After recently being at another church, I started thinking about what felt different. Why would it matter? Isn’t being in one house of God the same as being in another? And in the past few months, I’ve had several people ask me for my church’s statement of faith which has felt like a basis of my friendship. Can’t believers just be friends without “one upmanship” over churches? Do we have to wage a war to figure out who’s church has more authority over the other? If Jesus rules over Heaven and earth, doesn’t He have all authority? So as long as we are believers in Him and the salvation we have through Him, isn’t that what matters and not flexing our church muscles?
After thinking about these types of questions, I learned that I have mixed feelings. So, instead of writing about it in the way I had originally done, I’ve decided to rewrite it and just state what it is about my home church that I like. This way, hopefully people won’t try and flex those muscles and knock each other out.
What I like about my home church:
1. Our Pastor and his wife know us by name.
2. It is easy to get involved. Really, all someone has to do is show up and ask.
3. We are not clones. Each person is different and no one tries to copy our Pastor, worship team, and other church staff members with their hair, clothing, or accessories.
4. We don’t go out on weekends and try to sell “time share” from our church to those who attend a church other than ours. In other words, we don’t try to make other’s feel that their church is not a good church. We don’t make people feel like ours is best and that their salvation will be “greater” if they attend our church or “less” if they don’t. Our church is open to anyone who is seeking Jesus and to those who don’t know what they are seeking yet. We just meet needs and point people to God.
5. Our church teaches and believes the word of God exactly as written in the Bible. And, we learn ALL of it-the easy to hear stuff and the hard to digest, (gulp-I need life change) teachings. In other words, our Pastor teaches it like it is, but he does so with grace, humor, and reality.
6. Jesus is King in the church. Not our small groups, not our staff, not our programs.
7. Our worship is not too glitzy or over the top, so it is easy to keep the focus on praising God. Yet, it is also fresh and exciting enough to allow us to clap, dance, and show our excitement and JOY to praise the King-because we are so full of joy! It’s a good balance.
8.Our church promotes and models the importance and health of a personal prayer life in addition to worship and praise.
9. My church is where my closest friendships started. The people are not just members of a church, but members of a church family, members of a prayer family, and people I can count on like family.
10. It’s the first place I learned to read my bible and learned about Jesus at 37 years of age. I was a late bloomer in my faith. And, no one laughed when I looked for Genesis in the back of my bible instead of knowing it was the first book.
There are so many things I like about our church. And while not perfect, it’s the House of God I like to call home. And like home, it’s where I go to rest, be protected, learn, grow, be nurtured, comforted, strengthened, encouraged, and taught. But, it’s also the place for me to give these things as well. And just like belonging to any other family, it’s where I have responsibilities to contribute and do some of the chores to make it run like a successful household.
Yep, that’s home. That’s my church.