I have no idea what the right way to do church is.
And I'm growing increasingly skeptical of anyone who says they know.
Sure, I write about it. But most of the time it's little more than "here's something that helps me and my church. Maybe it can help you and yours."
So Many Ways to Do Church
Sometimes it seems like everyone but me has figured out the right way to do church. In the last few months, I’ve heard all of these ideas spoken or written with absolute certitude:
- If your church isn’t getting bigger, it isn’t healthy
- Your church can grow using these 10 easy steps
- Going small is the only biblical way to do church
- Drop the hymns and bring the change your church needs
- Keep the hymns and provide stability
- Be relevant to your culture
- Be countercultural
- Be brave and get involved politically
- Stay pure by being non-political
- ...and on it goes
There are at least as many 'right' ways to do church as there are congregations.
Including the way we do it at our church, which looks very different today than it did ten years ago – or how it will look ten years from now.
The Right Way to Do Church – For Your Church
Let’s stop looking for a one-size-fits-all way to do church. And stop insisting on it for others.
After all, what we call “the early church” were really “the early churches.” Corinth, Jerusalem, Ephesus and Antioch were about as different from each other as the churches we have today.
Sure, sometimes they sinned and made theological errors, which needed to be corrected. But even when they were doing church right, each New Testament congregation did church their own way.
There are definitely some wrong ways to do church. But if the way you're doing church honors God and works for you, the people you're serving and the community you're reaching, keep doing it.
If not, try something else until you discover what works.
Some churches are always looking for new ways to tell old truths. Others stand on the stability of centuries-long traditions.
Wherever your church lands on the change spectrum, we need to hold to biblical theology and behavior more firmly than we hold to our traditions and methods.
And let other churches do the same.
There’s love and humility in that.
The kind of love that shows the world we’re his disciples.
The kind of humility Jesus can use.
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