Hey everyone. I’ve got a double dose of blogging for you today! First up, my friend Darrell is guest blogging for me today. He’s a super neat guy, so be sure to leave him some blog love here, and then go check his blog out.
I’m not sitting today out though! Erin Gabbard won a guest post from me and asked me some of the most random, quirky questions ever. Go check out our conversation at her blog. I’ll be back on Monday.
I grew up in church and went to school for church ministry. Iʼve been a part of the leadership team at several churches. Even as we speak I am on the road to be an associate pastor for a church plant called Shoreline in Florida.
No two churches have been the same. Some of them have been house churches, some have been mega churches. Some have had a young, hip trendy vibe with loud music and charismatic teaching. Others have been more low-key.
And all had flaws and benefits. But the values of house churches and big churches are the same. They love Jesus, worship, serving others and community.
If we can celebrate our differences rather than divide over them, we can stop fighting and arguing and start activating the Mission weʼre called to as the “capitol C” Church.
So what does this mean for you?
Your Church is a Social Construct
Believe it or not, most of the things your church does isn’t because the Bible says so.
This isnʼt a bad thing. Itʼs just the truth. Your church has certain practices and traditions. You sit in pews or not. You sing hymns or not. You have expensive lighting and sound or not. They are not “right” one way or the other. Worship can happen with or without any of them.
There are some things about doing church that are outlined in scripture, and we should
pay attention to these things. Leadership and values within the church are things that scripture speaks to but scripture doesnʼt value one cultural practice over another.
Culture isnʼt necessarily right or wrong. Itʼs just culture.
Find a Church That Feels Comfortable to You…but Not Too Comfortable.
It takes work to find a church that fits you. You have to think about whatʼs important to you when it comes to church? What aspects of “church” are you willing to let go?
Things that matter to you will not matter to other believers, and certain things will matter to other believers that do not matter to you. But thatʼs okay. Remember how most of the stuff we do in church isn’t from the Bible? Yet, that’s the stuff we focus on most. That stuff is how we decide what church we’re comfortable in.
When you find a church that works for you, recognize that not everything about that church is going to be perfect. There might be elements of the service or traditions that are outside of your comfort zone. Thatʼs okay too.
Appreciate the ways that your church stretches your understanding of worship. If you are open minded about worship, your understanding of God will grow.
Celebrate The Differences
You might have opinions about how another church does worship. But appreciate the cultural expression of worship they have to offer. Celebrate that they are inviting people to worship who might not ever enter the doors of your church.
When youʼre able to see differences as a good thing, you will be able to recognize and celebrate the similar values you share with them. Churches that worship in different ways can partner with each other in their similarities. Do we think God cares more about what kind of music we sing or what kind of seats we sit in than He does about the condition of our hearts?
As a multi-personality Christian I am learning to tell a different story about the church. We need to figure out how to tell the difference between the social construct that we live in and the truth of scripture.
What’s your “ideal” church look like? Have you had to let go of any “must haves” to find a church? Have you tried a very different church than what you’re used to and discovered you actually liked it?