Whenever we are gone on vacation as we were last week, we attend a church on Sundays. And last week in FL, we attended a church that was a well-oiled machine in some ways. They had many volunteers, a friendly nursery for our grandson, plenty of coffee, a ton of printed material that was free, some things for sale, and they had people to greet you throughout the building guiding people to the right place. Everything in the worship service seemed to flow perfectly – without any hiccups.
Yet, when we left we didn’t feel as if we had been to “church”. Here are some of the reasons that it left me wanting to find a church that night: the worship service was like a show (dark in the “audience” with bright lights on the stage); it seemed as if I could only see a few here or there singing – it was as if we were all standing up to watch other people (the “performers” on stage) worship; the sermon was a video of the service at “the mother church”; the video “sermon” made only three passing references to Scripture in a 40 minute message that was a self-help message (he said good things – no heresy); and on top of this, they did not offer communion. One of the volunteers I asked said they don’t offer it very often and she didn’t know when they did. I did notice they took up offering. Something was missing in my opinion. Yet, they had a big group of people there.
But I also realized there was something wrong about myself! I showed a critical spirit rather than giving them the benefit of the doubt (as I hope visitors to MCC do for us). They may be a very healthy church in a number of other ways (even though I really don’t like video sermons and not having communion!).
I hope we focus on keeping the main thing the main thing which is Celebrating and Proclaiming the Lordship and Love of Jesus Christ. I hope we focus on making disciples. I am excited about ladies in our church wanting to make disciples and wanting to be discipled. That is what we are called to do. Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19,20).