dream church

tonight as i was listening to a podcast and i heard tony jones say the phrase “my dream church.”it got me to thinking about what my dream church would look like. since judge marilyn says i rule i figured i should write down a few things on what my dream church would look like so that you, my loyal subjects, would know these things. so here goes:

  • my dream church would be concerned about the kingdom of GOD – i would want the overriding focus of the church to be on living out and expanding the kingdom of GOD (e.g. living life the way it is supposed to be) – not just missions, evangelism, social justice, discipleship, worship, community or any other single element. we would need to be a group of people that were not only spreading the good news of JESUS CHRIST but also fighting to see that kingdom lived out in this world – fighting with and for the marginalized of the world. basically i would like to see the best of liberal protestantism and conservative evangelicalism brought together.
  • a group of people passionately in love with each other – for me this means lots of pot lucks and constant eating together.
  • a diverse group of messed up people – i want a church that is full of people that admit how much they don’t get and how much they don’t live out concerning the gospel. a group that is trying to walk closer and closer in the way of CHRIST but in the end realize that we are all screwed up and entirely dependent upon GOD’s grace. i would want a place where the perfect middle class family and the drug addict are both in the same room, in love with each other, and realize they both stand before GOD in need of HIS grace.
  • a great mix of people – i dream of a church that is made up of different ethnic groups, socioeconomic groups, sub-cultures, etc. e pluribus unum, baby. the rich and the poor, the black and the white, the packers and the bears fans all living life together.
  • a church that has chili dogs once a week – okay it’s a selfish thing but i really love chili dogs. this is not a make or break point but i am talking about my dream church so i figured i should dream a little.
  • a church that seeks to live as simply as possible – i’m not doing a very good job of this personally but i’m trying and i would love to be a part of a group of people who are always struggling to do this.
  • a hospitable church – i want to be a part of a group of people who are always “inviting the stranger into their midst.”
  • a body of believers that are growing in CHRIST’s love together – i want a church where GOD is sought after, HIS word is delved into, prayer is practiced in a variety of manners, and devotion is encouraged as ways of experiencing GOD’s love to greater extents. part of this means a church that is not afraid to mess up. part of growing is sometimes getting it wrong. i want to be a part of a body of believers that is struggling with GOD and HIS word. it wouldn’t be a place where someone had all the answers, rather it would be a group of people who are constantly struggling with figuring out what the questions are and trying to accept the love of the ONE WHO is the ANSWER.
  • a group of people who are committed to being between 200 and 300 in size – this doesn’t mean a lack of growth or excluding new people. instead it means that church plants would have to happen all the time.
  • i want a church that is constantly experimenting – i want to be a part of a body that is trying new things all the time. new forms of ministry, new room set ups, new teaching methods, new issues jumped into, new chili dogs … you name it. i want to be with a group of people who are not afraid to fail and therefore will try anything.
  • i want to be with a church body that is embracing its heritage – i want to be a part of a group of people who truly know what is important to them. not the programs, rooms, etc. rather then ideals that all those things came from. i want to be with a group of people who have those ideals in their minds and honor them even while they are trying new things.

that’s what comes to mind off the top of my head. i’ll probably read it tomorrow and decided to change some of it – i’m tired and i never really trust what i write when i am tired.

Currently playing in iTunes: City Of Blinding Lights by U2

One Reply to “dream church”

  1. The longer I spend working in large churches the more I agree with your idea of keeping the church small and forming new churches as it grows. It seems the larger a church gets the more it begins to be run like a corporation and not a body of believers. It seems that the more resources a church has the more foolishly they tend to utilize those resources. They tighten down on every little penny in some areas but allow money to freely flow out of gaping holes in other areas. And the condition of people’s souls tends to get lost somewhere in the middle.

    In my reading for my Baptist History class I ran across a confession of faith published by Thomas Hellwys in (I believe) 1610. One of the articles in this confession held that the church should never be so large that the people, and especially the pastor, could not personally know every one of them. I like this idea of being able to develop relationships with everyone in the church, disciple them, equip them to disciple others, and launch them to form new groups that do the same thing.

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