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?