We often categorize our churches with fancy titles: Relevant, emergent, classic, reformed, fundamentalist, traditional, contemporary, liturgical, purpose-driven etc… The list is really endless and the subtleties of each model vary. But what kind of church are we? Really…
- Some churches are more like a country club, complete with secret handshakes, special membership privileges, and perks for members based upon you seniority and attitude. But we are not called to be a Country Club.
- Some churches are more like a fashion show where once a week we are concerned more about what the members look like on the outside than who we are on the inside. But we are not called to be a fashion show.
- Some churches are like a spa where healthy people come to be pampered with a painless personality makeover and self-help rallies devoid of the power of God. They’d never think about service or sacrifice because the church is meant only for enrichment—not spiritual warfare. But we are not called to be a spa.
- Other churches are like courtrooms full of authority and judgment. Stern faces and hushed whispers are prevalent. Some believe that these churches are holy because of the formal atmosphere and the lack of tolerance for things like laughter, celebration and dancing. These churches are dead they just haven’t gotten the good grace to lie down. But we are not called to be a court.
- And on the opposite side, we find the church of cool, where musicians display their gifts not to the glory of God but rather to the glory of themselves. The tendency toward outlandishness knows no bounds. They are different just for the sake of being different. Messages aren’t centered on the God or the Bible. In fact, some sermons might cause you to wonder if there is really is a point beyond the emotions and the glitz of atmosphere. What is the vibe? This is the main question in the church of the cool. But we are not called to be cool.
- Each model apart from the work of Christ is like a cemetery. You can put flowers on the graves, you can have tea parties next to the tombs, you can pipe in the best music and serve the best meals but without Christ, the cemetery is still full of rot. But we are not called into death.
So what about us? Are we any of these churches? For most churches, we’ve been all of these from time to time. That’s why it is so important for us to be desperate and dependent upon God. Do we want to see people who are hurting and in need come to us for help or are we satisfied with self-serving religious organizations that offer risk-free comfort and predictability. We were made for much great things; things that accompany wonder, miracles, new life and transformation.
How far are we willing to go? Who do we chose to exclude? Jesus is still knocking at the doors of churches promising that if anyone hears His voice and opens the door, He will come in and eat with him, and he with me. Let’s invite people to the table through worship and become the kind of Church He desires to enter.
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