« Best of the Web | Main | Good ideas from DC area churches »

The Ideal Church

Of course no congregation is perfect. But here's what I find myself looking for as I visit congregations across the Metro Washington area.

  • Something contemporary.  Whether a separate service, or a nod to change in the traditional service, there needs to be some acknowledgement that no matter how great your traditional worship, it is not indigenous to the people around you.
  • Racial, ethnic, age diversity
  • Joy.  There should be a sense of gladness to come together, signs that the people in the church are excited to see one another and are engaged in each other's lives.  As I reflect on all the churches of which I've chosen to be a part, this is plainly obvious as people chatter before church, and linger after.
  • Service.  The church should be engaged in the larger community and serving the poor and needy.
  • Open minds.  Not an overly fundamentalist congregation so committed to the "infallible Word of God!" that they overlook the fallible translations of man.
  • Young adults.  Just a few, friendly ones would be fine.  But I need to know there are some people there with whom I can become friends and activity partners.
  • And, though not at all a requirement, it would be nice to be a part of a church with something OLD as well as something contemporary.  I loved being at a church where I had symphony, choir, AND rock band.  That was indigenous to ME.
  • KJV-free.  The church should use a more contemporary , and more accurate, translation of the Bible as its primary translation.

Slightly off topic, but on another note, I think that in an area like Washington, DC, there need to be new or changing churches NOT ONLY to attract new believers, but to assemble like-minded folks.  Typically, I would agree that churches shouldn't try to grow through stealing other churches' members.   But in this city, there seems to be such a lack of authenticity in the churches (that is, they dress, behave, and worship in a way that is not representative of the truth of their people).  I think the mission statement from Ginghamsburg applies here -- "To win the lost and set the oppressed free."    And in this case, the "oppressed" include younger adults being buried alive in the dead traditions of the old church.



Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.