"My cat has a mouse in its mouth." Maybe I ought to ask whether we are talking about an ancient cat or a modern cat. To simply say that the cat has a mouse in its mouth may refer to two different things. (I do suspect that even modern cats prefer the kind with four legs).
I was visiting with a pleasant man the other day on the telephone. This was my first conversation with him. I know very little about him other than they (his family) anticipate a move to Waco in the near future. He asked me a few questions about the area in general. He then asked me about the churches in this area (Churches of Christ).
I never really know what to say when people ask me about the churches in this area. Some people are looking for something for their children. Some are looking for a church with a certain perspective on things. Some are looking for a church that resembles (somewhat) their church "back home".
When people use the word "church" they often have in mind an image or picture that may be very different from what someone else is referring to. What do you imagine as you think about church as it should be? I think this would be an attractive church for God-hungry people:
- A church that is not afraid to be radically biblical. A church that does not just seek biblical form but biblical function.
- A church that seeks simplicity. In larger churches, many people are worn out from endless, meaningless, committee meetings. At the same time, it can be so difficult to get something done in that church..
- A church that values truth and reality over keeping everyone "happy". A church that is more concerned with these questions: "What does God want? Is God happy with this?"
- A church where the kingdom vision is alive, fueling the passion of men and women who long to be a part of something that is really making a difference.
- A church that values its unity. A church that is tolerant of struggling people. Yet, this church is intolerant disruptive behavior in the body of Christ.
- A church that sees its ministry as 24/7 in the community.
- A church that dares to trust God (even when it feels risky) instead of just "playing it safe".
- A church that loves the brokenhearted, the lonely, the poor, those who have made many mistakes in life, and those who need a "second chance".
- A church that gets more excited about the kingdom and God’s agenda than politics.
- A church where people, through word, ministry, and their very lives, point others to Jesus.