I heard today that the congregation of my friend’s church has split in two, it is a real shame as it seemed to me to be a great church, they always inspired me whenever I went! The problem being that it is not the first church, which has been having problems in the last year and I very much doubt it will be the last!
Jesus himself said “Where two or more are gathered in my name, I am there with them!“ The issue is that “where two or more are gathered” there is also going to be disagreement! Even if you are family members or long-time friends you will not agree with each other over everything!
As a family, we have moved churches a few times for reasons such as:-
- Poor amount of biblical teaching.
- Worship and talks being uninspiring.
- “Unbiblical teaching” creeping in due to influence of visiting speakers.
- Over-obsession with finding the “Glory of God“
But I have also heard people leaving churches due to:-
- Poor pastoral support.
- Leadership being accusing rather than caring
- Drums being “too loud” during worship
I know that no church is perfect and I mentioned this in a blog a few months ago, but maybe it is time for the “followers of Jesus” to get back to basics (like I said last week) and be “the difference”. The early church sold all that they had to provide for the poor, why have we stopped that attitude? I was talking to a builder who has done a lot of maintenance work, for the Anglican Diocese in his area, who said that half of the manses are bigger and more expensive than most other homes that he has been in! How can any church leader/preacher justify to themselves the fact that they are living in an expensive home and there are so many poor and needy around them?!
I do wonder what life would be like if we all were “red letter christians”? If we all were more concerned with what concerned Jesus, rather than what we have grown up to be concerned by?
I also wonder sometimes, that if I were to start a church what would it look like, where would my priorities lie? I believe they would be something like:-
- Being willing to help the needy every other Sunday rather than meeting religiously as a “church”.
- Meeting everyday (or as often as possible?) for worship, teaching and testimony.
- Accept everyone – regardless of age, colour, background, how they dress or how they talk! (Possibly my highest priority!)
- Bible knowledge
- Supporting each other in times of need whatever time of night!
What would your priorities be? What should they be?