In searching for a church, we often have certain standards and expectations for what a church should be. This article uses a parable to describe our own agendas when seeking out that “perfect” church.

The Quest For the Perfect Church

There was once a young man by the name of John Smith who had just recently moved into the area and was looking for a good church to attend. He was a new believer, so he was not sure what exactly to look for in finding a new church.

John spoke with a couple of people that recommended Young Hip Fellowship, a church with state-of-the-art sound and music. It was apparently an experience to behold.  Based on the overwhelming positive word of mouth, John decided to attend the church the very next Sunday. Not only was the church gigantic, but there was also lots of great worship music and bright lights with many young folks dancing and singing and shouting. John thought the church was too big and extravagant, though. So he thought he’d try something different next week.

The very next Sunday John decided to aim for something a little less “Hollywood”. He spotted a tiny little church named Greener Pastures and decided to try it out.  He was very surprised to see the majority of the congregation was well into their golden years.  The attendees definitely loved Jesus, but the worship was based on old hymns that he had never heard.  John felt that this church was not the right fit for him, either and decided to continue looking around.

John tried numerous other churches and in every one there was something he liked and something he disliked. Eventually John became so discouraged that he refrained from attending any church as there was simply no place that was tailor-made for him.  Sadly, due to a lack of accountability and fellowship John drifted into a state of solitude where his spiritual growth stagnated and criticism became his tool for justifying his lonely Christian walk.

There is a saying: “If you find the perfect church, don’t join it because you will ruin it!”

Should the church be blamed for John’s inability to find a relevant place of worship? Or is John looking towards man instead of focusing on God? Should churches be constantly changing the way they do things to fulfill the expectations of every believer or should Christians stay in the body where they are planted and accept that there will be things that aren’t completely as they desire. In the end, the church is made up of a multitude of folks in different stages of spiritual maturity. Is it right for us to simply leave church because the pastor went over his allocated time-slot or the music was too contemporary?

It’s funny how judgmental we as believers can be about our own flock without first assessing our own spiritual walk. What do you think should be a rule of thumb when it comes to finding the right church for you and your family?

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8 Responses

  1. Troy Heald

    Very good article. As I think of this, I recall the many different personalities the disciples had. They often had their own ideas, even own agendas at times. However, if they were focused on Christ and His word, they were in one accord. If we as individuals will attend church with our focus on The Word and what it tells us, rightly applying it, than we will not be so concerned about everything else. Just imagine if everyone in your church attended this Sunday with that focus…..How long do you think the service would be?

  2. Michael Brooks

    When you find the church that makes you “feel like home” that is a good sign that you are where you should be.

  3. Roland :)

    The church/Sunday service should have some source of the following. Encouragement: to help you in your walk and to help you persevere in faith. Equipping: To help take your walk to the ends of the earth by teaching/preaching sound biblical doctrine. Edification: A place where Christ is exalted and His Word is grounded in truth.

    Oh God lead me to a place where fellow brothers and sisters gather in Jesus Christ name and can praise and reign your name on high. Help us Father by encouraging us, equipping us Father and to edify us Father, so we can step outside the walls of the corporate church and go forth unto the many where we can BE the Church.

    • Pastor Jossie

      Amen beautifully said, may I share it with my congregation… Id like to put the 3 e’s in our bulletin.

  4. Laura

    What a timely article! Our church is going through an upheaval right now over music. The older folks want more hymns and the music toned down. To be fair, it is quite loud and even I have to cover my ears. However, the younger folk like the music. It has gotten to such a bad state that the older people only go to adult Sunday School and the young ones to church. Unfortunately, it is the older ones who support the church and they are now leaving in droves. I am going to pass this article around if that is okay. In fact, may I have permission to reprint it on my website? This is something I think my whole church needs to hear.

    • zachm

      Absolutely! You are more than welcome to print this and show it if you feel it will edify the church. I, too have seen this same situation in several local churches and it really is unfortunate how people are letting things like that cause division among them. It needs to be assessed that we are all the church and that we have to work together and make compromises on little things like that so that we may have agreement on our relationship with Christ. God and people are more important than music and buildings. You might suggest more acoustic contemporary worship that isn’t so loud for everyone else and mixing a hymn or two in every worship session. It’s totally up to your church, but those are just suggestions.

  5. Alan Thierry

    A fine article Zach. I too would like permission to reproduce your words, in our weekly Church newsletter.

    • zachm

      Anyone is welcome to share this with others. 🙂

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