! I think it would be good for the community of Omaha especially with all the gangs.

  24. My husband and I are moving to Omaha from Portland, OR. Our church here teaches verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book. We are looking for a church most similar to this style of teaching. Also one that believes in the rapture. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  25. Hi,

    I am not from around Omaha but live here now with my husband and two very young children. I have been searching for a church for us to go to that will be enriching for all of us. I tend to lean more towards non denominational or assembly type churches. Before I moved here I went to New Life Church in Conway, AR and would love to find a church like that here! As it is, the kiddos and I have been attending NLC via live stream on their iPhone app. Any thoughts at all on this matter would be very much appreciated. Thank you and God Bless!

    Lindsey

  26. We moved to Omaha 2 years ago from Indiana and struggled to find a good Bible believing church without the rock concert “worship” experience. We have found a solid church home at Omaha Bible Church and heartily recommend it to others. I would also say it is probably the MOST diverse churches we have attended in Omaha. This city has less mixing than we are used to so it is a joy to see brothers & sisters in Christ from different races & nationalities coming together every Sunday! The preaching is deep, the theology solid, and the people warm & loving.

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