You'll never find the church you're looking for


I saw this on the front a store that is opening soon at Blue Water shopping centre. It reminded me of how demanding church shoppers can be moving from to another, as we consume and try to find the 'right' church, with our list of impossible demands of what church should do and be. And then maybe we move on from church, become post-church, and keep consuming, forming church around our impossible notions.

After seeing this I came across a post by Purple Pastor linking to an article by Real Live Preacher, titled "How to find a church?". It's a great article about how you'll never find the church you are looking for and what you can do in the meantime.

I remember George Barna several years ago surveying non christians, unchurched people, asking them what would church have to do and be for you to ever consider being involved with one. They gave him a long list of things. He then followed it up by going back to people saying, 'good news!' their are some churches that have lots of those things you wanted, are you interested. And guess what they almost all said no thanks.

The reality was that people can easily list the things they say a church should be and do, but even if their is a community near them that is all those things, they still won't by and large get involved. It's easier to be a critic than to participate.

And in our desire to re-examine church, to adapt and change in the face of our changing world, under a vital missional mandate to do so, I keep reminding myself that relevance is greatly overrated. We can (and I think we should) strive to be kingdom based, break down sacred and secular divides, be communal with our experiences and learning, listen and be open to outsides, serve our communities without hidden agendas, foster a habit of participation and creativity, value ancient, modern and future, be networks rather than hierachy.

And still people will say no thank you, handing my life over to Jesus and serving the Mission of God with others in my community, doesn't fit my consumer lifestyle and requirements. And maybe whilst we strive for those changes, we'll stop beating ourselves up over not acheiving them all