follow the simple instructions and watch your church grow.
You will be known by the love that you have for one another.
That’s what Jesus said. Surely it can’t be that simple,
otherwise the establishment intelligentsia would by now be
patting themselves on the back because of their overflowing
churches, wouldn’t they?
In most churches there are people who have never had a conversation
with other pew sitters, ever, or for years.
The truth is that love overcomes everything, even those who
preach it, but do not live it. Love does not ignore, or subvert,
or suppress the God given gifts in the people who attend a
church and love does not allow it to happen. We are a city
on a hill and our light is for others and must not be hidden.
Even Ghandi said that if Christianity was practised it would
spread across the world like a fire. Jesus has made it plain in
the Holy Scriptures, what it is that we have to do.
It isn’t rocket science. Love is the answer. Not your own way,
but ‘the way’. That doesn’t mean giving in and letting every
fool, or megalomaniac have what they want.
Persevere, in love. If you are right then perseverance
will enable the truth to prevail. If you are wrong,then
perseverance will allow you to encounter the truth
You have probably heard that you could never find the
perfect church because when you did it would become imperfect when you arrived. In
other words, we are all imperfect.
Ok, perhaps perfection is out. How about the best kind of church any imperfect person
The good news is that you don’t have to settle for the best kind of imperfect church.
You can have the Church that Jesus would attend. Think about it!
The Apostle Paul said that of faith, hope and charity/love, the greatest was love.
What do you mean by charity/love? Well, there are all kinds of love. The Holy Scriptures
have a number of words to describe the different kinds of love. For instance, love
for you mother isn’t the same as love for your spouse. There are all kinds of love,
but they all come under the common understanding of what love is.
From my kitchen window I can see my neighbours garage roof where jackdaws, pigeons
and and doves, rest for a while. It is easy to tell the ‘couples’. They like to be
close to one another and they groom each other.
What does God observe when He looks at us? Is our care for one another obvious by
our behaviour to one another?
Back to the real world - love is caring. Caring enough sometimes to put self second.
The writer of Hebrews talked about preferring the other. Not winning the argument
and losing a friend. Caring.
The church as it exists today is about hierarchy, real estate and ceremonies. Even
the modern house churches where I have heard speakers deride the traditional churches
and their ‘religious’ traditions, end up having their own (often inferior) rituals.
Man finds it impossible to love unconditionally and so he wraps his own vulnerability
with religious do’s and don’ts and constitutions and basis of faiths and intellectualises
Love unconditionally and your church will grow. Prefer each other and your church
will grow. Listen, consider, care and find a way to accommodate one another and your
church will grow.
In most churches the congregations do not have any meaningful relationship with one
another . Of course there are handshakes and some people are actually friends, but
the fact is that most church attenders would not confide, or expect help from one
another in a difficult situation. They might hope for help, but they do not expect
it and they don’t usually get it.
Evangelism - everyone in the church should be an evangelist, even if it is only by
sending off literature by post. There are almost limitless ways to evangelise and
no one need feel inadequate to the task. Every church should have an evangelistic
ministry that encourages and enables the members to realise their potential in Christ,
as an evangelist.
How soul destroying it must be for many paid and pensioned Christian leaders to be
ground down by Church management, committees and meetings that leaves them precious
little time to do evangelism. Then again many church leaders have found a safe place
in committee rooms to avoid evangelism.
Of course someone is thinking, ‘everything we do, is and should be evangelistic’.
Get real. It isn’t happening. Most of the church’s good works are not directly married
to the risen Christ. Others are getting the glory. Trouble with man made glory is
that it fades and withers like most churches are fading and withering.
List of Perfect Churches in Cumbria
List of Churches in Cumbria that are nearly perfect
List of Churches in Cumbria where the people are truly repentant of their lack of
love for one another and are genuinely trying to become more Christ like
List of Churches in Cumbria where you will find ‘good’ people doing their best given
the inadequacy of teaching and example