One of the characteristics that I see in the American Christian Church is the way Christians, both Lay and Clergy, blow off certain churches. The thinking seems to go along these lines: That church will not change. That church is too old. That church is out of touch with reality. Nothing happens at the church. That church has bad music. That church has a bad preacher. That church has a bad doctrine. I think you get the picture, some churches get classified by people because they have a different organic make-up than others.
Another reason for the blow off could be money. After all, we living our Christian lives in the era of the mega-church. This means that there is not enough money to do the ministry the way it should be done. Well, the way it should be done according to different groups of people. Yet, should we classify a church according to her wealth? I think not. The problem with money is that it has the tendency to focus on the new fad of Christianity. Moreover, it has the power to hinder pray between a church and her Groom.
If the church is really the Lord’s, then there is not a money issue. Yet, if a church is not the Lord’s, but has money, it may take a while to know how that church should be classified.
Another way we classify churches is through leadership. Pastors are continually competing with each other so that we can attract people. Church leaders look for certain types of men and women in hopes of trying to find the next Rob Bell, Perry Noble, Rick Warren, and etc. I don’t know the stats, but I wonder how many books are being written to teach pastors how to be like these guys as leaders, compared to how many books are being written with the purpose to teach pastors how to be Spirit led. You know, Spirit led instead of CEO leading.
Some churches seem more likely to be used by God because it makes sense to most Christians. Yet, if unlikely churches preach the Cross, then church classification could be dangerous. After all, doesn’t it just seem like a wise choice that some churches cannot be effective and others can? Maybe the Bible had some of this mind when it addressed the way we tend to think. “Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:20-21).
Ultimately, God can work through any church He pleases. The moment Christians start classifying a church is the moment that God is no longer trusted to be God.
If you, no matter who you are, have written off a church because you have classified it, then you need to examine whether or not you are using the wisdom of the world or the foolishness of God to make your judgments.
God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him (1 Corinthians 1:27b-29).
Christians, stop the classification. I have been part of a church that was down to 8 people and witnessed what God did those who believed that He could. Christians if you want a challenge, go where it seems unlikely for God to work. You will be surprised at what He can do. 😉