4 things I want in a Church!

Real Church – does it exist? Can I find it?

These are some of the questions that spiritual seekers and Christians alike may ask themselves from time to time. I am a pastor and have been a Christian for a long time and I want to be apart of a real church as well as lead a real church that others can be apart of.

Truth is many churches are simply not helping people fight the battle of their lives.

What has prompted some of my thoughts on this topic is a book written by Larry Crabb “Real Church”. It’s a challenging read because it dares to say what some of us are already thinking about church and explores some real world answers for our searching questions on the church.

From reading the bible, this book and from personal experience, there are 4 things I want in a church:

  1. Biblical Theology – Loving truth: I want to be apart of a church that hungers for the truth of God’s Word that meets me right where I’m at and sets me free from the addiction of self-sufficiency. I want to be apart of a church that speaks living and active truth right into the centre of my battle. I want truth is expose the contours of my battle with life that I can’t see and give me insight to conquer it.
  2. Spiritual Formation – Loving God: I want to be apart of a church that helps me hunger for God more, even if my experience of God isn’t fully satisfied until I stand before him face to face in heaven. Philippians 3:8 is my life verse – I want to know Christ above all else. I want to become more like Christ at the core of my heart and have the Spirit of God transform me from the inside out.
  3. Authentic Community – Loving People: I want to be apart of a church that values real transparency in relationships, willing to confess sin to each other and not avoid conflict because it’s uncomfortable. Speaks the truth in love and takes literally Jesus example, “By this shall all people know that you are my disciples – how you love one another.”
  4. Innovative Mission – Loving the World: I want to be apart of a church that is energised by the mission of Jesus. Not just social action – Matthew 25, that’s a given but seeing real people who don’t know Christ taken on a journey (in the context of relationship) to know Christ and embrace these 4 qualities. I want the mission to be creative and and not reliant on formula’s but come from the heart.

Lead the Change!

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8 Responses to “4 things I want in a Church!”

  1. Love it! That is what I want in a church too! You really need all four for it to work. One or two just doesn’t cut it.
    Spot on Ps Cory.

  2. You are painting a picture of Christians relating to non-believers with an eye on a conversion, because that’s the main game, isn’t it?

    What about relationships without any agendas. What about Christianity without the constant felt need to “sell the product”? Are you turning Christianity into a multi-level-marketing scheme like Amway?

    You could bypass all that relationship stuff anyway. A shortcut to convincing outsiders is to demonstrate your claims with evidence and coherent arguments. For example, who understands the atonement doctrine? Or the Trinity? Do something like present evidence for the existence of non-material entities, at least the sort that you believe in like spirits, demons, angels, etc. Do all this well and you’ll get believers. Relationships will come later.

    • Corey Turner Says:

      David,

      Authentic relationships is important regardless of the outcome but apart of truly loving people is introducing them to Christ through our relationship with them.

  3. People interested in genuine relationship do not lie. They do not make up stories like the following:

    A cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and drink his blood while telepathically telling him you accept him as your master so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

    • Corey Turner Says:

      David,

      Hebrews 6:18 says, “It is impossible for God to lie.” Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not man, that he should lie.” God is completely holy, pure and good. He cannot speak, act or entertain anything that is not truth. John 14:6 says, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”

      Rather the devil masquerades himself as an angel of light and is the father of lies (John 8:44).

  4. The only problem you have now is to demonstrate, beyond reasonable doubt, the truth of the Hebrews text that you quote.

    I understand that for many Christians, the Bible is accepted a priori as a matter of faith. Very few can demonstrate the truth of the Bible through rational argument from evidence, a task which I believe is currently not possible with lack of sufficient evidence available today.

    If you believe a proposition is true, merely as a matter of faith, does that mean that one can lower the standard for evidentiary-based belief? I think the same standards of evidence should be applied to all belief, whether it is based on the real-world or not.

    Another way of putting this is. can one be a Christian without accepting the entire Bible as authorative?

  5. Rachel Wallace Says:

    Hi David, I’ve seen your comments quite a few times in the past. You raise some valid points. I just wanted to discuss one:

    ‘What about Christianity without the constant felt need to “sell the product”? Are you turning Christianity into a multi-level-marketing scheme like Amway?’….

    The premise of a Multi level marketing scheme is creating an environment wherein each participant is gaining something of personal worth or value… I have heard people compare Christianity to this many times, but I don’t really get it… What have I got to gain if you become a Christian? Really, nothing. I’m not getting a wage or a fancy title. Sure, there may be Pastors out there who are attempting to ‘build their own empires’, but the majority of people in a church will gain diddly squat when a conversion takes place. So why would we be pushing something we aren’t gaining from?

    I am a Christian, but If I am truly honest. I feel awkward sharing my faith. I gain nothing from sharing what I believe except a chance to humiliate myself to people like you LOL But you know why you will catch me sharing about who you call ‘A cosmic Jewish Zombie’? Because I have experienced things in my life that cannot be explained rationally or materially. I have gained insight and evolved from things that have troubled, pained me and held me back in life from the message of Christianity and a subsequent relationship with God. I don’t share for personal gain. I share from a genuine desire to see other people be happier and healed from the pains, confusions and difficulties that our lives often bring. I just don’t like seeing people hopeless and helpless when I have been there myself and found a way out.

    You request that we prove a non material entity, but how is that possible? The very fact that the entity is non material is proof that it cannot be proven materially. The only way to prove it is to show its influence or interaction with a material being or object, as in itself it does not possess material qualities. So therefore, the evidence of a non material God can only be seen by its effect on a material being. You could say that the many Christians who believe they have encountered the same God and then put positive changes into effect in their lives is proof of His existence. Proof of His movement.

    A thoughtful and thorough reading of the bible as a whole shows a dovetailing and clarity that cannot be seen from plucking strange sounding texts.

    And even more amazing is when someone’s personal journey encounters the Truth therein and the delightfully intangible, unprovable mark of a non-material entity begins to show in their life by means of positive personal improvement and clarity and purpose in life.

    Some of the most wonderful things in life are not grasped with the mind, but with the heart. Like love. And joy. Not to say that we bypass intellect and reason, rather we are not limited by them.

    ‘The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned’
    1 Corinthians 2:`14, The Bible

  6. Rachel Wallace Says:

    Oh, btw, I think the following sounds equally as disturbing, unlikely and downright odd as your entertaining synopsis of the Christian message;

    In the beginning was a giant ball of lifeless gas which over a course of time collided with other floating gases whose melding created a cell of life which in turn grew legs, walked on land and became a monkey whose children we now are.

    ;o)

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