This past Sunday, we flipped back to visiting Wheaton Bible Church. Was there something wrong with Harvest Chapel in Naperville? No. Was it us? Yes. Which brings me to the question of what is the “perfect” church? Does it even exist? Can it exist if we truly believe that a church is a place where the broken sinner comes to worship the One that gave grace and hope and eternal life?
So, is the “perfect” church something totally different for each person? I’m learning that answer is yes. We are not talking theology or the statement of beliefs. The truth is the truth and any church that adds to that or sways it one way or the other, well…..false teachings.
What made us flip back? Simple. Our personal idea of what the “perfect” church for us is. Sunday School. Corporate worship with expository teaching. A building that looks like a “church” to us. All man-made ideas of what church is, but still important to us. For we are all taught that church truly is “where two or more are gathered.” And to be honest, I believe we can all point back to a time where “church” was just God and us crying out to Him. Praising Him.
I say all this to mostly remind myself that as long as the doctrine is sound and true, as long as Jesus Christ is front and center….as long as we have not added to or taken away from the Bible, as long as we truly believe John 3:16, church today…can look a thousand different ways on the outside. It can be in a basement. A refurbished warehouse. Dark lighting, full lighting…contemporary praise music, traditional hymns…..church is people gathered to praise and worship as a group of fallen, broken sinners.
For these two kids from Arkansas, our “perfect” church is Christ centered, mission minded, the look of a traditional church in most areas, strong programs for women and men, Sunday School, contemporary music done in less of a “DNow” way.
At the end of the day, I hope I never forget to be so grateful to live here ….in the U.S. I can attend church and worship freely…without fear of being decapitated in the square. I can easily access a Bible and sound doctrine. I can turn on K-Love and not worry about who may be listening to what I listen to. I am so thankful to live where I can choose a church-it’s not chosen for me. I am even more thankful to know that we are to be the feet and hands of Jesus…not the judge…not the jury…not the person who hides behind the Bible to mask their bigotry. (Christ asked ALL to come to Him.) We are to be an example of Christ on earth….we will fail every single day…but we are to keep trying and hope the next day we are one small step closer to that goal. We are His church.
Ephesians 4:16 From whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.