Would I Fit In at 'The Perfect Church'?

When I imagine 'my ideal church', I see a close-knit group of people. They are familiar with the nitty-gritty details of each others’ lives, and like each other anyway. They share the burdens on their hearts, and are immediately surrounded by a group of people laying on hands and praying. They share, say things like ‘cut the crap’, and confess their sins to each other. They hug and cry and laugh. They celebrate every new addition to their group – especially new believers. They invest time in each other and new believers to build relationships that are centered around Christ, who moves powerfully in and through them. They are known by their love.

They serve the homeless together, and keep each other accountable. They do not care about rules and regulations and programs and contracts so much; they care about Jesus and reaching his people.  They help others, give generously, and are praised for their insane amount of reality and generosity and kindness. They represent Jesus. For real.

Where is that church? Is there such a thing in this town? Province? Nation? It might cross my mind to move if there were…

But would I fit in to a church like that?  No, probably not… I want these things – sharing burdens, approachability, reality, love, generosity, reaching the lost, serving side-by-side… they sound lovely. But do I do them? 

This church I seek is not a place; it is a way of living.
If I want to have it, I’ve got to do it.

Do I pray immediately when someone shares a need?
Do I confess my sins to ‘each other’?
Do I seek out the lost and invest in their life?
Help others? Am I generous?

If I want to have it, I’ve got to do it.

I hereby resolve to…

  • call sin sin. It grieves the Spirit, displeases the Father, and poisons my heart and the lives of those around me. Get it OUT! I need to confess my sin, which is impossible when it's covered by excuses.
  • take every opportunity to ‘do good to everyone, especially the family of faith’. I will seek out ways to build up, encourage and edify my brothers and sisters.
  • pour myself into the lives of the lost or ‘seeking’ in my life. Pray for them, spend time with them, find ways to express love.
  • invest myself in the building of God’s kingdom wherever I am

Phew! What a tall order! But this is not something I’ll start tomorrow and finish by Friday. I believe God is gracious and patient enough to teach me until the day I go home. These are not things I'll be or do by pure osmosis ... these are decisions I need to make: one at a time, each day.

Here's to being church - wherever.



shannon i olson said...

this is a lovely post! so much to think over. thank you. I hope you don't mind if I share it on my facebook page ( a link to this post)

Madre Minutes said...

The perfect church will be in heaven, so we will all fit in, belong, feel ok, not worry about nothing, have incredible praise and worship 24/7 and time in His presence for eternity.....praisallujah!
Thanks for the great post.
Kindest regards,

From The Heart Online said...

thanks Shannon! I'd love it if you'd link to this post. That's the whole point of posting - to share! Have at-er :)

Madre Minutes: You're so right :) Looking forward to it!!

The Unknowngnome said...

Cheers to being a church wherever!
Cheers to cutting the crap.
Cheers to you my friend for being here. :)

It's OK to be WEIRD! said...

*sigh* as a pastor's wife I know there is no perfect church here. I've heard it said before, "The church would be a great place if it wasn't full of sinners!" But, alas, it is, and we are not perfect. I love what you've shared here. Yes, let's get real, let's cut out the junk and really just love each other through the process. I especially resonated with pouring into the lost and seeking - it all boils down to RELATIONSHIPS over and above religion, and that's where church misses the boat sometimes.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Good stuff!

~ Raylene @ It's OK to be WEIRD!

Warren Baldwin said...

Very good. I like your emphasis on the humble and relational aspect of being church. We lose sight of that often and, when we do, I'm afraid we also lose sight of what it is to be the church. Good post.