Sunday, June 11, 2006
Along with a major move come a few standard questions that people feel entitled to ask to get the ball rolling in conversation:
Where did you move from? Why are you moving here? How do you like it so far?
Then come the more situational specific questions, for instance, when I run into a Christian or when I'm visiting a church:
What's your church history? or What was your last church like?
And then my favorite question: What are you looking for in a church?
This question makes me feel as though I have just stepped into conversation with a real estate agent: Well, you see I'm buying my first home, so I'd like something affordable. A place in a good neighborhood with lots of families, good schools close by. I'd like a big backyard, someplace I can really relax. It has to be at least three bedrooms and two baths. Oh, and I'd really like a white picket fence out front.
Or maybe that I'm standing in the buffet line: Yes, the fried chicken, no I don't want that. Could I have some of that please. Mash potatoes, yes. No, not white, brown gravy. Of course I'd like pie, let's see, I believe peach this time around.
When did the body coming together in worship become a smorgasbord of choice and pleasure? What I'm looking for in a church is as simple as this: a body that loves God and loves people. I don't think it needs to be any more complicated than that.
The buffet line. I can't help but wondering what out of this glorious buffet Jesus would choose. Would He seek out the best worship style, the most dynamic preacher, the friendliest greeters? The most comfortable pews? The most weekly activities? No, I don't think so. I don't think those things are really all that important to Him. We still lack the understanding of what "I desire mercy, not sacrifice" really means. Could it be that all of the choices out there are simply a distraction from what really matters: Jesus?