A church that fits our needs
Americans love to shop. We are bombarded with advertising designed to lure us into buying products that will fill specific “needs” we have in our lives. Our consumerism often spills over into our spiritual life. The worship may not be our style so we allow that to hinder our entrance into the presence of God. A greeter may not greet us with a smile which prevents us from feeling welcome. The pastor may not preach the feel-good message we were hoping for. If you are trying to find a perfect church, you will be gravely disappointed. Finding the “right” church is not the same as customizing your shopping cart before you checkout. I often tell my seven year old daughter, “You cannot always get what you want.” As adults searching for the perfect church, we must tell ourselves the same thing. The church does not exist to cater to our desires. The church was established to cater to God’s desires and reflect the message of Jesus Christ to the world.
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47.
The church must be devoted to teaching sound doctrine. The church should be committed to fellowship in unity, love and accountability. Our churches must be dedicated to community and sharing our lives with each other just like the early believers. Prayer must be the foundation of all of our activities. A church that is bathed in prayer will be strong and united. The church should cultivate an environment where people can encounter the presence of God and experience genuine spiritual growth through discipleship.
This church has nothing to do with an advertising campaign to convince you to buy a certain brand. The church of Jesus Christ has to do with intimacy and expanding the Kingdom.
As the bride of Christ, we are betrothed to Jesus and not our favorite songs, colors, or seating arrangements. If we pick apart our church’s methods, we risk being led astray from a pure devotion to Christ in our hearts.
“I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:1-3.
We are the bride and Christ is the Bridegroom. Just like in a marriage, we sacrifice our own preferences for one another. Husband and wife love each other unconditionally regardless of petty disagreements, morning breath, or outward appearances. This is no different in the relationship of our local churches to Jesus Christ himself. Our Bridegroom is not looking for our worship team to sound perfect or our services to always finish on time. He is not looking for the most eloquent speakers or the most eye-catching media.
Jesus desires a loving bride. He is looking for purity on the inside, not perfection on the outside. He is looking for a church that is in love with him and not the most impressive light displays. Fall in love with the Bridegroom. Remember he loves his bride and is searching for a people who will worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24) not by opinions and human thinking. If you are only looking for a church body that fits all of your personal needs, you will never find it. Find a church where you can fall in love with Jesus and be used for his glory. Our job is to love him and show the world how real he is by that same love. The love of Jesus Christ is the only thing that will fulfill every need we could ever have.