Friday, October 17, 2008

"The Perfect Church"

I read a post yesterday on the blog Discernment 4 Truth where she was asking people to send comments and describe what they think a "Perfect Church" should be. I have really been thinking about how I would describe what a church is supposed to be. Here's part of her description.....

"Mine would be that the preaching is about Jesus, preaching guided by the Holy spirit and the Bible. There is no going beyond the Bible. Worship without hype or repetition. Dress any way you feel you want to. Fruits of the spirit are the focus. Love is at the center. If you are sick you are encouraged to stay at home. You are not looked down upon Ever! The preacher actually serves instead of forcing his flock to run around for him. Genuine care and concern for brothers and sisters. The secondary issues are not the basis instead the perfect church would focus on what Jesus did for us on the cross. Spiritual gifts are there but they are not the focus, this is secondary, but Love is the focus. Love is seen as the most important gift and it is better to work on that gift than any other. God's will becomes what it should be - to love one another as we love ourselves. We don't need to be told that if you leave a country or a state or a job that you are out of God's will because as long as you love God, that Is His Will!" - Getting There, South Africa

I thought that was a great description. Even though there's not one, how would you describe the "perfect church?"


Susan said...

The perfect church (it's leaders and body) should keep first and foremost "Jesus" - the author and finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2)! That should keep things in order.
The perfect church would realize the value of small groups in which to fellowship.
One thing that was lacking in my former church was this type of interaction. When I started there, I wished it had a pre-school moms group. It would have helped me connect with other women "in my shoes". Many churches today have attendees from various areas and are no longer local churches, therefore, I feel this need is great.
I was recently speaking with my daughter and I told her I had the advantage of Sunday school when I grew up. I was in class with children my age and my parents each attended a women's and men's class.
Now that we are involved w/ small groups and are currently hosting one in our home, I see these groups as so valuable (especially in larger churches). We are making new friends who enjoy fellowshipping around the Word and who share prayer requests...I could go on and on about specifics.
To me a perfect church sees and embraces the value of small group settings!
Another thing the church would have is financial transparency. My church handles this well. (Why should it be handled otherwise?)

Anonymous said...

a church without a controlling, proud, arrogant, money hungry, deceiving, manipulating pastor

Suzann @ Lavender and Roses said...

I really like this description.

Set Free said...

I have read her description over and over and I always pause on the part where she says when you are sick you can stay home. We were taught that we needed to come to church even when we were sick. There were times I took my children even when they were burning up with fever - that's what we were supposed to do. We never missed church - and I mean never. In 22 years, the only time I missed church is if I was too sick to go or I was out of town. Fear was put into us about not being there. Stories were told of how people lost their children to the world by not having them in church every time the doors were open. Anyway, I agree with Getting There when she says you can stay at home and rest when you are sick. And a perfect church would be a place where they trust that you are a grown, intelligent person and you are capable of making your own decisions about your life and your church attendence.

Anonymous said...

A perfect church for me would be a church in the small, rural community in which I live. It would be smaller groups of people going into the community with The Gospel, converting sinners, and discipling them to form more groups of believers who would then do the same. The Body of Christ would grow exponentially.

The agenda of this church would be to AFFECT CHANGE LOCALLY, NATIONALLY, and GLOBALLY through getting people born again and disciplship. What kind of change? To raise up believers whose character mirrors the character and commitment of those who founded our great nation and those who are spoken of in Hebrews 11. That means if we were worth our salt, we would have FRUIT. The fruit of people living Godly lives and not giving one thought as to whether they were “relevant”, accepted by the world, or progressive.

I’m talking about the things we do actually mattering, actually changing the news headlines in the nation-where children aren’t abused, tortured, or murdered, where perversion isn’t exalted, where there are families intact and living SOBERLY in the fear of the Lord.

This church would have no huge building to support financially. Instead, money would be put to spreading the gospel. Small meetings could be done in homes, larger meetings could be held in modest structures.

And my children could discover how beautiful it is to hear God’s people sing, pray, and worship the Lord together, instead of some polished, professional stage show. They could learn the lessons of selflessness and sacrifice, thinking beyond where they live in the here and now, and being salt and light in a dark, perverse world. I would like them to know that when tragedies or crises come to our family, we have a local group of believers who will help us and love us.

The most important things for them to learn are not:
(I shudder to think where our nation would be if our founders held any of those ideas dear.)

-Amos M.

Set Free said...

Amos M,

I can so relate to what you said about what you want for your children. I began to see that in my former church, my children were not experiencing the love of God and they were losing their compassion for people and the world. I want them to know that Christianity is about reaching out to the world and loving people, reaching the lost, and not "give me more."

I can also relate to what you said about having a group of people who love and support you. One thing that has been so good for us is our small fellowship group. We can actually talk to each other about what's going on in our lives and help each other. We are a support to each other and it's great to know you have someone you can count on when you need them. It's a real genuine care and not a fake "I'm there for you" when you know they're not.

getting there said...

Set Free, thanks for posting this! I have to add, I brought my son to school whilst he was very sick as well. I refused to miss church even if my whole family was sick.

I don't know how the penny dropped for me. The one time, my husband was actually really sick so we stayed home, the next week we were rebuked for having a lack of faith. I rolled my eyes at him and then it started happening for me, I finally saw through him.
My husband has lost all faith in church.. for once I can actually relate to those who do not want to go to church and through that bring some healing. I love your blog, it is really helpful! You are really seeing the heart of the matter and creating a tool for those like myself, who have been broken, battered and bruised!

Set Free said...

Getting There,
Thanks for your kind words, and I'm so so sorry that you and your husband have been broken and bruised. I just want you to know you're on my heart today and I'm praying for you.